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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Stunned by the Stunning Vistas of New Zealand by Train

I returned to my room after dinner and gently told the story of what had transpired to the Quad Queen, about how I'd been run off from the lobby restaurant, and had witnessed the emotional Maori haka by the young lad.

Wellington New Zealand
“Where the restaurant is, down below.... I met a man, he clears tables.”

I got angry just thinking about it.

“Ok… was he a nice man?”

I stomped my foot.

“No! He says sweet words but his breath is bad, and his eyes say leave! I will not serve you!"

I stomped my other foot, I was so, so pissed off again, reliving the rejection. I shouted at the top of my lungs and paced hard across the room, stomping my feet, left, then right.

“He has no table he says, he does, but he will not share. I am the Royal King, I go where I want. You are the last one, you are too late, he sings in false voice. You send me to the clouds. I find the cool waters. I find the sparse meat. You tell me to fuck off out of here and stay fucked off! I will find my future! I will find my abundance! I will find my buffet! I reject your chincy meat portions!”

All of a sudden, I burst into tears.

Mrs. Flusher rolled her eyes at me.

A Building In Wellington New Zealand.
We had a very, very early start the next morning. An old friend of the Quad Queen lives in Wellington and the only time we were able to visit was first thing in the morning.

We were up at quarter to six and out the door by 6:30. She and her hubby were waiting and there was a happy reunion. She had come to New Zealand for two years and stayed for thirty. And they had not seen each other since then.

They gave us a 9 minute tour of Wellington by car, and then we parked just outside the train station. There’s a McCafe there and it was the simple choice for breakfast and a passable flat white. Damn good, actually.

As you sample McDonald’s food around the world, you note the regional differences. For example, the sausage patties in the States (in general, not just McDick’s) are fairly spicy. The ones in Canada are fairly bland. The New Zealand ones are different yet again, milder, kind of hard to put my finger on exactly how they are seasoned. The egg yolks were a super bright dayglo yellow, which was worrisome - how did they get that way? The whole Sausage a’Muffin tasted… different. The cheese was weird too. I didn’t really like it all that much.

While we’re at it, the food over here has been notably less salty, in our experience. And that’s a good thing. Even prepackaged stuff (see ‘Lunch’ down below) is reasonably seasoned. In North America, they use enough salt to thaw the Flusherville Throughway in the Arctic of January.

I mentioned the train station, and that was for a reason. The reason is that there was a train in there. Our train. The train we would travel on to go from Wellington to Auckland.

C'mon this train.. carries Flushers and Sinners, c'mon this train... carries losers and winners.
We said our goodbyes, got the luggage stowed, and got aboard in time for our 8:00am departure. It would be a 12 hour trip and was one of the things that we were both looking forward to the most on this vacation.
Fellow passengers dazzled by the breathtaking scenery.
What can I say? New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Stunning vista after stunning vista stuns you with its stunning vista scenery. You can’t even count the stunning vistas!

There’s something soothing about the smoothed over hills, the deep greens. And, occasionally, you might be able to see a sheep.

In this case, occasionally means ‘every freaking second of the journey’.

Maybe New Zealand is made beautiful by sheep shit.

I love a good train ride and this one was the best. We took tons of pictures (digital tons, anyway). The train had a little car at the back that was open to the environment. It had no seats, and you can go back there and experience the landscape without anything between you and it. I went out there a few times and shot photo after photo, and some videos too.

What a difference between a 12 hour train ride and a 15 hour plane ride. The train was easy. You have more room, it’s quieter, you can walk around, there’s scenery the whole way, and you can even get off the train now and again to walk around a bit.

They have a cafe car on board where you can buy tea and coffee, snacks, meals, beers, and so on. I got something for lunch from there - a lamb shank dinner.

I picked out my very own shank from the refrigerator case. I came shirnkwrapped and they heat it up for you.

 After microwaving it looked absolutely grim.

Alien Lamb Shank
Although I wasn’t expecting much, the lamb shank was amazing. It was delicious, reminding me a bit of oxtail. I ate every bite and I was full. The meal was nearly as good as what I’d had the night before, but was only $14.

It’s hard to describe how much we enjoyed the day - hopefully the photos will do the talking. It was an experience that I can't recommend enough.

Petrol, Accomodation and Love

Beehives. (Human built, not bee built.)

The young man discussed in the previous post was performing a Maori haka. Savvy reader Julie notes: The video of dancing was the same as the one of people going through the Opal zone.


    1. Really you call that scenery , now that the flusher has extracted himself from the good ol USA he might want to visit the greatest country in the world for scenery SCOTLAND .

      $11 a gallon for gas
      Shitty service
      Crap hotels at rip off prices
      Excellent horse and cart transport system
      Whats not to like

      The whiskey aint bad

      1. Horse and cart?... Luxury.
        In Canada we'd be lucky to have a sniff of horse shit from a horse and cart, let alone ride in one.


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