CAMPERVAN NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand | Wellington

July 15, 2011

For the most part, big cities = crappy holiday parks. I suppose I didn’t expect otherwise. Our first night in Wellington at the beginning of our trip, we became so lost trying to find the holiday park in BFE, that we gave up and slept in the parking lot of the ferry building. This time, we didn’t feel like being that ghetto, and after not finding a spot at the closest park, we drove further out to another park until finally we found a tiny sliver of grass to park our campervan.

The next morning, we drove into downtown Wellington (got lost again) to check out the Te Papa museum. While walking from the parking lot to the museum we heard this terrible screeching sound and a loud bang. We looked over and a car was spinning backward, a man was on the ground, and about 10 people were rushing to the scene. From piecing together what we thought we saw, it looked like a cyclist bolted out in front of a taxi, the taxi didn’t see/saw too late/wasn’t paying attention, swerved to avoid hitting the cyclist and ended up smashing into a trashcan and clipping or hitting the cyclist. The guy was lying on the ground motionless, surrounded by lots of blood. I stood absolutely paralyzed watching all of this, and I felt so sick to my stomach.

What impressed me most were all the good samaritans that instantly ran towards the man. A random guy walking down the street saw the accident and immediately ran to the cyclist, ripped off his shirt, and put it under the guy’s head. Another guy working at a hotel across the street ran through the traffic almost immediately, and started taking control of the situation. Having seen so many of those “What Would YOU Do” type shows on tv, their immediate reaction surprised me, especially in a city environment. Living in a big city for the past eight years, I’ve seen a lot of messed up stuff happen on the streets, and for the most part, people just look the other way, not wanting to get involved.

We contemplated offering what help we could, but then assessed that the people there were probably doing more than we could have done, and we didn’t want to get in their way. We stayed until we heard the ambulance come (which was quite a long time after), and then, shaken, we went inside the museum. I hope that guy was ok.

Anyway. The Te Papa Museum – a beautiful museum that pretty much sums up NZ’s culture, natural history, history, ecosystem, etc. It was like 10 museums rolled into one…and it was free (well, donation-based, which we felt very happy to hand over a donation given the awesomeness of the museum). Also, if you want to see THE giant squid — it’s here, and it’s massive. Note: They also have free and working internet.

We had breakfast and lots of coffee in their cafe (food was actually really good), and then spent the majority of the day exploring. It’s one of those museums you could really spend the entire day. I suppose if we had kids, they would have loved it too.IMG_4111P1010953IMG_4117P1010945IMG_4114P1010954

After – you guessed it, back in the campervan, back on the road. We had an early start the next morning.

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