Last-minute stuff to do first: wash clothes, finish packing, etc. Had quite a bit of time to myself too, so read yet more LOTR and had lunch. Then went over to Schnapps for a coffee and chatted to Ashleigh for a while. Came back and said ‘bye’ to Cy, then walked to bus stop at 2.15pm. Bus arrived at 2.45pm and I was on my way.

Mostly uneventful bus journey – I slept or listened to my Zen or read. Passed through lots of V-shaped, non-glaciated valleys with interlocking spurs (I knew Geography would come in useful some time!). And sheep clinging to precipitous slopes. And roads winding around the valleys and mountains: no straight lines here – Romans didn’t get that far!

Got into Wellington at 8.30pm. I was very happy to see all the twinkly lights of the city. I got a taxi from the station to my hostel at The Cambridge Hotel. I phoned Steelo’s uncle, Roger, and he met me in the bar ten minutes later, singing ‘Land of my Fathers’ like he promised! We went for a walk to the waterfront and he pointed out various landmarks to me, then we went to his offices (he’s a publisher), where he gave me a book, “New Zealand for Free”, we had some wine, and he called his son, Ben, and a guy who works for him, Matthew, saying I would be in touch with them too.

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