Leaving Ohakune on the 1:45 train for Paraparaumu and the next short stay in the North Island I met a young German woman in the platform who was catching the train for the first time, and she was asking my advice about where did we sit on the train. I explained we needed to go to the baggage car where our baggage would be on boarded and the train manager would give us our boarding pass with out seat number. She was very surprised and said that’s a very personal service! I did say it’s because it’s a small station and there are only the two of us getting on by the looks of things. Once safely aboard I found myself seated next to another young German woman who had been really unhappy in her job as a teacher and she was travelling to help her decide what next. That sounds familiar. We had a lovely animated conversation whilst also paying attention to the usual beautiful scenery. There were quite a few viaducts over very deep valleys. I only managed to get photographs of one of them, too busy chatting for once.
It was quite a long journey taking until 5:30, I alighted at Paraparaumu having wished my traveling companion good luck on her travels. It was a nice little suburban station and I asked one of the station workers where I could get a cab. He was quick off the mark to call one for me and furnish me with the number for future reference. We were having a bit of a chat as I waited and he said the train only stops here by request, which probably explained why the English Travel agents couldn’t book the stop. The other brilliant news for me was that the trains to Wellington were on strike and so I was really lucky I had managed to change my ticket or else I would be paying a fortune for a taxi back to Paraparaumu. Phew is all I can say.
Taxi arrived and a good chat, talking about property prices and who is buying up property all over the world and why. The taxi driver told me that his conspiracy theory was that the Chinese government was giving people money to come and buy up property all over the world. Interesting theory, scary can it be true are they trying to take over the world. Oh well probably not in my lifetime.
Then I had arrived at my next destination and was met by Nicki my next landlady who took me into the back garden to my self contained abode. It was far better then I thought it would be, the photographs on AirBNB really didn’t do it justice. I asked if there was a local shop within walking distance, she insisted on providing me with some bacon and eggs for my supper and there was bread, milk, butter, spreads and tea and coffee all provided. So a quiet evening and an early night in my super comfortable bed and cosy space.
The next day I went out for a long walk on the beach, there is a small island which runs along side the beach called Kapiti Island and the beach itself goes on for miles. It was a lovely warm day but a lot of people were still wrapped up as though it was winter. I am still yearning to see the sun again. The beach is full of drift wood and I saw two whole dead fish and one skeleton of a fish. But the sand is soft and easy to walk with the sound of the sea. I am starting to realise how much I feel at peace when walking by the sea. I think I walked for about three miles when I turned back and eventually went up on to the coast road in search of a shop and some food. There was a busy little shopping area with quite a few restaurants and I was having great difficulty deciding what to eat when I saw a fish and chip shop and just couldn’t resist. I sat inside and ate my fish which was a dory I think, and the chips were tiny little things, “half a scoop”, I was asked and thank goodness that was more than enough. Then I found a little shop and bought some beans. The Heinz brand here is called Watties, I have heard it called Watties Heinz by my friends and meant to ask them, but you recognise the packaging just not the name. I thought I would have beans on toast for supper and breakfast. That was an easy shop. Back on to the beach again for the remainder of the walk back. I had taken a photograph when I went onto the beach to make sure I knew where to come off the beach and thank goodness for that.
The following day I was out about ten am back down to the beach. It was very windy and I decided to walk in the opposite direction I got to an area which said it was a marine reserve, and ventured on a bit further to come into a big bay. There were some lovely houses all along the beach I have to say and I could certainly cope with that sort of lifestyle. Back to my abode to finish packing and get ready for my trip to Wellington. My landlady had said she would drop me off somewhere where I could sit and eat and drink and write, but when I was ready to leave her husband invited me to stay for lunch. We had a lovely lunch, made by Nicki’s husband whilst Nicki got the studio ready for the next visitor. We chatted about our AirBNB experiences and our jobs and it turned out that Peter helped people with their businesses and was helping an Icelandic man set up a business for Australia and New Zealand manufacturing and selling Skyr. For those of you who don’t know this is a high protein type of yoghurt. When I was a little girl in Iceland it used to come in a block and you chopped some off and mixed it with milk I think to make it into more of a yoghurt, my Amma which is grandmother in Icelandic used to serve it with brown sugar on the top. My sister Helga hated it, we used to say she had brown sugar with Skyr because she put so much sugar on it. Anyway small world. It was a really enjoyable afternoon. Nicki’s sister turned up and they were planning a party for their Mother’s 80th birthday and they had all these amazing photographs of her as a young woman.
Nicki then kindly dropped me off at the station for my train. The platform was full of New Zealand supporters off to watch New Zealand play Fiji in the Rugby World Cup. I can report that Fiji beat New Zealand. The stadium was just behind the railway station in Wellington so I had to fight my way past all the supporters when I arrived in Wellington too.
See you in Wellington