This morning the alarm clock wakes me very early when it’s still dark, because I have the morning ferry to catch. I already hear some cars getting in line, so I quickly get dressed and drive in line as well. There I enjoy my breakfast in the car and slowly wake up. When I get on the ferry I walk to the top deck and am happy to see that it’s quite weather today, completely different than on my way here. It’s beautiful to look around while we’re moving away from the South Island. This is what I had expected of the ferry ride and I really enjoy it. While I’m outside on the top deck a happy local guy starts a conversation with me. He and his friends are really friendly and likeminded and so we hang out for the rest of the trip. We have good conversations about life while we enjoy the beautiful scenery. Time passes quickly and before I know it, we’re sailing into Wellington. We say goodbye and go to our cars.

Making New Friends On the Ferry
Willis Wellington Hotel
Leaving the South Island
Old building and new building in Wellington
Willis Wellington Hotel 2
Farewell South Island
Old building in Wellington
View from my room in Willis Wellington Hotel

I had already gotten the idea to stay in Wellington for a day and enjoy the comfort of a hotel. After several days of camping I’d like a shower and a large bed again. I check in at a nice hotel and find out that the limit of my credit card has been reached. Fortunately I can still get some cash from an ATM, but the reality is that I’m almost out of money and still have two weeks left here. I don’t feel sorry for booking the hotel, because it gives some comfort and peace of mind for a day and a welcome change from camping. One of these days though I have to decide if I’ll dig into some savings or just go back home. I like the idea of going home, though it’s something I’ve never done before. I’ve never come home earlier from a vacation, but this time it seems necessary. I choose to park that decision for later and walk to downtown Wellington to do some sightseeing.

Wellington is a nice city to visit for a day. There are many coffee places, bars and shops. Like in Auckland there is a combination of old buildings and modern offices. I often like to see the contrast of that. It’s like seeing them together make the old and new buildings stand out more. I walk through downtown while looking around and then have a coffee somewhere and write my thoughts down in a notebook.

What are we looking at?
Writing in a notebook
Sal's authentic New York pizza place 3
A friendly fellow and his dog
Sal's authentic New York pizza place
Me at Sal's authentic New York pizza place
Getting coffee
Sal's authentic New York pizza place 2

Already weeks ago in Auckland, someone had recommended me to go to Cuba Street when I would be in Wellington. When I arrive there, I can see why. It’s a very cozy street with people sitting on terraces, street musicians and many little restaurants. My first stop is a place called ‘Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza’ and I order a slice of pepperoni. On the wall are many pictures of New York and for a moment I wish I was there again. My pizza slice is served and it’s one of the best pizza’s I’ve ever had. It tastes just like the pizza in Brooklyn and it’s one of the highlights of today. I then walk further down the street and stop at a place called Havana Coffee Works where they serve great Cuban coffee. I sit by the open window watching the people walk by. This street is great for making many small stops and eat and drink something at several places. I walk a bit further and get myself some great Mexican food.

After dinner I walk to the waterside and from there uphill, outside the city center. I hike up to the Mount Victoria lookout point and have a great view of the city. Then it’s time to walk back to the hotel, because it’s getting dark. While walking I get some messages from friends who’ve been following the blog. It’s actually nice that so many people are reading this. The main purpose of the blog is to be a travel journal so it’s easier to remember all the experiences later, but it’s also a nice way to keep people up to date about the adventures and to stay in touch. So if you’re reading this, thanks for being part of the adventures!

Getting coffee at Cuban Street
Harbour and old church in Wellington
View from Mt. Victoria at Wellington
Getting coffee at Cuban Street 2
Just a few steps to the top
Great way to end the day

In the evening I return to the hotel where I have a cold beer left in the fridge and when I turn on the tv, one of my favorite action movies is on. Time to relaxe and forget about traveling for a moment. Just a night in a hotel once in a while makes traveling much more comfortable.