It was four days journey to Wellington, our first harbor in New Zealand and its capital city. A portion of the lumber and produce was unloaded here.
Looking around to absorb all I could I felt as though I had arrived into another world. What beautiful hills and a city layout that made for a stunning sight. And windy, oh yes! *hold onto your hats and take some deep breaths!
I was able to enjoy two days here at this marvelous location -never enough time for most of the ports I found myself in- and now that I am seeing it, even a little tempted to move here: I had a couple of female pen pals that were from here in New Zealand and we had become fairly well-acquainted over time. One of them even visited me in Fiji with her family. What a grand time that was; good memories.
Edging along the Canterbury Plains is Christchurch and this was our second port to unload more lumber and Fiji produce. These plains stretch out to the Southern Alps; yes I did say Alps! Magnificent is just a thought and I had two days to enjoy that. I remember seeing a lot of sheep and thinking how quaint it all appeared to be.
Onward to Dunedin to unload the last of the New Zealand cargo. We had loads of lumber still but that was for Australia. I got lucky with three days here in this wonderful South Island city!
I saw a lot of beautiful old buildings, inviting residential streets and lovely green city parks interwoven throughout the city. Nature respected.
It was about the last week in January as we were finishing with the New Zealand/Australia run and this is warm weather season below the Equator, remember.
Well what have we here? The Gothic seems to have caught up with us!
It was here in Dunedin when I finally laid eyes on the very beautiful, young ++Queen Elizabeth II; she was waving to her subjects of this absolutely gorgeous country with her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh by her side, from the balcony of the Dunedin Town Hall (I do believe that was the building where I saw her).
I overheard in some conversation that she was there to enjoy a royal concert that night.
* I asked some questions to learn a little more about my current surroundings. Most fascinating to me was the windy, intoxicating air. Let’s see if I remember this correctly; Wellington sits on this southern point of the North Island of New Zealand, basically where the Tasman Sea meets up with the South Pacific Ocean [Cook Strait] and between these two islands, the wind comes in from the west and will squeeze its way through a gap there and this apparently causes it to pick up speed. See? It has cleansed the air along its way – Chicago’s match below the Equator perhaps?
++ It was just recently that I read somewhere of Queen Elizabeth II’s popularity (at least at that time) among the people of New Zealand. It was said 4 out every 5 people came out to see her during that coronation tour. While I certainly hadn’t planned my day around seeing her, I got lucky and happened upon the chance sighting, quite clearly too I might add. I was glad of it too.