No car, no problem
Seem to keep waking up bright as a button at 2:30am. Forced myself back to sleep (I should easily be tired enough) and woke up at 6am. Watched the sun rise over the city from this great vantage point, breakfasted then headed into town in the Old Lady. Parked up for free right in the middle of town (imagine doing this in London?!) under the 'Casual Parking' rules of which I know nothing about but hey ho. Bagged some more camping gear and then booked my car hire. A bit turns out there are no cheap cars in Picton so I agreed to pick one up in Christchurch. That's a five hour detour by bus, but being as cunning as a fox with a degree in cunning at the University of Cambridge I had discovered that Christo is the biking capital of NZ and therefore the best place to grab a bargain top end bike - my search had been rather fruitless in Wellers. Bike technology doesn't seem to have hit the Kiwi capital yet. Booked some accommodation 'Dorset House', and I quote "Lovely 135 year old weatherboard home with a grown up atmosphere, large regal lounge with log fire ... beds instead of bunks and only a short stroll across from expansive parklands. Sounds perfect, and all for $51NZ, that's les than £20.
West Wellington, not Wellington West
Tina in her absence had thoughtfully arranged for someone to pick me up and transport me to the Sunday meeting at 4pm. Sure enough a knock came on the door and before I knew it I was being whisked to Lyall Bay by Debbie Rollins and Taylor. There I met the West Wellington posse (woe betide if you got the two names the wrong way around!). 'Lawrence' gave us an illustration laden talk on coping with the anxieties of life (anxieties, what anxieties? NZ is waaaay more laid back then England), it was fascinating to listen to all the Kiwi accents. My 'i' rule has holding true, but I must make an ammendment, boths 'o's *and* 'u's retain their normal pronunciation, it's 'e's, and 'a's that transmute into 'i's. The hall was spacious, airy and with huge window, perhaps a sign of the religious tolerance and respect engendered by the middle-class forebears of this nation. In England those windows would have been smashed on a weekly basis!
Met a young lad called 'Brad' who was heading for the cricket at the Westpac Stadium (affectionately known as 'The Cake Tin' to the local because it resembles a big silver cake tin) on the Sunday of the test so we swapped he-mail addresses.
Wayne Rollins next stepped up to the plate. A large than life man with a passion for life, people and cars introduced himself and took me for a spin around the Wellers coastline in his 5 litre Ford V8. It reminded me of Dave Shaw and Pete Bell' boat that used to yank us out of Lake Windermere like rag dolls - that deep throated gurgle, I'm not an 'engine man', but phwoar!
Wayne and Debbie invited me back to their pad in the Brooklyn district, just underneath the wind turbine, we dined on topside an hand picked raspberry filo. Yum. After receiving guided tout of Wayne workshop I was dropped off at Lani and Pieter's where I watched Australia thump the Indians (again) in an ODI then again collapsed in bed, tired and excited about catching the ferry tomorrow.
Next stop Picton ...