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Heading for Windy Wellington – Day 37
Tuesday 3rd May 2005
It was one of those not-much-to-talk-about days today, as there was not much to talk about. So I’m not going to talk about much. My destination for today was windy Wellington, the Capital of New Zealand, but would it prove to be a great place for me, or a place I would rather forget?
My stay in Palmerston North was never going to be a long one, as the intention was just to stay over night and move on the next day. Today being the next day, it was time to move on. I hadn’t liked it here at all really, and the general clientele about the place was a little less friendly than I had encountered so far in this journey.
So I set off with high hopes for Wellington, and the realisation that the south island was imminent. I was getting very excited. I have heard many stories of how different and how dramatic the south island is, and how picturesque yet unforgiving parts of the island are. I had an idea about what to expect, but experience tells me that seeing is believing, and what ever I am expecting, I am certainly going to be blown away. I couldn’t wait.
Upon leaving the dreary town of Palmerston North I immediately got lost, something that is beginning to be quite common with me. I ended up right back at the hostel some time after leaving, which was not my intention. After a while I managed to leave and it wasn’t long before I was out on the road, taking in the glorious feeling of being free. Free from the crazy man in Palmerston North, but more importantly, free to go wherever I pleased, and whenever I wanted. I love this feeling.
The moment didn’t last too long though, as half way into the trip I was stopped by traffic. A nasty accident meant I was stuck in slow-moving traffic for over an hour. I witnessed the remains of what I guessed was a car, being cut open to free the victims inside. Two lorries – a great deal less damaged – were also involved, and I felt a sinking feeling in my gut as I studied the mangled mess of knotted metal, crushed to an incomprehensible shape. I hope whoever is involved is OK.
As I passed the scene, the road ahead was clear, but cars queuing in the opposite direction had their drivers leaning out the window trying to ask us how far away the accident was, or indeed what has happened at all. I tried as best I could to mouth the words or to use pathetic hand gestures to try to relay the information across, but in the end I had to speed up and continue on my way.
I arrived at Wellington with that feeling I get when I really don’t like the look of a place. It is wrong for me to judge just by simply arriving at a place, but I am not a great lover of big towns or cities. They remind me too much of places I would rather forget. Lots of concrete and tall buildings, coupled with big roads and heavy congestion, all adds up to me not liking a place. Wellington seemed like this type of place, but I would reserve judgement until having a proper look around.
The hostel itself, (Webb Packers), was quite nice, although parking was a nightmare. All the vehicles had to be packed into a small place, bumper to bumper. If you are first in, you are last out. If you are last in, be prepared to have to move your vehicle when anybody else wants to leave. My room had just one other person inside.
Later on I had a look around the big city, buying a few things as I went, and stopping up the hill for a few pictures overlooking the vast area of busyness. Some parts of the city were more impressive than others, but the vast majority of it is built up. It wasn’t long before I had seen all there was for me to see, and I returned to the hostel to do some much-needed washing.
Later on in the evening I had a microwave dinner, followed by a stint in front of the television watching some rubbish film with the other guests. The result of this was going to bed late, much later than I intended, but I had to see the film through. The film was so bad though, I can’t even remember what it was called.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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