Wellington, NZ – Saturday, Feb 8th, 2014

Today I head southeast of Wellington to Palliser Bay.  It is a cloudy wet day, just my luck that another tour the weather is not good.  I’m picked up in another mini bus by Craig at 8:30am from Transit Tours formally Hammonds Tour.  There are only 2 other people on the tour, Tony and Glenis, from England.  We drive through Wairarapa Valley but can’t see anything because of the low hanging clouds.  On our way, we stop to see seals hanging out on the rocks in Palliser Bay and happen to catch a pod of dolphins.  I need a little help through the rough gravel to get close to see the seals.

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During my time in the bus, I’m emailing from my phone trying to organize getting a new brake shipped to my Auckland hotel.  We make our way to Cape Palliser Lighthouse built in 1897.  No possible way to make it up 250 steps for a close up look but they do have an accessible bathroom by the parking lot.  Thanks to Tony for getting a close up photo of the lighthouse.

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Time for lunch at Lake Ferry Hotel.  When we get to the hotel, I get an email that my break will ship Monday from Botany, NZ and arrive at my hotel in Auckland Tuesday.  Thanks to my buddy Dan, Noah and Clay at Numotion and Anna Marie, Gary, Mark, Terry and Karl at TiLit for their quick response getting me a new brake quickly.  It has been difficult transferring with only one brake.  The Lake Ferry Hotel is accessible through the back entrance and has an accessible bathroom.  We stop in Gnaw, which is a popular for cray fishing.  The sand is so soft they need bulldozers to launch the boats and pull them from the water.

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After this we go for a wine tasting at Te Kairanga Vineyard.  It is accessible with a ramp to the tasting room but the bathroom is not accessible.  The Reserve Chardonnay was my favorite.  Next is a visit to Kaitoke National Park to see Rivendell, a site from Lord of The Rings.  It is loosely packed gravel and a hill I need help up.

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The tour was good except for the weather.  Craig was very helpful the couple times I needed help.  He was very informative during the tour.  I’m dropped of at 5pm and go to my room and work on uploading photos and some writing.  I head down to the House Bar to watch the Rugby Sevens Final.  The USA is in the Shield Final which is the four worst teams playing against each other.  USA beats Portugal 13-10 to be the best of the worst teams.  The Sevens Final is New Zealand vs South Africa, the two best teams in the tournament, New Zealand wins 21-0.  I go back to my room to pack for my journey to Auckland, NZ.

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