May 072007

Very reluctantly I sat on Hahei beach this morning in perfect sunshine, dying for a swim, keen to go back to Hot Water Beach…and decided to head towards Auckland. 

 (Picture : seafront road in Whitianga) I never called up any accommodation until two thirds of the way back incase anywhere took my fancy, but luckily as I passed through Whitianga (erm, check my spelling on that!), Coromandel town and Thames I realised I made the right choice staying at Hahei.  In saying that, during this journey I really did believe the guidebooks.  You just wouldn’t do the Coromandel justice if you only drove up either the east or west coast, they really are very different.  The east has some amazing beaches, and the west is more rugged.  I expected a cliff lined coast though, but instead, every house on the west seems to be within a few k’s of a beach, a boat ramp and almost all have stunning outlooks across the bay.

As I stopped at the viewpoint above Coromandel town my decision to hit Auckland was made.  The car had started to steam from the bonnet like it did early on in its tour in Christchurch.

Not a problem as it was only burning oil, but I did decide to treat it and actually put some oil in it after covering around 8000km or more.  Like everyone said they did, two minutes after popping the bonnet over a friendly Kiwi stopped to check that everything was ok.  (Picture : View over Coromandel town)

So here I am sitting in a hostel in the Mount Eden area of Auckland (Bamber Lodge Claudia – ta for the recommendation but it’s miles from town!).  I posted another 12kg home (I think my total posted weight home from this trip sits at almost 70kg including the partially smashed 27kg of Vietnamese ceramics).  And I even put the car through a carwash.  If it wasn’t for the exhaust needing fixed because of me reversing into a gravel dip in the road, the front of it needing fixed, a new strut required to stop the oil leak, a new windscreen due to the crack that was there when I bought it, and the excessive tapping noise from the engine when you rev, I’d love to take my Subaru home with me. (By the way fixing all that may only cost less than $500-600NZD over here using second hand parts).

I did a bit more sorting stuff out after arriving in the hostel.  I then popped out to get a pizza and a 6 pack for about 7UKP as I felt lazy and am posting this on the hostel’s $10 24 hour charge for wireless net access.  No Rough Guide or map in the car – piece of piss.  I’m so switched on when it comes to getting my bearings in a new place.  I realised I may not be as switched on as I thought in the dark as I continuously drove around the block looking for my street, with no street name for the hostel written down. Needless to say I should’ve followed my instinct as I ended up driving a couple of k’s to a main road only to find myself coming along the one I hummed and hawwed about turning up several times.

I may stay in Auckland until the weekend, depending how I decide to punt the car – I could either go the ‘plaster the hostels with flyers’ route, lower my trademe price to stupidlow, or just take it to an auctioneers for an easy life and little cash.  I’m tempted with the third option.  There’s a few folk I met over the last few days that are in town for flights home this week so I may have the odd beerio.  I may stay here untl the weekend.  Not that I want to be in the city, but I’ll see.  Then I may get a hire car…..or ideally motorbike (far more costly – probably more than a hmmm campervan) to take up to diveat Tutukaka which will hopefully have more pristine beaches, nicer weather to top up my tan (it’s two hours further north), and great diving to take my mind off the fact that I’m not in Vanuatu right now.

 Posted by at 12:20 pm

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