Jan 24 – Christchurch to Wellington
We took the morning to explore the little town of Akaroa. It's a cute town on the water. We didn't have too long since we had to drive the Christchurch to catch our flights. Once back in the Christchurch area we realized we were in the same area as where Beau and I house sat. We had come full circle and had lunch at the pub that we went to the day everyone arrived. After returning the camper we were shuttled to the airport and got checked in. Elaine and Shane's flight wasn't for several hours after ours. We said our goodbyes to Mom and Dad, who we won't be seeing for awhile and our see you soons to Elaine and Shane who we will. The flight was probably one of the shortest I've ever been on. We arrived in Wellington and had about an hour to kill before we got picked up by Dan and Gabrielle. We had arranged to stay with them through a program called Help Exchange. They hosted us in exchange for us helping out with some work. In this case Gabrielle runs a charity program called CanBead which teaches cancer patients to make jewelry. We were to help her put together some of the beading kits. She also is an avid jewelry maker and makes her own glass beads. As you can imagine I was pretty excited to learn about bead making. After they picked us up we grabbed some groceries, we were alternating cooking nights. We had dinner and then Gabrielle showed me her bead room while Dan and Beau commiserated over being partnered to bead addicts.
Jan 25 – Wellington and Te Papa
It was nice to sleep in a full sized bed again! We slept well but not too late. Yesterday when we picked up groceries we forgot to get breakfast food so we ate a banana and hopped a bus down town. We walked along the Wellington water front which is an odd mix of shipping, sports and restaurants. We discovered a little take away restaurant that Gabrielle had told us about and had coffee and wild venison burgers for brunch! After eating we continued our walk along the water front and went in NZ national museum Te Papa. We wandered the second floor which was about the earth and animals as well as went outside to the museum gardens. Then we went upstairs to the third floor which was about the animals of NZ including extinct ones too. After museuming out for the day we walked over the Cuba Street which is a pedestrian only road. There were some interesting people about including two guys juggling. We got another coffee and muffin to snack on. We then went into a sports store and bought our selves some really cheap snorkels. We head back on the bus so we were back in time to start dinner. It's our turn to cook, we made curry. We then got to work on some HelpExing duties, I put together some bead kits and Beau tried to make up a new instruction sheet which didn't go very well since Windows kept thwarting him!
|The national museum Te Papa|
Jan 26 – Back to Te Papa
We had a pretty late start to the day even though I had set an alarm, we slept through it. After breakfast we took the bus down town. We started off doing some recon work at the Warehouse for camping things. We then went back to Te Papa and explored the 4th floor which had New Zealand history. There was information on the Maori, the native people of NZ, and the European settlers as well as present day immigrants. We got foot sore a lot faster today than yesterday and we ready to call it quits fairly early. On our walk to our bus we stopped into a few outdoor stores to check out more camping gear. We were pretty hungry at this point and split a small sub. We caught our bus back towards Dan and Gabrielle's but got off the bus at the mall to check out their nearby warehouse and pick up a couple of bits and pieces from the grocery store. When we arrived back at the house sushi dinner preparations were in full swing and we had yummy sushi for dinner, although it was missing the fish and seafood since Dan is allergic. We also got lucky with some chocolate lava cake for dessert. After all the delicious food Gabrielle said she'd show me how to make glass beads!! It was super cool. You use a blow torch and melt glass rods then carefully wrap the molten glass around a metal rod. It was awesome and there are all sorts of neat techniques to make unique patterns. I want a blow torch now!
Jan 27 – Parliament and Botanical Gardens
We awoke to some hideous weather this morning it was rainy and windy. We decided to wait out the weather in hopes it would change. Beau worked on his website while I made a necklace. Low and behold it got nice and sunny. We took advantage of the change in weather and headed into town to the Parliament buildings and the Botanical Gardens. We arrived at Parliament shortly after one of it's many free tours had departed so we decided to head to the botanical gardens first and hoped to catch one of the tours later on. We wandered through the gardens and while they were nice, we thought Christchurch's were much better although Wellington did have a lovely tropical green house. In the green house there was a tropical pond with guppies, platties and swordtails. We had enough time to get back to Parliament before the 4pm tour departed. We got a tour of the three main buildings, two of which had undergone severe reconstruction over the years due to some major fires. They also had to redo the foundations to be able to with stand earthquakes as Wellington straddles a fault line. Our tour was informative and relatively interesting, I now know more about the NZ parliament buildings than I do about the Canadian ones! We headed back to the house and during one of our bus changes we ran into Gabrielle on her way home from work and so got picked up by Dan. For dinner we made a really good baked bean burrito dish. The rest of the evening I made some pendants out of the beads I had made and talked beads with Gabrielle. Then we had the unhappy job of getting packed up again.
|Looking down on the Wellington harbour from the gardens|