The water was not too cold, despite my tip-toed, advance-and-retreat style of entry (accompanied by much squealing), and it was lovely to splash around in the clear water. After we'd been in long enough to justifiably feel like we'd earned some food, we dried off and headed to Scorch-a-Rama (the local cafe) for coffee and brunch.
MizHB was due in the airport so we wandered over (where else can you walk to the airport?!) to wait for her to arrive. In the airport terminal an enormous Gollum looms over you-suspended from the ceiling. You almost expect the tannoy announcements to start with "So, my precious....". We picked up MizHB, whose layover in Sydney had consisted of rather more champagne and rather less sleep than she had anticipated, and bundled her in a car home. Figuring that exercise was supposedly a sure cure for jet lag (and hangovers) we took a walk up Mt Victoria, one of the green, hilly areas that surrounds Wellington.
It was lovely to escape the heat of the afternoon and wander amongst the tall, stately podocarps (trees for the non-botanical amoung us). The noise of cicadas provided a deafening backdrop, drowning out the noises of the city below. For those Lord of the Rings buffs, we passed the spot where the hobbits hid in the tree roots from the Black Rider (though the massive tree roots they hid in were not actually there - cinematography is so disappointing). The view from the top of Mt Victoria was spectacular:
After a hot day and with the (now rather choppy) waters of Wellington harbour in front of us, what else could we have for dinner but fish and chips?!