Our first day in Wellington was a day of sunshine and warm weather. After turning in our rental car we were advised by the manager of Fidel’s cafe – on Cuba Street by the way, to take advantage of the nice day to hike up to the Brooklyn Windmill. We settled in at our studio apartment AirBnB, but, before leaving I accidentally smashed one of my pinky toes on the side of the stairs so hard that it drew blood. I still put my bandaged toe in a hiking boot, but within 2 blocks knew I could not go up and down a steep hill. So Loren went on without me. After ice, elevation, rest, and yoga, I still have bruising but can walk without favoring it. And the skies often have been overcast since that first day.
Another day we had a nice lunch date with a young couple who we had met at Tongariro. They picked us up in their rental car and we drove out to Lyall Bay for a recommended restaurant. It was great fun to see them, and enjoy the setting and good food together.
Wellington is a nice size city. It has a population of 100,000 and much can be reached by foot. One day again we had nice enough weather for hiking up to Mount Victoria to a Lookout, where we had views over the city and beyond, and read signposts with information about southern sky astronomy. But Wellington is known for being windy, and we can attest to that too!
Another day we walked down the waterfront,
then on Valentine’s Day, we celebrated out with Mexican fare.
The other major outing we made was to the Friday Food Market. This week it coincided with a Lantern Parade for Chinese New Year, which included a traditional Maori performance. I learned that the Dragon represents power, strength, and good luck.
I am also reflecting on the wildlife we had seen while elsewhere on the North Island that I had not posted about – specifically, the Pied Stilt, Magpie, and the enormous Wood Pigeon. The magpie has outstanding contrasting dark black/stark white coloring which is incredible to see in flight, for their coloring looks like thick black outlines around a white bird. It seems several birds here have black and white or dark and light markings.
Our AirBnb is within a short distance of a Bikram Yoga studio, and we have taken a class each day. I was invited to teach one, and hope to do so again while we are here. Loren and I will also have our teeth cleaned, see a dermatologist, and a general practitioner for checkups this month. The dental office is actually in a building where a Beatles’ concert was once held! Oh, and, Happy Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dog!