Saturday, March 15, 2008

Finishing Up Wellington

Homes Above Oriental Parade

Sailboats in Chaffers Marina

The last day in Wellington requires work, at least for Mary Ann. She has to get everything packed. For some reason she does not want me to participate. The lady may suspect I would solve the packing problems by throwing about half the stuff away. I did keep busy with the travel planning for the days at the end of the trip. Being able to book on the internet is clearly one of the greatest improvements imaginable, especially for hotel booking. After our stay in Christchurch we plan to spend a couple of days in Queenstown, and then we will transit the South Island to Picton. We again cross the Cook Strait and spend a couple of leisurely days going up the west side of the North Island along the Tasman Sea, with stays in Wanganui and New Plymouth, before ending in Auckland. The internet allowed me the opportunity to reserve hotels along the way, which greatly relieves arrival stress.

Tomorrow should be an interesting day as we take the Interislander Ferry across the Cook Strait which separates the North and South Islands. It is a huge car and passenger ferry which looks more like a cruise ship. I understand that it often can get a bit rough on the 3 ½ hour trip. I will, of course, help captain the ship. Upon our safe arrival in Picton we will drive on to Christchurch.

The chores having been completed we struck off for a rigorous 2 hour walk along the Oriental Parade. This portion of the waterfront goes southeast from the downtown. It is a wonderful walking beach with great views of the downtown and the homes hanging precariously off Mount Victoria. We had previously driven this portion of the waterfront, but had not walked it. At one of the marinas they have a very clever lift for removing sail boats out of the marina for maintenance. As we were walking by, the crew of a gorgeous 40 foot sailboat was returning it to the water after a cleaning of the hull. They removed the props, lifted the boat higher, and then the base deck rolled away so the lift could then lower the boat right into the water. A was a very ingenious system. Tonight it will be off to the One Red Dog restaurant for gourmet pizza. We sure know how to live it up!

Quirky Living Note: In our mail box today we received the Trial Evacuation Report addressed to all Wardens and Occupants. Of the several points brought to the attention of the recipients was: One of the ‘short stay’ tenants was under the impression that the oven in their own apartment had activated a local smoke detector and consequently remained in the apartment. It is essential that the apartment owner indicates, by means of adequate signage, that when the alarm sounds the tenants are required to vacate the premises.

We are happy to have contributed to compliance with the Wellington Health and Safety legislation, and to learn that when the alarm sounds, or you are instructed to evacuate, one person from each apartment is to act as a Warden for their apartment. We will hold an election I think. The great American way!

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