Thursday, 23 April 2009

I Walk the Line

So I left you in suspense of my imminent imprisonment. As most cliff hangers, this will be a disappointment, I'll level with you now.

I travelled from on from the lovely Taupo to Napier and for me the main attraction to going to Napier was you could stay in a disused prison. Not converted, disused. After a brisk walk, well stagger, up the hill to the gates, I was greeted by a rather forboding wooden door complete with authentic buzzer system like you hear in the movies. I was welcomed by a very enthusiastic girl who showed me round- the cells, the shower block (unchanged!), the hanging gallery (now poetically used for hanging the washing up) and I settled into my room. Alas, I wasn't staying in one of the cells, but a rather rickety out house type affair. There I met a poor lost looking fellow who immediately launched into his travel life story about he'd come for a holiday to see a friend he'd not seen in years. They realised on about day 2 of 30 that they didn't actually get on and now she was desparately trying to ditch him at every opportunity. As such she had gone out with another friend for the night and was left alone in the prison.

I felt uncharacteristically sorry for him and decided to be nice. I had planned on going to the museum that evening to the converted theatre to watch an arty film about people smuggling (cheerful stuff as always) and invited him along. He was very enthusiastic and came along only to fall asleep for most of the film. However, he said afterwards he liked what he had seen, so at least he tried. The next day he and his unfriendly friend left very early (8am!) and I never did see him again. Poor fellow.

However, his suffering aside, my day turned out ot be marvellous! It was gloriously sunny and Napier turned out to be even prettier than Taupo. There was a gloroius pebble beach I just sat on for ages, like a herione in a romantic film then I climbed a big hill and took in the view. I went to the local museum which had a fascinating exhibit on the local cemetary and an interesting documentary on the 1931 earthquake. I then returned to the hostel, thinking with the departure of the friendless boy and his friend, I would be alone. But no as I sat myself down in front of the truely massive TV, a quiet slender chap came into the room. With mush persistence, I discovered he had been living in the prsion since Decemeber and was working locally. He was from Chile. We then watched a terrible comedy together that he had rented. And then as suddenly as he came, he left without a goodbye.

The next day I did a wine tour that included a lovely lunch and general sight seeing around the area. It was another gloriously lovely day, the sun shining, birds singing kind of atomsphere. The other people on the tour were pleasent enough, but don't really warrant mentioning. As expected after the fourth and final winery I was well and truely tipsy and on my return to Napier I felt obliged to buy some candy floss and phoned my mother with great gusto and talked more nonsense than ususal. I promise to phone without the influence of alcohol soon mother.

I then went into the TV room, expecting to find my quiet Chilean but instead discovered 2 Dutchies, a kiwi and 3 Brits. I was bit overwhelmed after 3 days of relative solitiute, but being mildly drunk I started talking at an alarming rate and volume. In retrospect, they must of thought I was quite, quite mad. The good thing about travelling is, unless you make a great effort, you generally will never see people again so embarrassment can be avoided long term.

I had to rise early the next day to get the bus to Wellington and to my surprise as I trudged down the hill, I came across the quiet Chilean who was in a car and offered to take me to the bus stop which was a good half hour walk away. I accepted, he apologised about the state of the car and then we drove for 5 minutes in silence before he dropped me off and disappeared before I got to say thank-you. An odd, but I feel ultimately, pleasant fellow, that if I'd had more time, I would have worn him down and eventually, I would have made him my friend.

Anyway, so began the last few days in Wellington. I have done so little, that one day I feared I may actually cease to exist due to my inactivity. I just been walking around, eating bargain cakes from the supermarket (6 lamingtons for 3 dollars!), finding little cinemas- I actually found the best cinema in the world. They have armchairs with little tables, give you home made scones and tea with your ticket (5 dollars cheaper than normal cinemas) and there are no adverts before the feature, just trailers. Fantastic.

But, yes, essentially I been in a wee cocoon of my own making, floating around and being not very productive. Well, I have been organising some America stuff (I'm very anxious about into getting into the country so I want to have all my travel sorted out so I can prove I'm not trying to illegally emigrate), but other than that I have been a very bad tourist. I did go the museum, once. It was nice.

However, I now waffle. Today I'm getting the ferry to Picton and now a frenzy of travelling is to begin. I'm only going to stay in places for 2 nights and then move on so I can see the country and hopefully not fall into the deluge of lethargy again.

Just before I go, I must just say, thank-you Maggie for becoming a follower! I now have 7! Although, Gin and Tonic- you still remain a mystery? Who are you?!

No comments: