I just spent a week in New Zealand's capital- Wellington. I love the fact that you can go on a short 30 minute flight and you arrive in the countrie's capital. In Germany I'd have to endure a 400 km drive by car- or twice as long depending on where you live.
The main reason for my trip was to talk to, listen to, and socialize with fellow scientist from all over the world that also have a soft spot for harmful algae. It was going to be a full week with talks and functions from 8 am to 6 pm. I wasn't going to bother taking my bike but thankfully Susie convinced me otherwise. So while other colleagues were warming up with coffee, we went for a 6 am ride on the Te Aro Valley tracks. The tracks were amazing with stunning views over Wellington, sunny blue skies and no wind. We all agreed we could live in Wellington under these circumstances.
Warm-up ride before the conference with Paul and Susie
Wednesday afternoon was our only time off from the conference and I was looking forward to ride around the Karapoti for the first time. On this day, the Wellington weather showed it's true self: it was blowing a gale and raining hard. So we changed plans and went for a ride around the Belmont Regional Park. I'd love to come back and ride those trails in dry conditions. The rain had truned the clay into slippery slides which was quite fun in it's own right but not so much for Susie on her slick tyres. The highlight of our ride was a family of paradise ducks with eight chicks. We saved the cute chicks after we incidentally seperated them from their parents.
Welcome visitor to the big city
Over the weekend Josh came up to Wellington and we spent some days exploring the vibrant city, stock up on some nice clothes and discovering the best cafe on the planet. Midnight espresso serve an amazing variety of vegan food and mouth watering cabinet food.
Delicious tofu curry at Midnight Espresso Cafe
We also visted Zealandia. A few years ago a pest-proof fence was built around the Sanctuary which allowed re-introduction of many native birds and the tuatara (New Zealand reptile). It was fanatstic to watch tui, robins and kaka going about their business. It's definitely worth a visit and they offer free shuttles from the information centre.