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Heading to the Capital

Saturday 17th October 2015

storm 16 °C

As I expected the time we have been away seems to be gathering pace and our days in the North Island are coming to an end. Today we are off to Wellington, literally our last port of call before we sail to Picton on Monday. We had a lovely leisurely breakfast in the hotel, more by virtue of their relaxed but attentive service, than any reluctance on our part to get going. We then booked an excursion for while we are in Wellington, loaded our luggage into the car and did some final checks on the route we needed to take.

By the time we got away it was just before 11am and it was warm and sunny, perfect for the four hours driving we had ahead of us. I did the first leg which was pretty straightforward through pleasant countryside with fields on one side and a cloud topped range of hills on the other.

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We passed through several towns, some more attractive than others, and again there were signs that Spring was on its way. After just under two hours Nigel took over driving and shortly after the scenery became a little more dramatic as we drove through the Manawatu Gorge.

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We stopped for coffee and continued until we reached the short stretch of west coast we would be passing on our way down to Wellington. Nigel suggested a short detour to look at the beach and so we left the main highway to go to Paraparaumu Beach. The weather had deteriorated considerably during the day and it was very overcast and windy when we got there, and the sea looked very rough and threatening. The greyish sand was littered with wood as was Napier Beach, a result of the lumber industry combined with poor weather.

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I was curious as to whether people are allowed to collect the wood as there were some lovely pieces of driftwood, not that we could take advantage of this. We returned back to the main road and continued south, hugging the coast for a short distance at Pukerua Bay. Here the sea looked even more threatening and the big waves seemed to be crashing on the shore only metres from the road. This would have been a really scenic spot but the view was somewhat marred by the crash barriers designed to keep the lanes of heavy traffic apart.

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Once we had crossed the short bridge across Porirua Harbour we were almost in Wellington. The weather continued to be cold, overcast and windy, in total contrast to what we had left behind in Napier. We found the hotel reasonably easily and checked into to our room. Once we had brought all of our things up in the lift we needed to return our hire car. The depot was nearby and on our way back we bought some food for the next two days from the supermarket. Once back we could settle in properly, have a cup of tea followed shortly after by a G & T and then a home cooked supper. It was nice to shut the cold out and hope for better weather in the next couple of days.

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Posted by Gill's Travels 01:43 Archived in New Zealand Tagged sea new_zealand

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