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03.12.2019 Trains and rains. We left Eketahuna, the town with the giant kiwi, and cycled south, via pleasant flat roads, first gravelly and later sealed. We stopped in Masterton to spend the night and were quite amused when we saw that a Lonely Planet travel guidebook described it as 'a town without any sights, where people simply go to work every day'. So there was no need for an extended stay, and the next day we carried on towards Featherston. When we arrived, there was just enough time to visit the local Fell Locomotive Museum. In the 19th century Mr Fell invented special steam locomotives that could climb up and travel down steep and formerly insurmountable hills by holding on to a raised middle rail. Six Fell engines were once deployed to safely pull heavy passenger and freight trains up and down the Rimutaka Incline just outside Featherston. In 1955, a new railway tunnel put an end to the locos' services, the tracks were removed, and about 30 years later the former track bed was given a new purpose: It is now an attractive cycle and hiking trail. And of course the following day saw us pedal up the historic route. Having passed the summit, we went downhill and right into Greater Wellington, approaching the capital via densely wooded hills, a flat path along a river and then the seaside. This could have been very scenic and enjoyable, if it had not been for heavy and persistent afternoon rain. Luckily, our hosts Fiona and Barry, their snug home, hot showers and five baby kittens were waiting for us in Wellington.  New Zealand's capital is a coastal city surrounded by residential areas on green hills, and Barry often bikes down into the city centre for work and then takes the train on his way back home. We did so too on today's rest day and enjoyed the short train ride and of course our first visit to the capital in general. This morning we are having a look at the national museum Te Papa, while outside the rain is coming down in buckets again. And this afternoon we are going to leave the city and the North Island – not by train, but on a ferry! #scoutbound #neuseeland #nz #wellington #featherston #kitten #rimutaka #warmshowers #scouts #dpsg #worldbycycling

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