Christchurch/Wellington, NZ – Tuesday, Feb 4th, 2014

I woke up early to pack before Sean took me to the airport.  I use Super Shuttle again to get from the airport to my hostel in Wellington, NZ.  Super Shuttle and my driver were great but that’s where my problems ended.  I tell the driver where I’m staying and he asks if I know they are up a steep hill.  My response “no, they did not tell me there where any issues when I booked”.  We make it Trek Global and there is no possible way to wheel up the hill let alone on a daily basis.  I have to cancel my stay and start looking for lodging.  The lady at Trek Global calls Downtown Backpackers on the advice of the Super Shuttle driver and they can put me up only Tuesday and Wednesday.  I do not know how accessible they are but they say they are accessible but have small shower.  I need lodging so I take a chance at Downtown Backpackers.  So I have lodging for 2 nights, no lodging for 3 nights and have to find lodging during Rugby Sevens weekend.  The driver takes me to Downtown Backpackers at $22 more a night than Trek Global and I get on the wait list for a room for the rest of my stay in Wellington, if there are any cancellations.  There is a small ramp up to Downtown Backpackers a little steep but I can make it up.  The shower is very small and the chance of taking a real shower the next 2 days will probably be slim.

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Next stop is the I Site Visitor Center to get help on trying to find a room for 3 nights at a reasonable price.  I explain my problem to Karen, who works at I Site Visitor Center, and after 40 minutes I get lodging at Cambridge Hotel for over twice the cost of my original lodging for 3 nights at Trek Global.  Karen warns me that with Rugby Sevens going on I may not get much sleep at Cambridge Hotel and suggests I get ear plugs.  I’m not very happy but I need a place to stay.  Karen was so helpful and worked hard to find me a room.  With Karen’s help I also get reservations for an East Coast Tour with Kiwi Coastal Tours and Palliser Bay Tour with Hammonds Tours.  Right down from I Site is Ticketek and I get my tickets for the Friday session of Rugby Sevens.  Karen tells me that everyone dresses up in costumes, wigs and hats during Rugby Sevens so I might not fit in.  I spend about 2 hours wheeling around Wellington city center, Queens Wharf and Frank Kits Park.


I have lunch on the wharf at Bin44 which is accessible.  The wharf areas I visited are accessible.  The city center is accessible but some of the curb cutouts are steep and have lips where the ramp meets the street.  I wheel back past Downtown Backpackers to the House of Representatives and Library.

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By now it’s about 7pm and I go to The House Bar on the 1st floor of the hostel.  Happy hour from 7-9pm and pool tables.  I grab a beer and play a practice game by myself.  A group of bikers from Patriots Bike Club are at the bar and Dali asks to play me a game.  I lose but I had my chances.  I end up hanging out with Dali, Brett, Biggy, Coops and others the next 3 plus hours drinking, talking and shooting pool. Brett gives me a pin from our time together.  After looking on their website, I believe it’s a remembrance for the loss of fellow rider Buggy Grant KIA in Afghanistan August 19, 2011.

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