Thursday, 12 April 2012

Day 376: Wellington - Picton - Hanmer Springs

New Zealand has a way of making things easy.  I think it's because there's just the right size population density that people are reasonably cosmopolitan in their outlook but can still manage to go around treating people like people.  If you happen to get lost on your way somewhere it's easy to pull over and figure it out without having to think too much about other traffic.  The shops tend to have exactly what you need and no more. The art shop in Wellington had exactly what I need for the print making workshop.  Accommodation pretty much always comes with a kettle, a toaster, a fridge, a microwave and a full set of plates and cutlery.  If you happen to be hapless and indecisive, the kiwis let you get away with it.  I supposedly printed out my ferry ticket last night and discovered this morning that it only printed the email header.  No worries.  I discovered that the coffee machine on the ferry dispensed brown water instead of long blacks.  Oh well, that's what it does, but no worries, chuck it out and go and buy a real one downstairs.  If this goes on much longer, I am going to really struggle when I get back home.  Or, more likely, as soon as I get to Asia. 

It was raining hard as we croosed the Cook Strait and it was choppy as usual but it isn't likely to affect me. All my family knows this already, but for any other readers who happen here, this is a fun factlet:  the ferry that plies the Cook Strait under the name of Kaitaki is really the Pride of Cherbourg and I've been riding it across the channel since I was so high.  It's very funny to find a cross-channel ferry down here, not to mention thinking up little stories about its migration to New Zealand.   I was supposed to be getting four hours of work done on the ferry crossing, but getting up at 5 am had not helped my concentration and I spent the time watching the large flock of black birds flying ahead of the boat instead.

It's a longish drive from Picton to Hanmer Springs and when I got there and checked in to the hostel, my attitude was something like: "Well, this is a lovely place.  Goodnight!" It was only sort of goodnight, because the hostel at Hanmer Springs, though lovely, has rooms you can easily lock yourself out of.  At which point you have to go and beg a second key from the manager.  I begged mine at 10.05 pm, after he'd shut the office door, but before he'd left.  He was also OK about my haplessness. 

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