Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wellington New Year's holiday

After Christmas, Martin and I flew to Wellington for 10 days.  This was the first flight we've made since we decided to only make one domestic flight every three years (due to the astonishingly high carbon emissions* from flying) and we were keen to make the most of the opportunity.

*We calculate the carbon emissions from the trip to 400kg CO2e each: that's a third of the 1.2T CO2e that the planet can absorb in a year.
If we'd gone by car, the emissions would have been about 200kg each,
by bus about 115kg each
and by train about 100kg each.

For the first week, we stayed in a nice motel in Petone with my Aunty Elspeth and cousin Karlene from Whanganui.  The room wasn't 'accessible' (they only had 2-person rooms that were) but was manageable enough except that the door to the bathroom was too narrow for either the walker or wheelchair to get through!

While we were there we had two outings: to Eastbourne Beach (where my Gran used to live) and the Zealandia Eco Sanctuary.

The Eastbourne trip turned out to be much more exciting than planned.  Karlene and Aunty Elspeth drove us to the beach, then back as far as Day's Bay.  There I had a rest (on a self-inflating mattress that travelled everywhere with us) while waiting for the ferry to Petone to arrive.  After we got on the ferry, however, we realised it seemed to be going in the wrong direction.  It turned out that, since I'd checked the ferry timetable, the Petone wharf had been closed for repairs and all Petone ferries were cancelled!  We'd caught a ferry bound for Queen's Wharf in the Wellington CBD.

At Eastbourne Beach, Aunty Elspeth in the background.
I didn't panic too much and was able to enjoy the ride: especially the brief stop at Somes Island.  However by the time we got to town it was very much lunchtime and I was fading fast.  Finding food was much more challenging than expected, but eventually a kind lady pointed us to a cafe right down the back of an arcade.  After lunch we headed to the train station for a good long rest on the grass outside before catching the train back to Petone around 2.30pm!!!

Fortunately, the trip to Zealandia went much more to plan :-)  We spent most of the day there, sustained by three rests accompanied by (in order) a takahe, a tuatara and a wedding rehearsal.

Heather and Karlene admiring a tuatara that's set up camp under this concrete slab.

Martin at our picnic spot.
The remainder of the holiday was spent visiting Louise, a friend from university.  It was lovely to see her with her kids (she seems to be such a good mum!), to enjoy lots of conversation with her and to get to know her husband and kids a bit, too :-)

In Louise's garden, enjoying fresh lettuce with our lunch.


More photos from our trip are up on flickr.

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