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Published: January 17th 2010
...............my (not so) wee brother saved up his pennies and in November came to see where I've been hanging out this past year and to sample some of New Zealand's sites, bungy jump....and yup of course the Kiwi beers (yes kiwis do make beer).............he was a "sweet" travel companion and was very kind to minimise his highly honed farting talent whilst we lived together for a week in our campervan "Willie" - thanks Gary!!!
Monday 2nd November 2009
We had been having a very good spell of sunny weather in Auckland in the run up to Gary arriving but predictably (and maybe there is truth in the idea of somone bringing the weather with them!) it started raining when he arrived, but I'm glad he would have been made to feel at home - flying 36 hours to the southern hemisphere to find New Zealand's version of Scottish drizzle.
We started as we meant to go on and came back to my house (Oh I've moved to the beach area of Mission Bay btw and LOVE it) and got stuck straight into a beer - what if
it was 6am?! He was in desperate need you see as apparently Royal Brunei Airlines is a dry airline - a fact he obviously wasn't aware of when he booked. So being the good sister I am, I joined him in having a MACS Gold beer - the first of many.
After our healthy breakfast of beer and chocolate (Whitaker's Peanut Slab and Jaffas) we headed off out so he could see the city.
First stop was Parnell. Nice little village feeling bit of town with good coffee and its where I work. Was so nice to have somoeone here where I live to show around!! Sampled some local coffee and banana bread and took a stroll down the PMs street.
We went to the Auckland Museum and looked at all the Maori artefacts, Wakas (War Canoes) and Maraes (traditional maori meeting houses) etc, followed by coffee to keep looming jet lag at bay (any excuse - I am a total coffee addict these days - its SO GOOD here!!!).
In the evening we wandered down the road and had Feesh and Cheeps (snapper) from the Fish Pot cafe in Mission Bay that night on
the beach (with a MACS beer...yes you get the idea), looking out over Rangitoto (the volcano just off the coast which I see every day and have come to love!!).
Early nights all around 😊
Tuesday 3rd Nov 09
AUCKLAND TO KAWHAI
Being the cruel big sister I am I made Gary get up early, drove over to Devonport on the North Shore and INSISTED he get a hair cut!!!! Tee hee. Sorry Gary.
The drizzle had been pretty persistant since about the exact moment his plane touched tarmac but as we sat outside Mecca Cafe on Devonport main Street the sun came out!!! Wooo.
We climbed up North head - another of Auckland's volcanoes (Did you know there are 46 in total in this city) and got some amazing city and sea views.....a reason I love Auckland - the two go hand in hand 😊
Rushed back to the city to meet my friend Lisa at a MACS bar (The Northern Steamship Co) for lunch and to rub in the fact we were about to leave town in a campervan for 8 days ....
I think she was suitably jealous.
After our lunch and his discovery of the Hoprocker variety of beer which would become a vital part of the diet in the next week or so, we went off to Explore More to pick up our campervan - "Willie". Now I have to be clear he came with that name - otherwise I have no doubt he would have come to have been known as MAC.
After packing up Willie we set off on Highway 1 out of the city and heading South. HOW EXCITING!!! Driving the van was fun except when I kept coming to a complete stop in 5th gear forgetting every time that Willie was a manual type of bloke and not an automatic as I have becomen accustomed to!!!
The sun came out in all its glory the further South we got (and pretty much stayed with us for the next week) and we drove on and on belting out Fat Freddy's Drop (a NZ Dub band) and generally quite happy to be on the road.
1st stop was Raglan - a town big for surfing but we somehow managed
to not see 1 surfer!!! Nice coastal views though.
Drove on South to Kawhai - a little remote spot a couple of hours along a gravel road from Raglan and had our first night in the van. We made dinner and played cards looking out over the bay.............this is the life!!!
.................although I am glad I remembered my ear plugs 😊
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