Sunday, 13 December 2015

Have Gold Card, will travel - for free!

Although my Gold Card arrived a week ago (the Monday after my birthday) today is the first day I have used it. I had an osteopath appointment in the city this morning at 9am and would have had to leave home by car about 7.30am to be sure of getting in and parked on time. As the train that would get me there in plenty of time also left at 7.30, I decided to be a passenger rather than a driver - a much cheaper option when most of the travel is free (i.e. after 9am). So I left home 15 minutes earlier to walk to the station and joined the commuters. A number of them were looking a bit jaded in the run up to the Xmas/New Year break, and I felt inordinately pleased that I was in jeans and a T-short while they were dressed for business ...

Given the travel was going to be free from 9am, I decided that after my osteopath appointment, I would also go out to Lower Hutt by train. I wanted to buy a container to feed the TV/dvd player/Apple box cords through so they don't look so untidy on the floor behind the equipment. I would rather have them reposing in a box where they may well multiply (see previous posts for my theory on the reproductive tendencies of power cords) than have them out doing so in full view!

So off on the train I went to Melling, then a 10 minute walk to the shop, a bit of faffing around as I found the box that would do the trick, a 10 minute walk back followed by half hour wait in the sunshine for the next train back to Wellington. 
A bit hard to see Wellington city in the background, but believe me it's there - this is the view down the Hutt River as I walked from Melling Station to the shopping centre. Not a cloud in the sky!

As all services were running on time today, my transfer to the Waikanae train was easy with over 10 minutes to spare. I am pleased that my usual habits of jinxing every Waikanae-bound train I have travelled on since we got here 12 months ago has let up for a bit.

The scenery on both trips was wonderful and it was a brilliantly sunny day, so Wellington Harbour looked stunning, as did Kapiti Island on my way back. As Dave Dobbyn sang several years ago you can't beat Wellington on a good day.

A view from the train as I headed back to Wellington - showing the entrance to Wellington Harbour and the airport - the flat bit of land on the RHS of the photo).

Part of Wellington city as we came along the harbour's edge.

Not the best photo but this is Kapiti Island from the Waikanae train as it goes along the side of the hills above State Highway 1 - just so you know, that is our main highway, NZ's equivalent of the M1 ... Not a lot of SH1 is dual carriageway, and a helluva lot less of it is motorway. But then, we have the population of Birmingham living in an area pretty much the same size as mainland Britain, so we don't need the roading capacity.
I was home by just after 1pm, with my mission started - to make sure I use my Gold Card as much as possible. It's lifelong and I hope my membership of the club is for a very extended period!


Tom and Jan said...

In which year was the Wellington good day? Don't fib... we've lived there!

Marilyn McDonald said...

Now, Tom, is your memory fading? You know that Wellington has lots of good days, but almost all of them have a measure of breeze, sometimes very strong and sometimes a mere gentle zephyr! But it is stunning on a sunny day - that harbour and the city from any vantage point are beautiful, particularly so in the sun, and spectacularly so in a storm.
Of course I am happy not to be going in there every day - more than happy to potter about in Waikanae instead where the weather is warmer, calmer and the gardens grow wonderfully!
Cheers, M
PS Hope you are coping with the winter ...