Arrived in Wellington just after seven pretty much a zombie after trying to sleep in the train seat. Went and had coffee with Ceilene and George and tried to figure out where I was going to stay. Found a place to stay said goodbye to Ceilene and George and caught a taxi to the hostel. The taxi driver was horrible, she wouldn't say a word to me until we got to a house and she said "it is here" I looked at the number (191) and said "no, I want 291" She just kept repeating that it was 291, so I finally just told her to drive up the street and I'd say when to stop - a couple kilometers later I got there. It was just a weird experience because the Kiwis are normally so outgoing and friendly.
While I had a very much needed nap the sun came out. It was still nippy, but the skies were blue as I set out to explore Wellington. Walked down to the water and along the bay. Checked out a lot of shops, but didn't buy anything. Discovered a couple rowing clubs, but no one was around to give me any information. Walked back down to the train station, then back through town. They have a Starbuck's here, so in honor of my sister's birthday (which was yesterday, but at the time it was still yesterday where she is) I had a Laté, and then called her to tell her about it.
The went and explored Te Papa - New Zealand's answer to the Smithsonian. It's a huge modern museum complex. Like most modern museums, the building itself is at least half the show. Inside I explored the natural history and Maori history section before giving up and deciding to come back tomorrow to see more.
What made me give up was the view of the harbor from the third floor - there were two fours heading towards the boathouses I had found earlier! So I decided to wander down and see if I could find a ride. Both boathouses were active now - mostly looked like school clubs. Finally found someone to talk to about club rowing and he said that there really wasn't any organized rowing going on right now, but there was a pickup boat heading out right then. So I unzipped my pant legs and was in a boat for the first time in nearly two years. We took a four out - two other guys, and two women, one coxing. Only one of the others had been rowing recently so it was likely to be interesting. It wasn't pretty rowing, but it wasn't bad either - and it felt great to be on the water again. Paddled around the harbor for an hour mostly by pairs as the wind was blowing. Back at the boathouse I thanked everyone and headed back to the hostel in a great mood.
Was going to go to a movie, but back at the hostel I just couldn't bring myself to go take a shower and change so I ended up in front of the TV.