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Published: September 1st 2017
Our flight left Tahiti at 9 AM and we arrived in Auckland NZ after 6 hours of flight, but because we were close to the International Date Line, it was the next day 1 PM which was 22 hours later. Do you follow?
The afternoon of arrival was occupied by going to the botanical Gardens which was walking distance. The Tui's were in full force with their unique voice pitches and eerie screeches. These birds feed on nectar and yell out what sounds like obscenities. Actually they were birding in delight!
Since the weather was suspect, we stayed only a couple of hours, and then meandered lost, back to our lodgings before dark. Yes lost!. As we were lost, we hit an Indian Depanneur, and managed to pickup some stuff and ask for walking directions. Made it home before dark which was a relief. I am scared silly of being stranded in the dark in a foreign country. I forgot to buy a sim card for my phone and the GPS does not work on batteries so we have to make do until we hit Australia.
Next day we decided to take a train into Auckland downtown and
promptly took a ferry to Devenport Island. Quaint shops and the like I say! Eclectic mix of a mishmash of retailers and restaurants. We decided to hit an internet type cafe, and had an early lunch of the best quiche I ever ate. It was very seedy and tasty with so many ingredients it is hard to describe. We then hit a seafood fastfood an ordered breaded everything. It was salty and lemony. But really fresh.
Day 3, back to the botanical gardens where my feet got blistered over long walks. The botanical gardens are 126 acres of various themes including rock gardens, Afrikan environment, Marigold orchards, and streams. Beautiful.
Heading out today in fear. Today is the day I start driving on the right side where everything is opposite. My worst fears were not imagined, but real, and came true.Firstly, my GPS could not find our route, so up I went, back to the rental car agency and had to ask for their GPS. Yes, they felt sorry for me and gave me a GPS for free. Yippeee except it did not help when I ran into construction and was now in a loop with no where
to go but loop de loop, because the GPS was telling me to go back where I came from. What a nag! Got it sorted out and continued on our way with my heart in my mouth. No kidding, it is stressful, not knowing where you are going, driving on the opposite side of the road, and doing everything contrary to what you are used to. Stay left. Stay left. stay left.
We finally made it to Piha, which turns out to be a surfing mecca, and a secluded resort area without the resorts. Verry natural. We stayed on the beach most of the day, and watched some amazing things like a fisherman using a drone to cast out his fishing line about a kilometer out to sea, waves bashing the coastal shore, as well as the surfers trying to catch the waves. The beaches were deserted due to winter time, so we were lucky to be alone we think with just the waves talking to us. Coastal wildlife is actually tame in that we were able to get up close to ducks, pukeko's, and seagulls. It started to rain so we headed back, towards the Cappuccino's which were
offered up at the local cafe. Lucky me, they brought two of them by mistake and charged me for one. Drank up and decided that the next adventure would be the KiteKite Falls. What an amazingly easy trail to follow and an end result that rivaled anything we saw before in regards to falls. The height and dramatic effect of these falls were not to be discounted! We meandered to the bottom and looked up at the enormity of the force of these falls, which where cascading downward towards a certain demise, bringing sustenance to the lower regions of Piha where we were staying.
Our day has ended with an Australian wine, some New Zealand lamb, and a happy wife.
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Looks like you guys are having a great time! Good luck driving down under, it's always tricky switching from left to right, and left again!
So Happy to see you a few weeks ago. Please come back to Montreal!