The main purpose for
my trip to New Zealand was to attend the 12th Annual New Zealand Tango
Festival. So on Tuesday night I arrived in Wellington. After checking into the
hotel, I wandered down the infamous Cuba Street. I felt very much at home. Cuba
street was alive with restaurants, cafes and bars. I felt very much at home
there as I walked down Cuba street trying to find somewhere to have dinner.
Sure it was a little cold, but I've seen worse in Melbourne. With the warnings
about windy Wellington ringing in my ears, I kind of laughed to myself and as
it started to drizzle I muttered to the sky, "c'mon Wellington, is that
the best you can do"?
It seems as though
Wellington heard me. Thursday after the workshop had finished, I went and had a
coffee in a nearby café, about 15 minutes walk from the hotel. As I sat and
sipped my coffee, I noticed the wind picking up. By the time I started to make my
way back to the hotel, the wind was howling, and it had begun to pour with
rain. It totally destroyed my $10 umbrella I had purchased the day before, and
by the time I eventually got back to the hotel, I was totally drenched. Winds
got up to 200km/hr, and even the locals were surprised at just how bad the
weather lasted for a few days, but it didn't stop me, and the people who had
already made it into Wellington from doing what we'd come to do; dance tango.
Others weren't so lucky as Wellington airport was closed for some of the first
day of the tango festival.
After the festival
was over (for me at least, others were still doing post-festival immersion
courses), I decided to linger in Wellington for a couple of days, partly to see
a bit more of the city, but also because there was some more social tango to be
had in Wellington with some of the new friends I had made during the festival
(I know, what can I say, I'm an addict).
The first day
post-festival I decided to check out the "Te Papa" Museum. It was a
really great experience, and had some very interesting exhibitions detailing
New Zealand's volcanic history. It kind of makes you realize when faced with
all of the amazing natural beauty that New Zealand has, that it's origins are
due mainly to plate tectonics resulting in devastating earthquakes and volcanic
The second day
post-festival I decided to go to take the cable car up to the Carter
Observatory and planetarium. Again another really enjoyable day as I pondered
the stars and the plugged in my estimations into the simulated Drake Equation
to determine the probability of their being life on other planets in the
universe (by the way I got a score of 6 planets, now all we have to do is find
My final night in
Wellington was spent (you guessed it) dancing tango. It was a lovely night,
although when it ended at 11:00pm a small group of us decided to descend on a
café on Cuba Street called "Midnight Espresso", and beg them to let
us put some tango music on, and we danced til after 1am.
I really liked
Wellington (otherwise known as Wellywood). I had an awesome time dancing at the
festival and the post festival events, and met some new friends, and had some
very deep and beautiful connections on the dance floor.