I’m writing you tonight from the comfortable lounge at our new hostel in Napier. However, before I move into that, I MUST tell you about our final day and a half in Wellington.
On Thursday, Nick (one of our hosts) was off work and offered to drive us around town and show us some sights. We drove across town, looking at some of his haunts and the firehouse where he worked, and arrived at our first stop. Weta Workshop.
Weta is the special effects company behind the Narnia films, Hercules and Xena, and of course, Lord of the Rings. Although you cannot enter the Workshop proper (due to confidentiality agreements and such) they do have a ‘Cave’ setup with a small shop, mini-museum, and screening room for a special twenty minute behind-the-scenes presentation about the history of Weta and the films they have worked on. It was amazing. Not only have they worked on some of my favorite films, but they have made many miniatures and props for other properties (like Doctor Who and some cool steampunk project called Dr. Grordbort) and the video was quite a treat. Needless to say, it was a highlight of our trip thus far.
The rest of the day, Nick drove us around to several lookouts (Mt. Victoria was particularly beautiful) and Indi fixed her famous lasagna for dinner as a thank you to our generous hosts. Yesterday, Nick took me on a nice back country drive and we prepared to head out. We bussed from Wellington to Napier and arrived at about 8:35 PM. We hadn’t called ahead anywhere to book any hostels or anything, as all our previous places were open until 9:30 or 10 and we figured we’d have time to look around. Wrong.
The entire town had closed, just about. We walked around until just after ten when we saw a little backpacker near the beach that was closing it’s doors. Although the sign said ‘No Vacancy’ we asked anyway. Luckily, someone didn’t show and they had a twin room available! We excitedly booked the room and we’re planning on being here for a week or so. What I’ve seen of the architecture is gorgeous and we took a walk along the beach this morning. We’ve also met some really cool folks (some Americans and a hilarious Canadian) and get along with the staff fabulously.
We’re not sure what our time in Napier has in store for us, but there’s all kinds of things around here to do. Some good walks as well. If nothing else, hanging out on the beach and listening to the waves sounds heavenly.