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Saturday 14 Nov 2009
Wellington, New Zealand

Nelson to Wellington

Boy oh boy....It has been a day !

We checked out of our Nelson NZ hotel & our food bill (for dinner and breakfast) was almost as much as our room rate !  No complaints - the sun is shining and no rain... We're off >>>>>>

We snooped around the Nelson Harbor for a bit, lots of boats... even stopped to admire an all aluminum catamaran (her beam was over 20 ft !).  Spoke to the bloke on board and he said she's still under construction...  was quite interesting.

We then headed for the Skywire Ride about 25 minutes north of Nelson.  When we arrived there were only 2 older women who had stopped for information only.  We signed our lives away (liability stuff) and they loaded us up into an old beat up van for the trek up the mountain to the Skywire Ride.  The two ladies asked if they could ride along and cheer us on so we said sure.   On the way up the hill we stopped and picked up 4 women that had just finished horseback riding and wanted to see what the ride was all about.  So we had a cheering section of 6 !  - the 2 older women were native New Zealanders, one from Spain (we think) and the other 3 were Chinese.

At one point in the trek up the mountain we stopped to learn about the Matai tree.  We saw a 20 year old tree that stood no higher than 3 feet.  Across the road stood it's ancestor that was over 2,000 years old and stood 80 - 100 ft high.  It's one of the few tree species in the world that actually have separate male and female trees.  The female trees are tall and straight while the male trees actually have wrinkles.  They even shed their bark when invasive plants try to attach themselves to them (like ivy).

Anyway...  we reached the summit, were given warm pants and jackets to put on and then strapped into the 4-seat swing attached to a huge cable that spanned a beautiful tree covered gorge (we were the only 2).  Within seconds we dropped and began our flying across the valley.  It was a Total Rush !   We got up to 91.5kph !   Once we got almost to the other side, the swing stopped and we headed backwards at almost the same speed.  When we were almost back to where we started, they stopped the swing again and asked if we wanted to go again.  We both gave a thumbs up and away we went !   When we got back to the platform there were 8-10 people waiting in line to do the ride so we timed it just perfectly to have it all to ourselves.  An experience I will never forget !   

We then headed to Picton along 140 kilometers of winding road... more cows, more sheep and this time we also saw deer farms !   Stopped several times to take in the scenery and take photos.  Arrived in Picton in time to scoop up a pizza for lunch, turn in the car and check in for our ferry ride to Wellington.

When Tony returned the keys the Hertz counter informed him that the Wellington Hertz office would not be open when we arrived @ 9:25pm and would have to wait until Sunday morning to pick up the car in the city.  That would be all well and good if we had hotel reservations in Wellington but,  because of the Soccer World Cup Qualifier Game there were no rooms to be had in Wellington so I had to book a hotel  (OK... motel) about 45 minutes north of Wellington... so now... no car and no way to get to the motel....

Tony kept his cool... I left then office before I made an ass of myself !   Through a lot of coaxing Hertz agreed to have a car at the Wellington Airport - Airport pick-ups incur a $45 airport pickup fee... so now... it's costing us a cab ride to the airport (estimated $50) and an additional $45 ...(again... I exited the building !)  The counter person asked if the airport  location would waive the $45 airport fee and they finally agreed (but did warn that their supervisor could override their decision Monday and reinstate the charge).  Good news is... we have a car... bad news is it may cost us the equivalent of our monthly mortgage payment !  It also means we have to take a cab from the ferry dock to the airport (approx 30 minute trip).  At least we have a car (or so they say)

I decided to call the Motel to advise that we would be very late due to our car rental issue and the manager said (and I quote) "No problem, by the time your reservation came through the computer system we [Asure Motel] were sold out but we've arranged a room for you down the road". 

Could it get any better ? 

We're now on the ferry gently rocking and rolling our way through Cook Strait from Picton to Wellington..... I'm a happy camper being on the water again.... The drone of the engine and the gentle roll of the ship are making me sleepy...

Posted some pic's but more to follow view most recent  - sort by Wellington .....



2 Comments for this Travel blog entry

lola Says:

14 November 2009

a trip is just not a trip unless you take at least one ride on the B train, I guess you had yours!

Gotta love those penquins!

joanne Says:

15 November 2009

Where are the deer farm photos? We are loving this trip; thanks for the memories.

tonyandellie Replies:

15 November 2009

Didn't get any deer farm pictures.. .but there is still time... will be traveling from Waitomo to Auckland in a day or so.... I'll keep my eyes open. By the time I realized we were passing deer farms I couldn't get the camera out fast enough !

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