- Taupo – Wellington
- Wellington – Picton
My post-earthquake morning consisted of checking-out late, hanging around at a cafe for our bus, and checking in on the girls ahead of us that they were all safe and well, after being evacuated with the threat of tsunami following the earthquake that had even been felt up in Wellington.
At 12.45pm, the four of us (Morgan, Emily, Monique and myself) were finally on board the inter-city bus headed to Wellington, excited to see our group ahead, regardless of the disruption caused by the earthquake. In fact, the damage to the ferry terminal had meant that the group were stuck in Wellington giving us a chance to actually catch up with everyone again.
The bus journey was long, hot and squashed and we longed for the Kiwi bus again, but at least we had made it. And boy did “Windy Wellington” live up to its name! As we arrived, we entered an earth-tremoring, cyclonic city with 100kph winds and driving rain but, at least we were there and safe.
The hostel proved to be really nice, and once we had unpacked, we headed down to the bar for the catch ups we had been waiting for. I’ve only known this crazy bunch for two weeks but felt so lost without them. What’s going to happen when we all actually leave each other 😭!
Along with the old crowd, I also met Jon and Sam, who had joined our original group and were lovely. So, here was the motley crew that night:
The following morning we had to work out how on earth we were going to get out of Wellington. Our options included heading back up North and completing South Island at a later stage, flying across to Nelson, staying in Wellington, or waiting it out for the ferries to resume. My morning then, consisted of this:
- Booking an extra nights stay in Wellington
- Booking a flight to Nelson
- Cancelling the extra night in Wellington
- Changing my bus bookings in South Island
- Booking the bus out from Wellington
- Booking the ferry to Picton
- Cancelling the flight to Nelson
- Sending some emails across to my future employers
- Singing to Greg in the lobby whilst blogging!
After the super stressful morning, some serious coffee and retail therapy was required to perk us up. Again, Windy Wellington was really showing us what it was all about. In addition, the earthquakes continued and one even went on for about 30 seconds, shaking all the buildings and mannequins in the shops. Earthquakes make you feel so seasick and you feel like someone has shaken you and you can’t stand properly afterwards. I’m thankful I didn’t experience the magnitude from the previous night but what I did experience was pretty cool for my little geography mind. Ms.Bell would be loving life (as would Coxy), whilst Mum just kept texting to check I was A-OK!
With supplies purchased (a pair of jeans, jumper and tripod attachment for the GoPro), we headed back to the hostel for dinner and to make evening plans. Monique had finally calmed her anxiety now that all travel plans were set and we were still due to leave the next day, making life easier for Emily and I too (hehe, only joking, they’ve seen me at low points too).
We showered, dolled ourselves up and headed back downstairs. The group had halved as some had already flown across to Nelson for pick-up the following day, so the bar was a little quiet. We also decided we had not come to Wellington to sit in the basement bar of our hostel either, and instead left the boys to their beer pong tournament whilst we went in search of another bar.
First up was ‘The Establishment’, who were hosting karaoke that evening. Phillip volunteered himself whilst the night was still young, but by the time the boys also joined us, the bar was busy and all the locals were getting involved. The boys performed various renditions of One Direction and football songs, we put on our best impressions of Baby, Sporty, Posh, Scary and Ginger (Liz, I of course performed the rap section!), and Tom was unknowingly singed up to sing Sex Bomb, delivering a spectacular performance!
We did feel our time here was coming to an end and so moved on to ‘Danger Danger’ (“high voltage!”) who had cheap drinks deals on. Although it was fairly empty, the 20 of us who piled in made for a really fun night of dancing, tequila and big cheesy grins.
Remembering our 6am wake-up call for the ferry, we called it a night at 2.30am, post-drunk food. The following morning we certainly had sore heads but my spirits were so high knowing that we were finally going South, and with everyone all together again!
The back-seat crew was resumed, although short-lived before we boarded the Interislander. And almost as quickly as we had boarded and un-boarded the bus, I fell asleep on Puck’s lap on the ferry. In fact, this was just as well as the short time I was awake for proved to be a period of stomach-churning waves and one that my fragile state and motion sickness could not have handled.
I eventually awoke 2-hours in to the crossing, knowing that it was meant to be one of the most scenic ferry crossings in the world. This repuatation was for a very good reason, and not one that a photo will truly capture, but I’ll try:
Once we had our bags, we boarded the next Kiwi Bus with new driver Ivan (don’t worry, Elliot was to return to us the next day), took our rightful seats at the back of the bus and drove off in to the distance, just as romantically set as I am describing, ready for what the South Island had in store.
16 days in to ‘life from a bag’ and so far, so motion sick but so, so happy!