Stationary – Coromandel to Auckland to Manuka

29th September

After a slightly damper day yesterday the sun began to shine in full earnest. The day we were leaving to go back to Auckland.

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We said goodbye to the hostel and all the friends and hopped back in the car for the journey back. It should only take two and half hours, so we could have time to run a few errands (it’s not all relaxing this holiday thing!).

But. The all important but. Auckland traffic is not friendly. It is brutal. We made good time and then got stuck just outside of Auckland for no apparent reason. It was Tuesday. It was mid afternoon. It was dire.

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We finally made it out the other end and found our way to the hostel to park and check in, just like a local. Not possible to park. Everywhere else we had been, including the capital Wellington, had free parking. It was something we really picked up on as we Brits considered it a luxury. But in Auckland parking was priced at $7.50 for half an hour, every half an hour. Oh.

So we didn’t park but fashioned a great tactic that one would check in and the other would aimlessly drive around and effectively waste petrol. Oh well.

We ran the errands, including trying to break into a fancy apartment to pick up a parcel from our friends, those places are VERY secure. I got a lovely surprise from home – my own knitted kiwi Kooky!

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Tori and I then made the journey to visit our old teacher, Miss Robinson’s, sister. The absolutely fantastic thing about travelling is being able to meet new people and meeting up with family friends and relations Always, it is a pleasure sharing stories.

Philippa lives in Totara Heights just outside Auckland in a house that she had designed in a Scandinavian style, and which has been built by one man. It is a stunning piece of work. No nuts, bolts or screws have been used, the planks of wood fix together like a jigsaw.

Philippa’s house is filled with knick knacks from her travels. She picks something up from everywhere she goes. Venetian masks, Swiss cow bells, Thai cabinet, so many wonderful things that made us want to see more of the world!

We had a lovely afternoon tea in the sun with her daughter-in-law Kelly and her granddaughter Sophie. Philippa told us of her adventures in Thailand riding an elephant and of her travels around the UK, and still not being able to drive her Dad’s car despite him being 94!

It was such a lovely afternoon and we loved seeing the pictures from the past, especially those of Miss Robinson!! We loved our pressies of Portuguese bowls and they are safely on their way back to England.

Then it was back into the Auckland traffic, doing a route that should have taken us 20mins and taking a good hour grrrr!

Drop the car off and wave a sad farewell, then dinner.

Flo x

 

 

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