Two random acts of kindness in the space of an hour. I think I like the south Island…

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The bus belonging to the group of Canadians who very kindly gave me a lift to Nelson on a very wet day...

The bus belonging to the group of Canadians who very kindly gave me a lift to Nelson on a very wet day…

A glorious day to cross to the south island. There were awesome views most of the way.

A glorious day to cross to the south island. There were awesome views most of the way.

I found the sign in the ditch - I think it actually makes drivers give me more room...

I found the sign in the ditch – I think it actually makes drivers give me more room…

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Outside Asela and Sanji's house, Wellington - you guys spoiled me rotten - thanks again!!!

Outside Asela and Sanji’s house, Wellington – you guys spoiled me rotten – thanks again!!!

I think the people at 1702 are a bit boring...

I think the people at 1702 are a bit boring…

Fancy dress at the Wellington sevens.  I see 'mice'

Fancy dress at the Wellington sevens. I see ‘mice’

Kids jumping into the sea at Wellington

Kids jumping into the sea at Wellington

I managed to get to Wellington by train, and stopped for breakfast at a busy cafe at 8.30am. These people weren’t drinking coffee – this was the weekend of the Rugby Sevens at Wellington, so people had come far and wide for the event – they were drinking beer of course! Thinking I was clever searching for Asela’s house (a friend from home who has just moved here for a year for those who don’t know him), I put his address into Google maps and selected the walking route, as cycling on roads in lethal, especially in Wellington. I managed to find a VERY steep hill (pushed the bike for the first time in several weeks) and a flight of never ending steps, which I managed to circumnavigate by pushing by bike up through a back path entrance to an architects office, which was well off the beaten track. In the end, I actually had to push my bike literally through the building to get to a connecting road. The architects offered me a cup of tea (they didn’t get people passing very often, let along on bicycle), though I had to decline as I was trying to reach Asela’s house, only a few streets away. A few very steep hills later and I found myself at his and Sanji’s (not forgetting little Senuri) house, which they moved into a couple of weeks ago.
It was great to catch up with them, and not surprisingly they are loving the temporary new life in NZ (if it was me I’d be chomping at the bit to stay for good!).
We went into the city a couple of times, to see the spectacle that is the rugby sevens, though we only saw a couple of games on a TV, the fancy dress was as, if not more entertaining than the rugby. Everyone was so friendly too. If this was the UK, there would be people causing trouble, falling about, fighting. Here, everyone was having fun enjoying themselves, chatting to total strangers, even in the busy city center. Sanji & Asela spoilt me rotten and it was fantastic seeing them and how their little Senuri is getting on.
From there, I caught the ferry to Picton on the South Island and headed off west along Queen Charlotte Drive – a very windy hilly road following the coastal bays.
This morning I found myself cycling in rain for the first time since I left home 3 months ago, which for the first couple of hours I actually enjoyed, then just as I got on the main highway 6, I met a bunch of Canadians who were cycling with a support bus. I’m really bad at remembering names folks, so sorry for the lack of roll call – nicknames help, one lady’s being ‘cricket’. Apparently she rubs her feet together like a cricket before getting into bed (and no I can’t vouch for it before anyone asks). They offered me a lift to Nelson, where I was heading anyway – I initially refused, but the rain started to hammer down really hard, so I changed my mind… I was then approached by a Kiwi guy I had been chatting to while eating breakfast at the campsite this morning, who thrust a packed lunch in my hand – a second totally unexpected act of kindness in the space of an hour. Half an hour later I was bouncing along in a mini-bus with my bike on the roof of their trailer eating the lunch that the Kiwi guy had given me. I certainly couldn’t have predicted any of this would have happened when I got up this morning!!! In the evening, despite protest, the Canadians also insisted on feeding me.
Quite the unexpcted day I have to say. The rubbing the feet together thing before getting into bed – it’s to get the sand off her feet apparently…

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5 responses »

  1. Very interesting blog Johnny, I bet it was nice to see familiar faces…. It brings back memories when we were in NZ last Feb. Take Care xx

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