Since we were way back north in Mangawai, where I first heard about the giant squid, I’d been waiting to catch a glimpse of this awesome sea monster! My mind full of old pirate tales and etchings of legendary giant monsters I have to admit I was getting secretly quite excited about the encounter. That, and it was good to have something, anything, to focus on to get myself to the half way mark :)
I think watching Pirates of the Caribbean the night before, with that giant octopus that swallows a ship may have gotten my hopes too high… The Colossal Squid wasn’t nearly as terrifying as I’d hoped. About 3 metres long maybe? … But when you consider the size of a normal squid I guess he’s still pretty special. Perhaps not the scene from Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus I’d been imagining, but still monstrously ugly at least! :D
Wellington seemed the most culturally vibrant place we’ve walked through so far. Cuba Street with it’s many cafes and vintage retro clothes shops had a bit of a warm Shoreditch vibe about it. It felt personal and homely for a city. Architecturally it had hints of San Francisco with it’s steep hills stepped in pastel coloured decorative wooden houses. And even it’s own old fashioned tram come cable car. I would love to have spent a few lazy sunny days checking out the nooks and crannies of this compact city. Unfortunately the rainy gale-force winds, combined with us visiting on a Sunday and a public holiday, meant not much was open, and ambling round got you cold and wet more than anything. Shame!
Also our iPad decided to dish us a plate of anxiety, crashing in a spectacular fashion, meaning we got to spend one of our hard earned days-off standing uncomfortably next to a mac in a computer shop trying to fix it while apologising profusely to the staff!
And on that note, a massive thanks to the staff at Yoo Bee / Magnum Macs in Wellington for helping us out and putting up with us loitering for the day! It means we can continue with this blog of our expedition, so Thank You fellas! :D
The weather was very poor while we were in Wellington, so we didn’t venture too far from our base in Cuba Street.. The only cultural delight we actually took in was the Te Papa Museum. Mainly because Nicky wanted to see the Colossal Squid they have preserved in a tank, which turned out to be not quite as colossal as we had both imagined. Our favorite exhibit was this massive illuminated map of New Zealand, fascinating to re-trace our steps across the North Island and look ahead to the South. It’s a free museum, would definitely recommend to any TA hikers behind us for this map alone.