Wellington: the Beaches…

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Petone Beach

Have you ever noticed when you visit somewhere not particularly known for their good weather that people say things to you like ‘Yeah, nah, it’s not good today- you should have been here yesterday…it was great then!’

It’s like when we were in Scotland and I mentioned that as much as I loved the country, I felt that the dark in the middle of the afternoon did my head in. People would say things like, ‘Aye…you should be here in the summer.’ Yeah, but I wasn’t.

Wellington can be like that. You should have been here yesterday is a legitimate comment. Weather is a genuine topic of discussion.

You get your first indication of that when the wind buffets your plane around on landing; and again as you leave the airport and check out all the wind inspired sculptures- including the Wellington sign on the hill (like in Hollywood) with the last three letters blowing away in the wind. Sorry, I don’t have a photo.

Even when we walked into a bookshop looking for Annabel Langbein’s Summer magazine (which I couldn’t get), Crowded House’s You Always Take the Weather With You was playing. It’s a weather sort of town. And that’s ok- the weather makes it interesting. In fact, if Wellington was a novel, the weather would be treated like a character. Speaking of which, I’ll set a story in Wellington some time…I have an idea…possibly two…

I’ve seen Wellington in all of her weather personas. I’ve seen the rain, I’ve definitely felt the wind, and I’ve had more than my fair share of blue blue days- when the air feels so much cleaner and purer than a Sydney summer day ever can. Let’s just say, this weekend? Well,  I was lucky enough to arrive yesterday. Oh, and the photo below? #nofilter Can’t you just imagine waking up to that view every day?

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I’ve told you lots about Wellington before: here, here, here, and…you know what? Just enter Wellington into the search thingie and you’ll find all the posts. As I was saying, I’ve told you lots about Wellington, but I’ve never taken you for a walk along the beach at Petone; or a stroll on the rocky shores of the beach at Eastbourne where the mussel shells are the size of my hand, and where on a clear day you can see the Kaikouras on the South Island.

Petone (Pe-toh-nee)

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We stopped for brekky at Carousel Seashore. Eggs benny with a view of the sea- what could be wrong with that?

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Afterwards we followed the path that runs quite a way along the beach- making it perfect for dog walkers, runners, cyclists and people like us who needed to work off a fraction of their eggs benny.

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Eastbourne

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If you follow the coast road around almost as far as it goes, you’ll come to Eastbourne. It’s sort of on the other side of the harbour from Wellington city- if that makes sense. From here you can watch the Interislander ferry as it comes into the harbour, and you can see down to the South Island. If you look it up on google maps though, there’s not much land between here and Antarctica…Kaikoura, perhaps, or Akaroa, maybe… In the pic above, if you look really hard you can see the faint outline of the Kaikouras in the top left corner.

The beach is mostly pebbled- particularly at the southern end- and littered with the largest mussel shells I’ve seen. Can you imagine a meal out of this fellow?

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or this one?

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It’s the colours that I found most fascinating- purples, greens, greys and blues.

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The sea grass, driftwood, and the most incredible naturally purple clam and mussel shells I’ve seen.

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The whole visual is almost an inspiration board for a Resene paint chart.

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Further to the north, where the sand replaced the pebbles, long ribbons of sparkle snaked up the sand. From a distance it looked like little pieces of glass all in wavy lines. I’ve increased the exposure in the pic below so you can sort of see. Maybe a little? The white speckly stuff?

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Up close it was jelly. Up really close it was little bubbles of jelly with specks in the centre- jellyfish eggs…or something very like them. Weird, hey?

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We walked, and then we sat. Here you can only hear the sea, the gulls, the wind… the serenity.

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