Well, I did it– I made it out of Auckland and into Wellington. It’s been quite an eventful weekend and few days! The initial shock of getting into a new city didn’t really set in until yesterday though, which is when my friends went back to Auckland and I moved into a different hostel.
Over the weekend, we were in the YHA, which actually turned out to be a really good hostel. Better than BASE. I think if I ever have to choose between the two again, I’ll go for the YHA. It had towel bars, individual reading lights, and lots of space in the 4-person room. The wi-fi was pretty spotty though. We found out later that the 6th floor had the worst wi-fi reception. Oh well. I had plenty of photography post-processing to catch up on anyway.
We really spent a lot of the weekend on the go– we dumped our belongings into the hostel on Friday, and immediately went out exploring. Unfortunately most things were closed, due to it being a major bank holiday, but it was still nice. We took a ride on the cable car, walked back down the hill through the botanical gardens and a cemetary (that part was a little strange), and went walking through the CBD. The waterfront is amazing! I love it. I’ve also found a good bouldering place which is right on the waterfront, in what looks like an old warehouse. Actually, I don’t know whether or not it’s a good bouldering place quite yet, because I haven’t gone, but I will this week.
That evening, we became acquainted with the weird drinking laws of the area– I’m still not sure if it’s a NZ-wide thing or a Wellington thing, but apparently on Good Friday and Sunday, you can’t order alcohol independently of a full meal. That goes for everyone at the table, individually. So until midnight on Friday, you HAVE to order food, otherwise it’s illegal. A lot of bars had just closed for the day, or had closed early, because of this. However, after midnight, it’s business as usual. The opposite was in effect on Saturday. You could order alcohol independently of food until midnight, and then you HAD to order food with your alcohol after midnight. Again, most bars closed before midnight because of this (nobody’s kitchen is usually open that late anyway).
On Saturday, we went to the local market, then hung out at the Te Papa museum for the rest of the morning. It’s a really interesting museum. We didn’t finish it because it was too big for a couple of hours, but we did the majority of the first three floors. We also discovered that there’s a Mac’s Brewbar right by the museum. Supper was Thai food, at a fantastic Thai restaurant around the corner from the YHA.
Brittany and I did a Lord of the Rings movie tour on Sunday– it was a full day of LoTR locations, facts, and weird re-enactments. Not too bad, but it was a bit drawn-out in parts. Learned a lot though! Tons of the filming and other movie parts were done in and around Wellington. We then came back, super hungry, and we all went out to eat afterwards at the Flying Burrito Brothers, which turned out to be an awesome Mexican place (with a French waiter, for some reason). I had dessert, and it was the best decision I made all day.
Monday was mainly a shopping day, or for me, taking pictures of clothes to think about for later. There was no way I was buying clothes right before I had to move everything again. I did buy one, extremely squishable tunic though. And then… I moved.
The Dwellington has been an interesting experience. I miss the individual reading lights of the YHA, that’s for sure, but the rooms and washrooms are much nicer. The weird thing is that there seems to only be one girls’ washroom on the entire floor (but two showers). My room of 6 is actually a room of 5, because one bed is out of commission (it’s being used for storage, mainly). Most people are only social over meals, not in the rooms. The wi-fi between 6pm-10pm is extremely spotty. I’m actually writing this blog post in Notepad right now, because I have lost the wi-fi again. It’s a little annoying for a hostel which advertises super-fast internet and I’m trying to get things done in the evening. Oh well. Later nights at the library, I guess…
I worked today from the public library, where I had the most reliable wi-fi. I grabbed a coffee at Columbus this morning, but their free wi-fi only extends to 20mb– which I ate through in 5 minutes, thanks to Flowdock and my many work tabs. The disadvantage of the library is that it’s not easy to get up and get food or a drink without giving up your spot, and you have to re-log into the wi-fi every 30 mins, which is pretty annoying. But hopefully that will only be the case until I find a new place…
I’m trying to find a new place ASAP! It’s tougher this time around though, since I’m working. In Auckland, I had the whole week to get my stuff in order. I’ll manage though.
That’s pretty much it for now– more to come!