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Uncle Markie out and about.

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Jun '18

Trip Report: Wellington To Auckland – Day Seven

Its train day – I’ve got to make a 7:55am train – fortunately, the train station is right across the street, and McDonalds is just next door for a quick breakfast.

Ever heard of a NYC Benedict Bagel? In New Zealand, it’s a thing.

Mind you, mine didn’t look quite like the one from the website:

Lovely old train station in Wellington…

With nice detail:

Complete with grocery store:

Here is the map of today’s journey – well, it’s the whole system since I couldn’t find a decide graphic:

It also gives folks an overview of where I’ve been on this trip…yesterday (and the day before) was the ferry to/from Picton, at the north end of the South Island, and Wellington, at the south end of the North Island.

And here is our train:

Complete with open-air viewing car at the end.

Going to be a little chilly for that today with the rain and all!

Complete with café car:

Complete with Richard (the café car attendant):

With its selection of snacks:

With power at the seats…and not that many people so I can spread across a couple of seats:

There is actually ice in that cup – and they only have ONE BAG of ice for the entire 11-hour trip, and it’s hidden underneath the ice cream. Thanks to Richard, and the other folks in the café car, I actually get some.

In the lower left is a present for Maia that Richard passed along as a freebie. Is a travel bag filled with art supplies – perfect for road trips!

Here are some of the views from the view car (which opens about 20 minutes after leaving Wellington):

As you can see from the low cloud cover – no chance of see New Zealand’s three largest mountains around National Park:

Here are a couple of short videos taken from the open-air sightseeing car:

Boarded the train as the sun was coming up, got off the train after dark. The entire train trip is 11 hours long – about three hours longer at the end than I wanted. I was getting antsy. I’m used to chilling out in seater cabins, not where the seating is like this:

Better than coach on the SFO-AKL leg, wider seat, and the seat next to be open, but still – 11 hours.

Arrived back in Wellington not to the major transportation center of Britomart, but at the Strand Railway Station which reminded me of some of the old Amtrak Sheds – those stations which were nothing more than a shed (think Olympia before the community-funded station. It’s interesting that Britomart is also going to be the hub for the new underground transit system that currently has Queens Street torn up.

In the rain, grabbed an Uber back to the Ramada (where I stayed at the beginning of the trip).

Probably not the shortest, but it was only ten minutes and NZ$9.89 (US$6.96).

This time at the Ramada, I’m in the “one-bedroom” which was the same price as the “studio”. The pictures are in order of walking into the unit:

My smaller unit at this place also had en-suite laundry as well, but they don’t like you running it from 10pm-7pm and couldn’t make it work last week – but this week, popped a load of laundry in and headed out for a snack. I’d been snacking all day, what I needed was something quick and easy to bring back to the room…turns out it was Halal chicken (and lamb, and beef) a staple of the world of fast food outside the US. Reminded me (almost down to the chicken boxes!) of my stay in Houndslow, England. Usually staffed by Muslim immigrants.

And what it looked like in my room. He was running behind with customers – so he threw in an extra wing.

Turns out I ate the wing and the fries (fries are never good the next day) and saved the thigh and leg for breakfast.

Tomorrow is the last full day in New Zealand – thinking its going to be a low-key day.

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