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Saturday, April 19, 2014

19 April - Flora Fun

The time is 11.00pm, and now I’ve got to remember what we did today.

I must have woken about 6.00am. Misty the cat had spent part of the night sleeping on the end of my “bed” so I’d slept diagonally across it so I didn’t disturb her. This was actually more comfortable, as there’s a ridged running down the middle of the bed where the two squabs meet, and it’s not such a pain when you’re lying across it.

D.C. came in at 7.00am, already washed and dressed, so I got up and did the same, but there was no sound from Ann and Duncan. So we sat on D.C.’s bed until 9.00am, uploading blog photos and reading until they surfaced. They’ve had some late nights and early mornings lately, so we weren’t about to begrudge them a sleep in.

After breakfast, and a discussion about what we were going today and what the weather promised to be, we headed out.

First stop was a farmers market in central Wellington, next to the New St Paul’s Cathedral. (We passed the original St Paul’s on the way there and it’s a much nicer looking building.) While at the market we had a cup of tea. D.C.’s was Kawakawa Fire, which tasted like lemon verbena, and I had a jasmine tea. Then we chatted with a lady who’d worked in the museum industry and who knows Thames.

It was only when we left that we realised precisely where the farmer’s market was held. Directly over the road from the Houses of Parliament. So we had to stop and take some photos of that.
The Beehive

Parliament Buildings and gull

Then we went to the Botanic Gardens, which is a place we’ve often said we had to go to, but never found the time. We had lunch outside the Begonia Houses looking at the roses. 


Not a begonia
After a look around there, including the Dell (where Shakespearean plays are performed) and the peace garden, with its waterfall and eternal flame, we drove around the block to another entrance. From here we walked past the Sound Shell and through the various gardens to the “Treehouse” visitor centre and then back. As the crow flies we’d probably only gone about 300m. As the Burtons and Munros walk, it must have been a couple of kilometres.

Then Ann and Duncan dropped us off at Otari-Wilton’s Bush. D.C. and I had a pleasant stroll through there. We saw Tui and Kaka, a couple of times in the same top branches of the same tree, which surprised me as Tui are quite territorial. We also found some more interesting fungi, including the traditional Pixie Toadstools.




Our only complaint was the number of steps, and moreover the height and width of them. At one point we decided to take the eight minute walk to see a waterfall. When we saw the number of steps we decided that I’d go down, take photos, and then come back. Well, D.C. is a day older.

On the way down I passed a couple with their dog on a lead. The dog was some kind of setter and I passed the comment that it must be glad that it wasn’t a corgi. It wasn’t an easy walk with little short legs. I got to the waterfall, but that was in two stages and I couldn’t be bother descending, and worse still, climbing even more steps, so I got some photos and returned to D.C.

Carrying on walking we found another Kaka way up in the canopy. We were admiring it when two grandparents(?) and their granddaughter(?) of about three years old came along. The little girl was dressed as a fairy and kept on saying that she was looking for a coconut tree. As her grandmother said to me, the closest she was likely to get was a Nikau Palm. I pointed out the Kaka, and when she looked confused, called it a parrot. I should have said that parrots like living in coconut trees.

We continued on, trying to work out the best way to leave the bush and get onto Churchill Drive when we found a track to another waterfall… Except it was the same waterfall and this way was a much easier way to get to it. D.C. stayed on the bottom viewing platform while I climbed back up to where I’d got my original photos. So at least I can say I’ve done the full trip!

We finally found our way out by taking the Beech Track that Ann had walked down last night when we went to see the glow worms. We got to the point where it opened up when I saw a Tui sitting on the telephone wires. So I got its photo. D.C. laughed and said did you get that…?
Well, I got a photo

We came home and read for a while (I worked on my blog offering for Fanderson about the Weta Workshop tour) while we waited for Ann to come back from her swim. We had tea and then watched a couple of DVDs. Beyond the Edge about Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Mt Everest, and then Blackfish about the cruel treatment of orca at SeaWorld and how the poor dolphins have killed humans, probably out of sheer frustration.

Then we made up my bed again and Ann and Duncan had a dip in the hot tub.
Another Weta

D.C., me, and Duncan
A Misty selfie

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