My feet will wander in distant lands, my heart drink its fill at strange fountains, until I forget all desires but the longing for home.
Keep in touch.
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2004-10-20 9:39 PM
The perfect antidote to 24 hours of overland travel: a light meal at an elegant bistro. Lovely slices of rare cured venison over spring greens & asparagus, local pinot noir, lemon creme brulee. Time at my solo table to review pictures, send a quick check-in to my next hostess, and comtemplate the last few stages of travel. And the imminence of sleep.
Once it's posted, a picture of my empty wine glass will go here.
I've actually been travelling more than 24 hours, now that I think about it. With clean laundry, less luggage, and a good lunch thanks to my new friend Craig, I boarded the Magic bus in Paihia yesterday at 1:30 pm. It was a relaxed and enjoyable ride through the countryside, arrived in Auckland about 6pm.
After storing my bags in a train-station locker, went for dinner at the Maritime Museum, and returned to claim bags and catch train at 8:30. Spotted a few other backpackers waiting for the train, but not yet in the mood to socialize.
Tried to sleep on train ... distracted by passenger behind me. Got permission to move to an empty car, tried sleeping under the table, across two seats, curled up on one seat. Enjoyed the crescent-turning to half-moon and scattered clouds among the stars. Tried to sleep some more.
Train arrived at Wellington 7:20 AM; claimed luggage, caught shuttle to ferry terminal. Checked luggage. Got breakfast, yoghurt & tea; shared a table with fellow backpacker Benjamin. Good move -- he turned out to be a thoroughly pleasant companion for most of the three-hour ferry ride. We took turns sleeping on the best surface we could find, a cushioned curved bench with actual room for our legs, then enjoyed the spectacular coast and ferry-wake coming into Picton. Quietly enjoyable perspective; into photography, good books, music; studied environmental science; lovely person. (More pictures, to be posted soon.)
At Picton, I claimed my luggage and struck out with a firm stride (scampering being a poor option when fully loaded) to catch the Intercity bus for Christchurch. I snatched a bit more sleep in between views of marvelous mountians and rocky coastline. Engaged in only one comversation, with a man just back from Antarctica on the mistaken impression that I might be able to ask him to keep an eye out for Eric, Steve's son, who might be going there for the summer (Northern winter). I tactfully avoided sharing a taxi when his hostel turned out to be a few blocks past mine.
Instead, I hefted my bags and walked; it was a few blocks more than was really enjoyable, but good exercise. I chose the YHA between teh Art Centre and the Botanical Gardens, so I'll be indulging in a little cultural tourism tomorrow after a heavy, and much-deserved, sleep.
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