Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wellington & Masterton - New Zealand

The following day Abby and Dan had to work as we had unfortunately arrived on a Sunday but they were going to ask for the following day off so we could hang out.  We entertained ourselves by visiting the amazing Te Papa museum which is probably the best one yet and was an easy way to spend the day.  It was modern, interactive and engaging and most importantly entrance is by donation only (translation: free for backpackers).  They even had an exhibit where you got into a dining room for a simulation earthquake amongst many other great features.  We had planned to go out for a steak dinner and drinks with Abby and Dan and our excuse for the expense was that I was Jersey Liberation Day and we were Jersey people reunited!  We left the museum and met them at an Irish pub having reluctantly handed over the best part of twenty dollars for a Guinness and a Corona.  Using their local knowledge we hit the cheaper bars before heading to our steak dinner venue which was still an amazing deal of around fifteen dollars for two great juicy sirloins including sauce, onion rings and the icing on the caked of two perfect fried eggs.  Several drinking games later and we were getting a taxi back to Abby and Dan’s to sleep.  

Our masterpiece at the Te Papa Museum

The giant Squid at the Museum
Meeting up with Dan and Abby that evening

Tuesday was a perfect hangover day.  We were all as rough as goat’s knees so decided the best thing to do would be to take a walk towards town to get some bacon sandwiches in us.  They knew a great outdoor caf√© where the cup of tea worked its magic as did the bacon sandwich.  We walked back and stopped at a bakery for yet more food, this time opting for the much favoured steak pie, pies being on a par with the fish and chips over here.  We returned to Abby’s car where we headed up to a magnificent viewpoint looking over Wellington city where we hung out for a bit before heading into town again.  We had a bit of a sushi snack and chatted away before heading back.  We said our goodbyes as we would be heading out in the morning and the guys were back in work.

Dan fully embracing a hangover at the greasy spoon. Kate strangely energetic

Posing for a photo at the Welly viewpoint

On our way out of Wellington we remembered that we said we would meet up with Jen, a Kiwi who we made friends with when doing our diving qualifications in Thailand who lived not too far away.  Jen lives in a town called Masterton and is currently working as manager for a swimming school.  We killed time waiting for Jen to finish work by getting some free internet in the local library.  When she finished we followed her back to the house where after a bit of catch up small talk she dropped the bombshell that she was getting married the day after tomorrow!  This made us a feel a bit uneasy but she stressed that it was a small family fair so there really wasn’t much to prepare for.  Jen’s family made us both feel extremely welcome and we had an Indian takeaway with lots of chat especially around music.  Jen’s mum is an expert piano player who also plays the guitar and recently bought a banjo to learn which I found extremely inspiring.  Her dad is a very intelligent secondary school teacher who you wouldn’t mess with.  Jen’s brother is in successful New Zealand band who are due to do a tour of Europe this year.  The next day (which also happened to be the day before the wedding) we said our goodbyes and got out of their hair.  We stopped off at Jen’s work to say goodbye and good luck whilst Troy, her husband to be, sent text updates on his flight from the UK.  

Lucky me

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