Trip Start Jan 05, 2010
7Trip End Apr 06, 2010
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Well...it's been a long time since I have written anything, but have been keeping fairly busy and will have a few stories to catch up on soon! Don't have a ton of time at the moment to write a novel (of which you may be happy to hear!), but I just wanted to write at least a little blurb before I depart the North Island and make my way south.
Right now I am in Wellington, and I am wishing that I had longer than the day and a half that I have to see it. I arrived yesterday afternoon from Norsewood (in Hawke's Bay, the site of my 3rd wwoofing opportunity, more to write on that later!), and have an early ferry tomorrow morning, so not much time to take in all that the city has to offer. And from what I can tell so far, it offers a lot. The Te Papa Museum alone would easily occupy a few days worth of activities, and it really is an amazing museum. Very interactive and it covers so much, from natural history to New Zealand's active and everchanging climate to excellent exhibits on Maori culture and the long history of the relationship with the pakeha (Europeans) to so much more...I spent about 3 hours and definitely could have spent many more. It even has a simulator exhibit/'ride' (?) of all the extreme sports in NZ (skydiving, bungy, etc)...I didn't manage to take part in it earlier today, but am considering heading back there to - might be the closest thing I get to doing the real thing :)
In and around the area where I am staying, it's a super vibrant scene. Tons of street cafes (lots of ethnic choices), little shops with anything/everything, pubs with live music nightly, just to name a few! A short walk from the hostel I'm staying at heads right to the harbour and Oriental Parade, and that's a really nice walk along the water (not a beach walk, but a nice one nonetheless!). There is such an art scene in the city, and it's very cool to be walking along and suddenly come across a massive sculpture (of which there are many throughout the city centre) and also take in all the super-talented buskers. The International Arts Festival actually starts today, and goes on for about about month. There will be a film fest, concerts, art exhibits, the list goes on...A Fringe Fest is also taking place, and last night I went to a free outdoor movie in the Botanic garden that is part of this festival. The movie was quite interesting; I don't remember the name of it at the moment, but it was a sort of documentary on a 1974 festival/concert in Zaire that included a bunch of US Soul artists (James Brown, Bill Withers, The Spinners, B.B. King, and a bunch more) but also a lot of Zairian-based musicians. Probably a lot of you reading this already know of this concert, but it was my first introduction to it, and thought it was really neat to see the behind-the-scenes of it.
Anyway, I feel I have been very fortunate to stop in on Wellington, even if it is just a quick visit...who knows, maybe I will be able to stop back in on my way out of the country. It is known for being a very windy city with maybe not othe most desirable weather, but I've really lucked out and it's been beautiful the last few days.
Speaking of the nice weather, I should probably take advantage of it and get back outside and continue my wandering...before arriving, I had thought that I would be exploring Wellington on my own, but I've actually run into a girl who was a fellow wwoofer up at the Epicurean Farm in Hastings. I am continued to be blown away at how small this world (or maybe at least just this country) is. Of all the hostels in Wellington (of which there are many), Abby (my fellow wwoofer) and I ended up in the same hostel - in the same room, completely coincidentially! We got along great at the farm, and it's been nice to head around town here with her. Nice to have some company!
Alright, well I suppose that's good enough for now...I will have to catch up on some earlier entries and my time in Norsewood, but will save the internet bucks and savour the sunshine for the moment! I am really looking forward to going to the South Island tomorrow, and I will be heading straight to wwoofing place #4, a blueberry and plum farm in the town of Renwick in the Marlborough Region. I'm excited to get there and looking forward to helping them out at the Farmer's Market on Sunday.
Another update will be on it's way...with pictures, fingers crossed! I know I haven't been good in the photo department (or at least, in getting them posted), and not to make excuses, but haven't had much luck with having easy access to getting them uploaded...I will get them up here though, and soon!
Hope this finds everyone well and happy and getting to catch some of the Olympic spirit and excitement...I am getting brief moments of it here and there, and am cheering on Canada from afar! Apparently NZ athletes aren't doing so great...but I'm sure they're having lots of fun :)