It was a sunny day when we drove back into Napier. The town was in a festive mood since one of the international cricket matches was to be played there. Already the previous day there was a long line of fans who wanted to get a signature from the New Zealand players. The visit to the museum was rewarding. It is a new building connected to the old (Art Deco) theatre house. They of course have a large section dedicated to the earthquake of 1931. A shock of 6.8 destroyed most of the town. A dedicated effort rebuilt the town in record time in Art Deco style. This is also the atmosphere you still feel in town.
In the afternoon we drove down to Wellington (320 km). The first stretch was on the east side of the Ruahine range in the sun. When crossing over through the Manawatu gorge the rain started and continued till just before Wellington. In the night we had several more heavy downpours with strong winds. In Wellington we stayed with Chris and Boyd Kenna (and their children Georgie and Katie) in their lovely home in the hills around the city. We enjoyed their hospitality for 3 nights with lovely meals, drinks, slides (photos) watching and catching up on old stories from our joint London time. In the day (after Rudy listened to the world championship speed skating) they took us for a city tour way to the top of `windmill hill` and along the beach front.
The city of Wellington is small and concentrated around the harbour. Much of the land is reclaimed because of the space shortage. You wonder why the harbour and ferry terminal is not moved further out. The centre is closed in by high hills on which all the suburbs are spread out. You must have great views from some of the houses. On the second evening Jamaliah and I played a game of tennis on their court. It was sunny and cool.
On the last day we went to the Te Papa museum. It is a large 6 level complex designed for exhibitions with large spacious open area´s running over into each other. Wellington can be proud of this museum. We spent some 4 hrs there diving in to the Maori history as well as the first European settlers and how the country was geologically formed. The large Orc from Lord of the Rings` greeted us at the entrance. Later we took the Kenna family out for a dinner along the waterfront.