...... previous day next day ......
Thames Auckland

4th March 2012

Farewell to my Home and Hello Auckland

The Last Morning with the Wagon
    I awoke to blue skies and an almost autumnal nip in the air. I had just spent my last night in my wagon, and believe it or not I shall miss it.
    After the usual morning rituals, I started in earnest in distributing my worldly goods between a suitcase and a backpack. Things that were no longer of any use to me had to be ruthlessly dumped. Towels, torch, food and drink, loo rolls etc. were distributed between the lady I spoke to yesterday and a Kiwi couple nearby.
    I had a long chat with the guy of the couple, who lived just south of Auckland. Robert was very friendly, a truck driver by profession, who took an interest in my travels and my mode of living over the last 3 months. "I bought a campervan off a German lad who was returning home. It needed a total refurbish inside, and I had intended to use it purely as a van, not as a campervan. However, the name campervan was associated with the registration plate, and the authorities treated it as a campervan, and charged me a high rate for keeping it on the road. In fact it costs me more to keep on the road than my car," he said, pointing to his big auto.
    We put the world to rights on immigration laws into his country; it was easier for Pacific Islanders to gain entry into New Zealand than Europeans nowadays, which he didn't agree with. "The islanders come into our country and don't want to contribute," he complained. I managed to steer the conversation from that hot potato to the work practices and the better quality of life enjoyed in this country.
A Cafe Overlooking Myers Park
City Reflections
    Despite some of his views, we had a pleasant, frank chat, but his wife insisted on occasionally chipping in with inane comments in a high pitched, whining, country accent. It was her mission in life to tell me all about the DOC campsites in the East Cape region, and how I must visit them. I made it abundantly clear that my travel around the country would end today, and the East Cape was regarded as a no-go area anyway. I might as well have saved my breath. She soon dried up leaving me and Robert to carry on our conversation.
    The journey across the Hauraki Plains and up to Auckland was uneventful, the bright sunshine easing the sadness of my journey's end. Surprisingly I still remembered my way around the streets of Auckland, and had no trouble in getting to my hotel and dumping my baggage. Returning my wagon was a painless process. It may seem silly, but I was sad to leave my "home" for 3 months. The car had served me well and had been no trouble at all. I had travelled 9,850 km over 90 days.
Waterfront Silos
    I walked back along Karangahape Road and all the way down Queen Street to the waterfront, retracing my steps of 3 months ago. The whole waterfront area was a hive of activity, with preparations being made for the Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover. Sadly I won't be around to see the sleek racing vessels enter port.
    I touched base with Angus, my brother-in-law's cousin, who had been out here for over 25 years, and we arranged to speak to each other the following morning for a meet up. I looked forward to meeting some Brits who had lived out here for such a long time.

...... previous day next day ......
Thames Auckland

Uploaded from Quadrant Hotel, Auckland on 5th March at 19:20

Last updated 5.3.2012