Sunday, September 23, 2012

Matiu Somes Island and Wellington Botanical Gardens

As I was typing away about Matiu-Somes Island the other day, I was thinking, "Hey, I must go there again some day."  Well, the very next day (yesterday) became "some day".  It was lovely Wellington weather and I said, "Why not?"

I figured it would only take half an hour to walk "over the hill" to Seatoun Wharf.  As usual, my calculations were too tight.  I couldn't remember whether the big Worser Bay zigzag was still blocked off because of a winter slip so, instead, I raced down a smaller one by Worser Bay school, but this meant I had to travel some extra distance.   I frantically sped, puffing,  past a couple who gave the obligatory passing-strangers "Hello" and nod to me.  "Gotta-catch-the-ferry!-gotta-catch-the-ferry!" I huffed and puffed out to them.  I was hot, bothered, tired, old, and fat and I was racing to a ferry.  I should have given up.

But determination is a weird thing.  It keeps you going when you really don't think you've got another iota of puff and push inside you. I collapsed on the wharf with barely three minutes to spare before the ferry turned up.  A family strolled up to the wharf just after me, looking calm and cool.  My hair was askew, I was dripping sweat my heart was thumping so fast, I figtured I was going to have a heart attack there and then.  I prayed the ferry captain would know CPR.

Below is a pic of the Seatoun Wharf.

I was only just getting over my hill-running puffing session when we landed on Matiu-Somes and there were a few more hills.  I had my picnic lunch sitting near the top of the island (see below view).  It was very warm and I realised that if I wanted to catch a certain ferry off the island, I would have to race like a maniac down to the wharf.  Again, hot, tired, bothered, sweaty.  One sign said something like "Wharf - 60 minutes".  I looked at my watch.  I had 50 minutes to make it!
Well, in the end, it took 20 minutes.  I arrived at the Matiu-Somes wharf in time to take an earlier ferry.

I arrived at Queen's Wharf in the city, still getting over my earlier puffing fit, and looking a complete wreck.  I puffed and panted (again) up to the Botanical Gardens for their Tulip Day.  More hills, sigh.  Still, when I got home that late-afternoon, I felt good, triumphant.

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