All photos -
Back in full tourist mode.
Having the car made other things easier.
I've seen big trees before in California but that still doesn't quite
prepare you for seeing the next big one.
Ended up in Opononi.
Some of the roads on the way up reminded me of western Kentucky, the tight twisty roads along the top of ridges - then you look at the trees and realise - No it's not the US.
Up and out early in search of breakfast.
Stopped at Kaikobe the first town and nothing was open - "Try Paihia"
Picked up a couple of hitchhikers who were heading to Paihia and knew the back roads.
Checked my e-mail then went to look at the treaty signing grounds at
Waitangie where the original treaty between the Maori and Great Britain
OK - I'm lying.
I'm staying close to Auckland coz there's one thing left to do with the bike shipping - pay for it. So I might have to go back to Auckland tomorrow (Monday) and I want to be drivable to there.
And I'm tired of being on the road.
Having left the bike I've started shedding bike gear that I won't use
I thought about dumping the tank bag - but instead filled it with all the crap that was floating loose in the luggage and squashed it closed. The torn waterproof is next for the bin if I have any problems backing the gear.
I'll check the shipping folks in the morning and see what I have to do - my fear is that they might not put it on the boat if I haven't paid - then I have the hassle of a bike stuck here and storage charges,
If I was in the US I'd just go to Vegas and live in unreality for a week.
Well I was a happy bunny yesterday.
Truth is I've been checking e-mail every few hours for the 'how to pay
for the bike ferry' e-mail.
Got the e-mail around 3pm.
Ten minutes later it was all done.
Back in Paihia I returned the e-mail stating what I had done and what I had failed to do (they asked that the money transfer have certain references; ship, voyage, etc. but a cash deposit from National bank doesn't allow that) so I hope they realise that I have paid.
I assumed that when I'd paid I would feel some sort of relief and start
to feel like a tourist again.
There are still a couple of places I want to see and I have a few days left but I'm not sure I will really relax until I get the 'we got the money' e-mail.
Checked out and headed for Cape Reanga.
I could have done the trip on the bike but the final twenty km of gravel would have been slow and hard work, not helped by knowing I would have to retrace my steps.
The car hire place specifically stated that I was not allowed to take
the rental onto 90 mile beach.
Heading back south and looking at the choice of accommodation I decided
to head back to Paihia.
By 7pm there was no nasty e-mail from the shippers so hopefully they will load the bike.
I find myself spending more time thinking about home that thinking about
Wandered gently down the east coast.
A lot of it is swampy where the sea and the trees have equal coverage.
Took a ferry across one edge of the bay of islands and, dodging Russell took my time heading back toward Auckland.
Ended up in Wellsford, having failed to find a pretty motel in a sea side village.
My final full day in NZ.
Got to Auckland around noon.
This afternoon will be laundry and packing then I'll take a book and drop into the Cock & Bull.
Tomorrow I visit the customs agent to pay for their services and pick
up the carnet.
Update - got the waybill by e-mail.