So we have arrived to the capital. Believe or not they have a 'Wellington' sign here in the side of Mt Victoria, similar to that famous Hollywood sign. We have driven past it when returning Lucy and I promised myself to come back for a photo. I forgot of course. Ičko was a good friend and host, he came to pick us up from the rental company and showed us a few things on our way to his New Zealand home. It turns out that our arrival was perfectly timed as he and his girlfriend, Katarína, are returning to Europe on the same day as Majka and myself fly out of Wellington.
Apparently Wellington is considered a very windy and rainy place even among Kiwi's. Some pieces of public art prove this. Like the 'Wind Wand' which is a giant elastic wand that bends with gusts of wind, therefore is a kind of measure to the actual weather. Other piece is 'The Leaning Man', a sculpture of a man leaning against obviously strong wind. Our stay was quite lucky however, as we did not experience any of these strong winds. Not too strong anyway. Some rain, yes, and cold. Winter has definitely caught up with us and we are wearing stuff that was on the bottom of our backpacks probably since Mongolia. Ičko's house was a Victorian looking wooden house, that resembles more of a doll house rather than a construction for this climate. No central heating, only electric plug in heaters, single glazed windows and cardboard external walls. Often it was colder indoors than outside, at least it felt so. It is like if Kiwi's were pretending that they're a tropical country! New Zealand, you're not! You have four seasons, so if you want to be as green and eco friendly as you pretend, insulate those houses, heat them with geothermal energy that you have more than you could use and generate more energy from that wind that blows almost constantly. On the other hand Wellington is a cool place for going out in the evening, with some decent microbrewery pubs, good food, excellent Te Papa museum, weird enough to be interesting art gallery and even a weekend farmers market with a Hungarian Chimney Cake stall! How about that?! We have enjoyed very much Te Papa, that is filled with rich Mauri history and culture, had some decent photography exhibition going on and to be honest we have returned on 2 occasions, not just to hide from weather. Cuba street is the hotspot of vibrant Wellington life, but I didn't find any reason to visit twice, other than buy some postcards. There is a good amount of street art going. Specially murals and graffiti are strongly present. It's interesting to take a left sometimes and try to get lost, while trying to discover some of these works.
I'm happy that we have caught Ičko and his better half before they moved back, they gave us some local insights into what and where. Camped with us around Napier for a couple of days... Not to mention the free accommodation in Wellington! It's good to have friends in the world!