Friday, 28 September 2012

The North Island

We arrived at Picton in the late afternoon which, to be perfectly frank, really reminded me of Largs so I didn’t take any pictures.  After spending the night here we took the ferry to Wellington, the capital of N Zealand.  Our ferries seem to get loaded and unloaded a whole lot quicker than here.  Our guide says that it is because the freight side is more important but in the space of our 3 hour journey we saw 3 other ferries.  One following us, and two others coming from Wellington so there are plenty of passengers.  This is the first ferry that I’ve been on where a train comes on to the ferry to bring freight containers on and then another comes on at the other side  take them off.  I had hoped to get photos but there was just no possibility to do so. 
We had a quick sightseeing trip round Wellington before we headed for Te Papa museum, which was brilliant.  It could really give ours a run for their money.  It’s built on the worst earthquake fault in the North Island so all sorts of things were done to try to protect it.  all the Maori “medicine” people came and cleansed the site, blessed it, and then all modern safeguards that could be put in were including these supports that the building is on top of which allows it to shake but hopefully not fall down.
This is this week’s quirky photo.
We weren’t able to do much more because the weather was just rotten that night and well into the next afternoon. Rain, rain and more rain(although not as much as you were getting).  This meant that our journey next morning was pretty dreich.  By early afternoon it did clear up a bit so that we managed to see Mount Ruapehu, an active volcano which erupts every 10 years with some rumbles in between.  We should have been able to see the two others standing beside Ruapehu but they were lost in the midst.  This area has stood in for Dante’s peak and was used in a number of scenes in Lord of the Rings.

By the afternoon things had cleared up enough for us to see Huka Falls.  The literal translation is foaming waters Falls - seemed quite a good description to me.

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