Lyall Bay life

From the blue house to the beach house to the… bloody big hill house!?

We moved to our penultimate address of the trip on Monday (needed extra room for the impending younger brother’s arrival!!) and it is preeeeeetty steep!

The views are worth it though. This is the view from the kitchen window. Makes the washing up a much more mesmerising prospect, lemme tell you.


I’m sure it would do our heads (and our knees) in if we were here for 3 months, but it’s fine for 2 weeks! The roads up here are so higgledy-piggledy. Cars just about manage to weave their way up and down and I like watching the bus come around the hill opposite, disappear into the trees for a bit, then appear again in front of me.

It’s quite good fun on two legs too. There are these funny little pedestrian tracks and steps and zigzags that criss-cross their way down through the trees between peoples’ houses, suddenly depositing you at street level. Very Famous Five. It’s easy to lose the path for a sec and accidentally find yourself standing in someone’s front garden… this has genuinely happened to me twice now, but our landlady has reassured me it’s pretty normal and the man I surprised mowing his lawn was very friendly about it…

That said, I am very glad we moved here quite late into my half marathon training! Can you imagine having to run up this!?! I’m definitely thankful for the fitness though; the first time we walked back up (on Monday afternoon in the lush bank holiday sunshine, post-Feijoa sorbet lollies – yum) I very much enjoyed the fact that my lungs weren’t struggling. My calves and knees however… they’re complaining a little bit! Needless to say, we are getting a taxi back from the airport on Monday!!

We have to get a bus into town (or Newtown, where there are lots of shops and cafes and things), but that’s not to say there’s nothing to do in Lyall Bay itself. You’ll have heard me talk about Queen Sally’s before (still need to buy that tshirt), and there’s a gorgeous veggie place called The Botanist I want to try too. I think it might be a little bit too hipster for my brother… but everyone loves halloumi, right!?

I went for a little explore earlier and scrambled up through the bush to join the Southern Walkway, which starts this end of the city and goes all the way along the Town Belt to Mount Victoria and the harbourside. There’s lots of different access points along the way so you can do it in bits, or tackle the whole thing. I’m planning on walking that way to the zoo with Robert next week! (If you’re interested in other walks around Wellington, a piece I wrote for Nomads Hostels went up today – read it here.)

Speaking of which – I can’t belieeeeeeve my brother will be in NZ tomorrow!! We land in Auckland tomorrow afternoon and he lands just before midnight. I don’t really know what we’re going to get up to on Saturday afternoon; I’ve got to check in at race HQ in the morning and collect my number, then the only other thing to make sure I do is get an early night!! I genuinely have to keep reminding myself that the Saturday is my birthday – according to the calendar if not my internal time zone!

We’ve got a couple of days with him and then Rob’s parents arrive on Wednesday until the weekend. It’s going to be a busy week!!

I’ll pack for Auckland later, but this afternoon I am unashamedly chilling out. And drinking lots of water – you’ve all heard of carb-loading, but it’s also important to increase your water intake a few days before a big race. I’ve got a big water bottle with me and I’m making myself sip continuously!

I also may or may not be listening to Nigella’s Christmas podcast… Hey – at home I am all guns blazing for Christmas pretty much as soon as my birthday is over! I found myself staring longingly at the packets of “English Fruit Mincemeat” in the supermarket earlier… sob!! Like I said, unashamed.

The only cloud on the horizon is that it looks like it’s going to rain for the race… UGH. Fingers and toes crossed. Please please please stay dry!! Surely getting up at 4am and running 13.1 miles is endurance enough…! (It’ll be Saturday afternoon in the UK, so keep an eye on my instagram – @sallymw23 – to see how I’m getting on).

I might not update for a little bit while all our visitors are here… though I will of course let you all know how it goes on Sunday (and whether it stays dry). Next time you here from me I’ll be in my thirties! See you on the other side!!


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