Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Martinborough and Wellington

Having left behind the wines of Hawkes Bay - well, actually we took quite a few with us - we drove on to Martinborough. Now what is Martinborough known for - oh yes, wines!

We had booked a little chalet room on a motor home park, and when we arrived, they offered us a cheap upgrade to a better chalet with kitchenette and en suite. We decided to take it, and as it would turn out, this was a very good decision. As was the decision, influenced by the threat of rain, to hold off on hiring the bikes that we had planned to take out to go to the vineyards.

The day after we arrived, I managed somehow to put my back out. Not sure how, I just woke up in the morning and realised that moving was not a good idea. Even with the prescription painkillers that I had with me, half walking and half crawling to the bathroom was about my limit for the first day, so having the en suite, and the fact that we had done a food shop when we arrived yesterday, both now seemed like exceptional foresight!

With a day's rest, and making full use of the painkillers and my walking poles, we decided to try getting out the next day. This of course meant me driving. The good news was, the hire company had given me an automatic, which had made me nervous at the time as I'd never driven one, but I had soon got used to and now was very happy about it.

 As it turned out, driving short distances wasn't too bad, as long as I didn't have to reverse much. It was certainly a lot easier than walking anywhere at this stage. So we managed to get to a few vineyards. The one that stood out for us here was Margrain, as they were eally friendly and had an excellent range.

We also drove out to a couple of nearby villages, Greytown and Featherston. Both were very small, and the kind of place where the high street is a few shops on the main road that passes through. So looking around wasn't really necessary, which is just as well, as I only just managed the walk from the car to the shop.

I say shop, because in each case, we were only really heading to one place - in Featherston it was C'est Cheese, and in Greytown Schoc Choc. After all, we needed some cheese and chocolate to go with all that wine! Both were excellent by the way.

Whilst short drives were fine, the next challenge was the drive on to Wellington, which was only about ninety minutes away, but that felt like a long time. Also, we had previously decided to drop the hire car here, and had rented another one on South Island.

Thankfully, with just one stop along the way, we managed the drive OK. We got to the city centre, and after a few circuits, found somewhere to park not too far from the hotel, and Nic ferried the bags over.

After that, we had to drop the car off. They had an awful, tiny and very full carpark, which would have involved a lot of tricky manoeuvring to get in to. This was not good, given that, by this time, any twisting to reverse was incredibly painful.Thankfully, they said to just leave the car in the front and they would deal with it. We got a cab to take us back to the hotel, and then aside from a very brief walk out one day, that was where I stayed.

So all we saw of Wellington, was a few quick circuits of the city centre in the car, a drive along the coast to the car hire place and back, and the taxi drive to the ferry when we left. Oh well, another time maybe.

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