A Capital Idea

Well, here we are in the capitol of New Zealand, Wellington. A beautiful capitol city and we so lucked out with the weather…it wasn’t windy. And that’s a big deal, we hear. And we just came upstairs from the hotel restaurant and planted threw in the towel for today. Lot’s happened since last we talked.

FIRST, THE ALL BLACKS WON LAST NITE. So New Zealand was happy today and we were happy that they were happy and so it was a good day. They defeated Argentina last nite. Argentina was dressed in baby blue stripped jerseys with white pants. Funny choice for a bunch of red hot Latin Americans, don’t you think? We did.

But I digress. The game followed the other rugby match where the Australians defeated the South Africans. You know, a rugby game consists of two forty minute halves so it goes really fast. We had fun watching both matches.

Opps. I digressed again. So, we arrived in Wellington today because our hosts, Bev and John, returned from the 7 month tour of Europe and Asia. That’s John with the Rayman in the picture above. Beside their 1700 acre sheet farm, they have a small beach house 20 minutes down the road from the farm. And John took us there to see it and the very small beach community there and that is where I snapped the picture. The place is on the east coast of the north island. I forget the name but you can be sure it started with a ‘K’. If the Maori didn’t have a ‘K’ or a ‘W’ or a ‘P’ or an ‘I’, they wouldn’t have a language. Bev and John retreat to the coast in the summer as it gets hot inland. Sounds familiar, uh? Anyway, here’s a picture of the outcropping in the ocean just off short from their little coastal village.
Also a picture of the beach.
And the coastline looking north.

John is a great guy. He runs the farm himself with help from his son, Duncan. He describes sheep farming as fairly low maintenance as farming livestock goes. Today he was planning to dock the tails of the sheep…that involved cutting off the tails of all the lambs. If they don’t cut off the tails, fly lay eggs, maggots encroach the intestines and the lamb gets sick and dies. So docking is very important. Meanwhile, Bev and her sister picked us up a the house and delivered us to the Napier airport where we had flat black coffees and muffins and a delightful time. Here they are. Bev is on the left. Actually, my description is wildly understated. We all laughed all the way to the airport.
Bev knows how to travel light. For 7 months she wore a backpack with her clothes in it. As she explained it, “I’m use to tramping about.” Tramping in New Zelandese is hiking. This woman is in seriously good shape. Her sister teaches school in Auckland and is also in great shape. They love to walk as do most NZers. And tramp, of course!! There just are not enough words to tell you how wonderful these two women were. So much fun.

So, sadly really, we boarded our prop plane and had a lovely flight at 13,000 feet which allowed us to see the countryside by air. It was sunny so we could see things. When we arrived in Wellington, we checked in early and headed right out to the museum. Like AU, the museum was free. Here is Rayman below the skeleton of a Blue Whale. Rib cage only.
And that is where we learned the haka. The haka is what the All Blacks do before their rugby match and it is derived from the Moira culture. Click the link below for a demo.

Ray excelled at the haka. Those dance lessons we took a few years ago really paid off!!

On the way to the museum, we dropped into a trailer that advertised views of NZ. It was manned by two young guys and when we told them that we watched The Flight of the Conchords on TV, we were in with these guys. The stars of the show are Wellingtonians!! So we had a great time talking with them and they gave us a lot of their time. Then we walked along the wharf, stopped and had wine

and cheese (Rayman really looks like Dad in this picture but don’t tell him I told you!) before returning to our boutique hotel to get ready for dinner which we decided to have downstairs because we had been up since 6 something, on the go all day and we are getting older and so the idea of walking downstairs as opposed to walking around some more really appealed to us and that way we could drink and crawl back to our rooms. Well. The dinner was stunningly good. A squid salad with rocket and lemons, red snapper fried and served with lentils, leeks, braised garlic and tomatoes, and a passionfruit bavarian cream with a biscuit, shaved almond and some wine. This chef could cook and on a Monday nite. Boy, did we luck out.


Two interesting pics. Above, some heads of god knows what and then the chocolate bus…I really loved the concept. Again, so kiwi.
And just to prove I was there…a picture of me on the wharf, quay. By the looks of it, you would think I am cold. No. Actually. I just screwed up but with limited time didn’t want to retreat to the hotel…having too much fun and it might be the first day I was actually complaining about being overdressed!

So, tomorrow we’re going to the post office and shipping home some clothes (think light-weight). Going south, we should see colder weather and I don’t think I’ll be needing short sleeve anythings, golf shoes, or shorts. For heaven sakes, I’ve been so cool, I decided to let the hair on my legs go for added warmth. TMI I know but I thought it was funny so I mentioned it.

Leave Comment