Back home after a wonderful few days in Wellington.
We spent Saturday exploring the Kapiti Coast. First stop was at an amazing second hand bookshop in Pukerua Bay (Sherlockfan seemed determine to tempt me into bankruptcy, with all the great shops she kept taking me to!). I could have spent hours (and hundreds of dollars) there, but I restrained myself to just one book (The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow). Then we stopped at a lookout a little way down the road so I could release a few books, and so we could admire the view (as you can see, the weather was glorious again!):
Looking up the coast towards Paraparaumu
MrFan discovered a walkway leading down the very steep bank, so we followed it, and discovered a lovely little beach with a scattering of bachs (holiday homes), some traditional old shacks, and others at the opposite end of the luxury scale (as we were watching, a helicopter landed next to one of the posher ones – easier than walking down the walkway, obviously!)
I loved the way the wind (which was quite ferocious) had wrapped the trees over this bach.
A novelty for this South Islander was finding pumice on the beach – apparently it floats downriver from the volcanic areas and washes up on the beaches along the coast.
After slogging back up the path we went on to Paraparaumu for lunch in a cafe by the shore, and then dropped in to visit MrFan’s brother in Waikanae. They live right on the lagoon, so took us for a walk along the lagoon and down to the beach, which has an amazing amount of bird-life for a built-up area. Herons, black and pied stilts, hundreds of shags roosting in the trees, and of course loads of seagulls. Apparently the reserve on Kapiti Island has a wider effect on the wildlife. (Sorry I don’t have pictures of this bit – the light was starting to go, so it wasn’t worth trying to take any).
When we got back to Upper Hutt, we went for dinner at a Chinese restaurant, where (despite a few communication difficulties – they had a new waitress on whose English wasn’t great, which led to some amusing mix-ups regarding the lazy susan, and a disappointing one regarding the crispy duck pancakes we’d hoped for) we had a very enjoyable meal.
Sunday morning I woke to the sound of heavy rain. The beautiful weather of the last few days was over. Sherlockfan suggested an expedition to a museum in Porirua, but when we got there we discovered it didn’t open until midday. As it was only 10 am, we didn’t feel like hanging around in the rain waiting, and we were due back in Upper Hutt at 1 anyway, so we headed back to Sherlockfan’s house, and I settled in to a good book (which really is the only way to spend a rainy day). We went over to Daughterfan’s place for lunch, where I was amazed to realise how long it had been since my last visit, as the young children I’d remembered are now rapidly nearing adulthood. I suppose it has been quite a few years!
After a very tasty lunch we returned to Sherlockfan’s place, and I returned to my book. Perhaps not the most exciting way to spend the last day of my holiday, but it felt like a luxury to me to have a day to do nothing but read, with no guilt hanging over me about all the other things I should have been doing 🙂
I got back to Christchurch late last night, and the weather down here is no better than what I’d left behind in Wellington. Oh well, back to work tomorrow, and then I won’t care what the weather’s like, because I’ll be stuck inside anyway.