So, let’s bypass this writing absence brought on by heartbreak and an utter inability to function, and get straight back to some travel reminiscing:
Wellington! Wellington! WETA STUDIOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please, understand, that each seemingly unnecessary exclamation point, is, in actuality, an important representation of my excitement…
After a bus ride from Kaikoura to Nelson, and then blissfully sunny ferry journey, ‘windy’ Wellington’s Trek Global hostel becomes our home for the next few days. We quickly settle in, and begin our city explorations.
An hour of following the vegman app for Hare Krishna High Taste and we’ve walked up and down the same street.I’m close to throwing one of those overtired I’m so grumpy because I promised myself special vegan food and where’s my special vegan food!? tantrums. Luckily, we give up and end up in an amazing Japanese (the name escapes me, sorry!) which has the nicest cocktails and veggie options. Happy, happy.
It’s morning and my body shakes with excitement as we pick up our hire car. It’s been so long since I have driven. A few misdirections, a 50-point turn at the top of a dead-end, vertically sloped residential street later and we make it out of the city on our road-trip to the Paths of the Dead.
Twisty, turny mountain roads bring us to our destination. Hopping across stones in between beautiful, towering cliff faces, and singing along to the Lord of the Rings symphony, we finally arrive with awestruck expressions. The actors all stood here! This very place! The cliffs, and paths are still ominous despite the perfectly blue skies and rolling, white fluffs of cloud.
With heavy souls, we bundle ourselves back into the car and escape the Paths, heading straight back to the city.
It’s dark, and a thunderstorm is raging. We have been driving around Wellington city for two hours. TWO HOURS. Every so often we would almost make it to our hostel, but the one-way system cheats us! Petrol dips, lower, lower. We all felt a mixture of frustration and hilarity. Lost, but not lost! Haunted by Paths of the Dead bad fortune, perhaps. A blurry, sleepy memory of vegan food and a soft bunk bed mattress is all I have.
The next day consists of bean bag shore-front lazing, vegan ice-cream, a walk through the beautiful botanical gardens, children’s play park excitement, museum wonder and a very bizarre-did-we-get-drugged night out. Wellington has been nice, but we’re just too excited to move onto our next adventure, Mordor.
And as we’re on our bus to Mordor, a little voice in my head, innocuously whispers “Weta Studios”…
“OH MY GOD. WE FORGOT TO GO TO WETA STUDIOS!”