Busy day it was, I spent another night with Liz and Fraser showed them slides till our eyes were shutting. Did I say I have taking a lot of pictures yet? OK I have now. The digital tech is awesome.
I finally have a stove! Fraser scoped it out for me and came up with a simple one burner and fuel for under $40NZ.
Drove up to One Tree Hill (no tree cause due to an intertribal dispute someone cut it down and until it is resolved all efforts to replant will be thwarted)(!)Overcast but the view is still impressive 360'. Some amazing trees in this park, huge buttresses and long leaning limbs suspended over the lawn which by the way has sheep pastured on it. The craters with the stone messages are fun, especially when they make some sense. Then a visit to the museum, like most, a couple hours is just scratching the surface. I am sure I could spend a week looking at all the different exhibits. Then there is the bookstore...Mostly spent the time looking at Maori stuff, very impressive, lots of similarities to our westcoast art forms.
This city has so much waterfront it is... well it is and a lot of it is sandy beach. Stop for lunch at Fish Pot Cafe on Tamaki Drive on St. Heliers Bay and sit watching people stroll by, swimming,(some walking, waay out) gulls who are watching us for handouts and occasional young immigrants interviewing us to practice their inglis. Don't get me started on the accent, I have listened to conversations where I did not understand a single word. Yikes! Mostly folks speak fairly clearly and if I think about it briefly , I get it.
Realizing the time has passed we race back to Albany get the address and I pack up my stuff. Not how I want to be leaving this wonderful hospitable couple. Anyway the driving, back almost where we were (we drove past it earlier!)on the "motorway"jeez I almost took out my front headlight on a rubber barrier when I realized I did NOT want to exit and cut someone off who was later "happy" to give me the universal sign of displeasure. The number of times I have gotten lost driving soars...
Brian gives me a deep massage, rolfing the crap out of my fascia around the rib cage yow! apparently I am not breathing deeply enough. We go out for Thai food and then meet with the Monday night I-group. After, Martin takes me to a bar where we see a Sottish band blast out angst and joy (I assume) in typical rock and roll decibility. After a couple of beer and some people watching (a young crowd to be sure) we head out to his place where I crash. Nice digs. He lives a block from the beach, has a run and a swim before he's off to work. I call Mom (it is her B'day) and then get utterly lost trying to find the motorway. Some well meaning folks give me the most convoluted directions possible and eventually I make it to a supermarket, buy groceries and more directions. To be honest, one fellow after overhearing the directions came up to me and directed me in a more direct way to my destination.
Then southbound on the "Motorway" hurtling along with the bell ringing (cause I'm going over 110)barely keeping up to the transports.
When I had enough, I pulled off to look at some carved bone and jade(some from BC!) got directions and headed west at Rangiriri, through Glen Murray, Naike, Ohaurito turning right after driving in circles for awhile looking for the beach. Not there yet! another 35km later I am parked eating last nights leftovers overlooking the Waitetuna River and lotsa beach. Quick visit to the library to catch up and post pictures then down the road to the beach, and out to the ocean beaches where the best surfing in NZ apparently is. Yes I know, don't end a sentence with an article.
The whole surfing scene is fairly intense, these folks are serious surfers, plenty of babes in bikinis and guys with that faraway look in there washed out eyes. Plus bleached hair, burnt faces and sunscreen aplenty.