Posted by: Matt | October 24, 2008

A Trilogy of Follies, or, Our Trip to Wellington

Ahh…traveling.  On the way to Wellington this week we left Queenstown on a beautiful morning and were able to watch the sun rise over the Remarkables as we sunk into the Kawarau Gorge heading towards Christchurch.  As we bantered, ate our pies from BP, and listened to News Talk ZB (the Kiwi version of NPR), we slowly came to realize it was a little chilly in Bongo.  After turning dials on and off repeatedly for about twenty minutes, we came to the conclusion that the heat was busted.  Nevermind, we had a plane to catch!  I bundled up a little more since we were heading into the high plains surrounding Mount Cook and the perpetually blue Lake Pukaki.

A few hours later, after encountering a couple sheep herds that were being moved from their winter pastures and back up to the high country, we were on our way through the Canterbury plains nearing the Christchurch International Airport.  (All airports in New Zealand and international by the way, but unlike Fort Wayne International, they actually mean it.)  We were driving along behind a couple of big-rigs when all of a sudden we start to hear a funny noise and Liz looks over to me, “I think we’ve popped a tire.”  We pull over to the side of the road and it takes about two seconds to see that our tire has been completely shredded.  “Oh shucks,” I comment.

Never mind, we eventually made it to the airport with a little time to spare.  We got our coffees and the paper, hung out at the gate and boarded the plane.  Nothing unusual here.  After settling in, our plane heads out to the runway and we get underway for our 45-minute flight. Our pilot jumps on the intercom after we take off to let us know that there might be some turbulence around Wellington.  I can tell you with confidence; they have a different definition of turbulence here than we do in the States.  Our plane slid back and forth, jumping at least 50 meters in all directions as we came in to land at the Wellington airport.  Each set of wheels hit the runway independently and bounced away from it again, at least two times.

We landed safely, of course, and we’ve had a great time here in Wellington.  Tonight we’re staying at a great little Backpackers in Plimmerton, a suburb of the capital city.  Last night we had dinner and drinks with Ben and Helmieh in Wellington, and in between we’ve toured, window-shopped and drank flat whites.  Tomorrow we head back to Queenstown via the same route we took here, hopefully quietly this time.  I start my new job on Tuesday and I’m looking forward to gainful employment after my stint as “Queenstown’s Official Gentleman of Leisure.”

Pictures to come, I promise.


  1. Good you two had some of your prior NZ adventures–your description, Matt, of the flight had me on the edge of my seat! Hope flight back was mellow. We’re packing our bags!

  2. Good luck tomorrow on your first day of work!!!

  3. Glad you hung out with Ben again! Looks like you had fun from your photos on facebook!

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