Friday, January 13, 2012

Auckland and home!

We drove south back to Auckland along Highway 1. A toilet stop in Whangerei turned into a delightful exploration of a lovely park, including a chicken(!) and a pukeko wandering about. For my Australian friends, the pukeko is like a larger and less timid version of our moorhen - here, try this video. (Sorry, no sound; the only sound recorded by my camcorder was the mower in the background.)

Lunch was a picnic beside the road in Wellsford. Eventually we made it to the Airport Harbour View Motel, across the bay from the airport. Our room was spacious and clean with a galley kitchen and a large ensuite. Our hosts (“under new management”) were very friendly and helpful. Highly recommended, if you have your own transport (it’s a couple of kilometres from the Onehunga Mall).

We went out for dinner to the Curry Leaf Indian Restaurant in the mall, after discovering in response to our inquiries that they only cook in vegetable oil. The meal was delicious and good value for money. Also highly recommended!

In the morning we packed our bags for the last time and put aside all the things we didn’t want to take back with us - cooking items mostly, and a little left-over food. Our friends Jacques and Sarah came to meet us at the hotel and collected these things, and then we went with them to a cafĂ© for morning tea.

Finally we went to the airport and returned our car. We had driven it 5525km in thirty days.

We left Auckland at a little after 3:00pm and arrived almost four hours later at 3:50pm, getting back the three hours we lost on the way to Christchurch a month ago. My parents picked us up from the airport, and we met Laetitia’s parents at the Loving Hut at Mt Gravatt for dinner together before going home.

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