Sunday, 20 January 2013

Week 36 - 'No gain without pain' & Wellington Anniversary Weekend!

Hi Everybody! It's been another eventful week here in Wellington New Zealand, and it's going to be hard to fit everything into this post - which is partly why I'm posting a day later than usual! It's been quite a painful week here for me, but mainly with good reasons - but primarily because I started using a 'Personal Trainer' at the gym, (something a year ago, I thought I'd never do!). To be perfectly honest I have always thought anyone that spends lots of time at the gym, must be compensating for a lack of useful things to do with their life (totally unfounded thoughts). However, it just goes to show what a change of circumstances can do for you = it's given me a fresh perspective! I now find myself with the time to go regularly to the gym for the first time in my life, and I feel great for it - if not a little more vain, than I already was! I'm not going to go on about the agony of my after workout sessions, or the very 'macho' / inappropriate comments my trainer makes ( guys here seem to think they have to be manly), but I'll focus on the fun and interesting stuff Wellington has to provide! 

THURSDAY - As part of the 'Adventure Wellington' group I joined in December, a group of about 20 people (only a couple of them I had met before) paid just $15 (£8) for 2 hours indoor climbing at Ferg's by the waterfront. A bargain price indeed! About 30% of us hadn't been before so we had to have an instructor show us the basics, and as I volunteered to be the first climber, my partner was learning how to control (belay) the rope and lower me down. As the photo shows I needed to be lowered down just a touch further to make me more comfortable!!!!
Ohhh lower me down more!
 Not being one to pose for photos (erm.....) I was quick to attempt climbing the walls, and yes I was more than 5 ft off the ground in this picture!
Starting at the bottom...
 The place itself is just in a warehouse on the dockside, and well utilized. Here's the rest of the pictures from the night...
Climbing centre @ Ferg's 

Near the top...
Almost there....
I'll be honest, I did not climb everything we tried, my arms were killing me after about an hour, whilst my two partners were climbing the walls like spiders! Still, I enjoyed the night even if I was so sore the following morning, I could barely squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube the next morning! 

Having planned to be in the South Island making the most of the long (3 day) weekend, with my neighbour (Kala), we had to cancel those plans due to Kala being really quite sick. I mean she was really poorly, with us having to go to the emergency doctors in the week. I was able to learn a little more how the emergency health system works. You can go to an 'After hours Dr' (which you are supposed to do first) where you can be seen for non-emergencies, though you have to pay for this service! (You have to pay every time you see your GP here too). Alternatively, you could go straight to the ED - (Emergency Department), and be see there, but you have to wait, though it's free! Most importantly, after a few hours of treatment Kala felt well enough to return home, and is now recovering! 
So instead of picturesque landscapes, I decided to explore my own city on this Anniversary weekend. (Holiday for Wellington only).... The first event of the weekend I walked across was the 'OUT IN THE SQUARE' gay festival being held in the civic square... A colourful array of stalls, outfits, and speakers took to the square /stage to promote gay rights issues, which are sadly behind my own country's stance on equality. Enjoy the photos from the event....

Wellington Gay Festival
Wellington Gay Festival
Alternative oufits...

Wellington 'out in the square' festival
POSITIVELY PASIFIKA - In Waitangi park, just by the Te Papa museum, the annual PASIFIKA festival was in full swing, celebrating the lives, and cultures of Pasific Island Cultures, of which there are many in Wellington. With live music, clothing, weaved products, scrumptious food and a friendly atmosphere, it was another colourful and free event for all! Here's a few pictures to give yo an impression of the event!

SUNDAY - Easy to write about because we simply shopped for furniture for the new apartment, and did that typically Kiwi thing at the end of the afternoon - had a BBQ. The actual BBQ's here are way more sophisticated than ones I am used to back in the UK (probably because they get used more than once a year), and so the busy, productive and expensive days shopping had a great end, with beers, steak, chicken skewers, corn, peppers and spicy sausages! A huge thank you to the host - Andrea!

So today, after a big sleep in, partly due to watching the English football again, and partly due to my nana, who seems to have got confused about the time difference again, and calls between 02:00-05:00 in the morning, I finally managed to get up and head into town! Before more necessary furniture shopping, I headed to the waterfront for the annual 'Birdman' event, which basically consisted of individuals or groups of people dressed up in 'bird' related costumes, diving off the waterfront into the ocean, cheered on by a big crowd! I saw a few people getting ready for the event.

It was pretty busy so I managed to jump up on to part of the bridge to try and get a decent view... this is what I saw...
'Birdman' competition
'Birdman' competition
'Birdman' competition
'Birdman' competition
'Birdman' competition
Not only were people trying to dive off the platform, the interval entertainment included people on BMX bikes cycling off a ramp!
And just to finish it off, they Say you normally only see the 'Kiwi' bird at night, and it is a flightless bird... here's proof!

Needless to say, it's been a busy old week, and the next few weeks, tight until my holiday at easter are going to be equally eventful! Now I have to dash off to the gym for another painful Personal Trainer session - and I'm paying $50 (£25)  for the privilege! Ow!!!
Regards from Wellington,

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