Where two next?

Antipodean travelogue through the eyes of two - one textile and one building lover. It'll be hard to differentiate the two!

Monday, January 08, 2007


As the photo below shows we decided to head off for the weekend to Paraparaumu. The idea was to hit the beach and perhaps go for a swim or in my case a paddle. The name is Maori, but you probably worked out that one by yourself! It translates to “scraps from an oven” and describes what a tribe of Maoris’ discovered after they had attacked the settlement. As if it wasn’t long enough it is pronounced “pah-ra-pah-ra-oo-moo!”

We got on the train which would bring us North West of Wellington to our destination. Approximately one hour later we had arrived at our accommodation, a YHA Hostel called Barnacles. Yes that’s right no more fancy hotels for us and at €22 per night for a double room who could blame us! It even struck me after we had finished the guided tour that you would never get the same kind of service in a hotel, five star or not. Here are a few pics of the views from the train journey and of Barnacles Hostel.

After we had checked in we did a quick tour of the town. We ate at a restaurant called 180 Degrees, it’s a pity they didn’t go the full 360 as the food could have done with it! After that we headed onto the beach, which was very nice, but not a patch on our local Curracloe Beach back home. We really take for granted the beaches we have back in Ireland but that rant is for another day.

We ate that evening in a really nice BYO Thai Restaurant. BYO means Bring Your Own and is quite common in NZ. In Soprano’s, picture of sign below, there wasn’t even a charge for corkage!

It has to be said though that at one stage things weren’t going that well. We had just walked up and down the same street looking for a bar and restaurant called Insomnia. Eventually we asked a guy in the local petrol station who confirmed that we had passed it several times. He didn’t seem to think that the fact that they had changed the name to Ambrosia would account for any of the confusion. He said “that’s how we pronounce it (meaning Insomnia) round here.” Smart f%*ker! Anyway despite the fact that Insomnia, I mean Ambrosia was closed when we eventually got there! The food in the two alternatives was really good.

I began to wonder if NZ has the same peculiar habit as Ireland of calling things by their previous names/ owners even though they could have changed years ago. A good example of what I am talking about is in Wicklow Town, where you can go for a walk on the beach as far as the “second cottage.” When my sister queried where the first cottage was she was informed that it had been knocked down years ago!

Unfortunately the weather hasn’t been great, see the sign we came back to below. So we decided to give the beach a miss and head to Lindale Village on our second day but I will leave that for our next post.

Hopefully the weather will have improved by then.


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