Thursday 24 November – the end of the road…

….. the end of the road with the Kiwi Backpackers Bus Experience that is!

It was rather an eventful night, or early morning, in our dorm, as one of the young people on our bus, a French girl, had obviously got herself thoroughly drunk. At approximately 4.45 she came into the dorm and woke probably all seven of us as she made at least 4 attempts to get on to her top bunk, each time falling with a thump on the floor. Her final attempt landed her in a heap on her bed with legs flung assunder and then just as we were dropping off back to sleep, her loud and persistent snoring began. I decided, as I was now wide awake, to get up and go and explore the city which I hadn’t really had time to do.

Wellington is not a huge metropolis and not overly busy, especially at 6 in the morning which was a nice time to have a look around. I walked down to the Te Papa Museum which I’d heard so much about, especially the Collosal Squid Exhibition. Unfortunately I didn’t have an opportunity to see this as there was not enough time when the Museum was open.

I then made my way down to the harbour It was a dull morning but warm enough not to wear a coat.

After lingering there a while watching the early ferry leaving the quayside, I headed back through the city and past The Embassy Theatre where Lord of the Rings was premiered.

Then finally back to Nomads which was opposite the Town Hall in Wakefield Street.

The Kiwi bus appeared promptly at 8 to take us up to Taupo, it’s next destination for an overnight stop, and this is where I began my ‘Rangi’ pass so would be my very last Kiwi bus ride, and I felt just a little sad.

After a couple of hours dozing on the bus, as there wasn’t a great deal of interest to look at out of the window and it was drizzling a little, we stopped at the town of Bulls for a loo and snack break.

I hadn’t had any breakfast and normally avoid MacDonalds but on this occasion their Big Kiwi Breakfast went down a treat – sausage, scrambled eggs, hash brown….. and a filter coffee which I took back on the bus with me.

Some serious bikers came in while we ate and looked to come from a New Zealand chapter. They looked like ‘rockers’ from a bygone age! I took these pictures for you Kerrie!

The next stop for lunch before Taupo would be Waiouru, but this would be my very last as Leigh was meeting me here to take me over to Ohakune with her where she worked before traveling back to Taupo the next day.

I said my sad farewells to my remaining buddies on the bus… most by this time had dispersed, either on other Kiwi routes or on flights from Christchurch. It was good to see Leigh’s familiar and welcoming face again after 3 weeks traveling the length and breadth of New Zealand.

We collected Dan from the school where he was invigilating and stopped for a spot of lunch in a little cafe in Ohakune (I only had a ginger beer as my Big Kiwi Breakfast was still sitting heavily in my stomach). Leigh then took me back to her unit where I relaxed and caught up with the blog while she returned to the school for the afternoon. Later she and Dan returned for the yardarm! 🙂

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