All good things must come to an end, and so we booked ourselves on the 7.30pm Lynx (high speed catamaran) ferry from Wellington, and said our goodbyes to Suzie and her gorgeous family. We were truly sorry to leave – and, given a little more time in New Zealand – would have gladly stayed to plant ALL their vines! Instead, we promised to return for the first harvest in a couple of years’ time.
It took about four hours to drive to Wellington. We stopped for tomato and bean soup at the Expresso Bar/Café in Shannon (Florrie’s recommendation), and arrived in Wellington at about 2.30pm. It was a pretty foul day, and the sea did not look inviting. Brigid sought out a chemist for some ‘Sea-Legs’. We found a watch-makers (Capital Watch Services) to change the battery in her watch, and browsed the mountain shops for a GPS for John. Soon it was time to pick up the tickets for the 7.30pm sailing.
The wind was now gale force, and the rain was coming down in sheets. Unsurprisingly, the Lynx (universally known as the “vomit comet”) was cancelled.
Wellington has no campsite, so we drove out to Lower Hutt. We dined in a perfectly dreadful family restaurant called Cobb & Co., where hundreds of unruly free-range children (lured by the promise of a free meal), ran wild between the diners and harassed-looking waiting staff. The food was stodgy and over-cooked, and the service slow.
After a second bottle of wine to restore our sense of humour, we retired to the wet and windswept campsite.