To truly know a place, you have to walk its hills. And New Zealandia has some pretty nice hills.
Nah, that’s too profound. Really, after two weeks living in hotels, I was just jonesin’ to get outside. To commemorate a beautiful day yesterday, Dan, Nikki, and I trekked the hillside above Eastbourne, directly across the water from Wellington.
It took us forever to get to a decent vantage point though. The trail picked up at the edge of town where it wound up and up to get to the ridge line. New Zealandia is densely forested and the forest doesn’t let up at the top of the hills. If it was possible, I think it gets denser. So we bumped over hillock after hillock, some offering little openings that made us optimistic. Ultimately, I snagged the shot above at an overlook about half way down.
A good hike deserves good food. After the trek, we enjoyed a late lunch at a neat beach-side cafe. I had a panini-esque sandwich they call a “toastie.” Oh capers, it was delicious. Capers may be the new ingredient I sneak into everything.
An aside: if there was a difficult thing about traveling in New Zealand, it would be the use of comical words for everyday things. A cooler is a “chilly bin.” The baggage claim is the “baggage reclaim.” Oh, and most cars are imported from Japan so all dashboard buttons are in Kanji. Maybe that leads to it.
At the end of the day, I parted ways with Dan and Nikki, became amazed that New Zealandia doesn’t have security checkpoints for domestic flights, and flew down to Christchurch.
This morning, once I was fueled with a delicious scramble, I took off on hike number two of the weekend. Parts of Christchurch, including my Airbnb spot, are conveniently located next to Lake District-esque hills. If you aren’t paying attention to where you’re going, as I wasn’t, you can easily end up lost in a neighborhood. Fortunately, after three false starts, I found a path leading above the houses.
It took about an hour and a half to get to the top of Mount Vernon, where I took the photo above. Along the way, I became reacquainted with my love of podcasts. Podcasts are a great way to expand your worldview, and I need to get back into them.
I’ll be in Christchurch for a couple more days, hopefully finding a good place to cowork. Then it’s back to Portland, Leah, and a tasty East African cooking course at the end of the week.