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Wellington, New Zealand – Day 1

March 5, 2023

We packed up again this morning (we are getting good at it) and drove up to Picton to take the ferry to the north island. It’s a little sad to be leaving the south island, but we agree we have no regrets. We loved the south island.

We drove onto the Interislander ferry and picked out some nice seats. This ferry is more like a cruise ship than a ferry. Lots of comfy seats positioned in groups, a cafe and eatery. The four hour journey to Wellington passed pretty smoothly.

Sailing through the Queen Charlotte Sound

With a metro population of less than half a million, it’s easily the biggest city we’ve been in so far (and that’s little). We drove into the heart of downtown and found our hotel. After unpacking into our room without AC, we walked around downtown. 

We came across a rowing race with about 10-12 teams. Four teams raced across a marked section of the sound at a time. Having never seen a rowing race before, it was fun to watch. Many people showed up for it. The New Zealanders had no problem with the gray skies, wind and rain we had today. Meanwhile, I wore two hats, a sweater, and my raincoat and was still cold. Windy Welly lives up to its name. Not for me.

We later walked down Cuba St. and into every outdoor shop we came across. It’s hard not to buy everything in sight in those stores. 

Wellington has a strong food scene so we went to Lord of the Fries, a 100% vegan burger shop for lunch. The “chicken” burger I had was pretty good. The rain picked up so we went over to a brewery and played a board game before deciding just to go back to the hotel.

We needed to do laundry, so I exchanged some bills for $2 coins needed for the laundry machines and went up to the laundry room on the fifth floor. A woman was already there waiting on the single dryer to finish its cycle. She criticized my method of emptying our dirty laundry bag into the washer and instead instructed me to lay each piece of clothing into the machine piece by piece. I didn’t desire to touch everyone’s dirty laundry piece by piece but there I was.

45 minutes later I checked on the washer and the woman was still there. She complained that the dryer needed a second cycle because her clothes were still wet. Since there was only a single washer and dryer, that meant I had to wait it out as well.

She is from Israel, here on a bus tour from north to south. We swapped tips since we’re coming from different directions.

By about 9:30, laundry was finally done.

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