A fun and busy few days. The dinner with Julia and Bobbie was really fun. I mostly did a lot of listening while they all told stories and laughed and joked. Great food, cooked by Julia. The ladies let me stay in the caravan over the weekend without working! Good for me as I had a lot to get done on Saturday. Drove all over industrial and business parts of West Auckland doing these things: getting tired patched, taking all the security lug nuts off and replacing them with regular nuts, buying a wheel brace (tool to take off nuts), buying a little USB charged speaker and cigarette-lighter-to-USB power adapter to plug into my iPod, also another stop for velcro to attach it to the dash (this worked out brilliantly! yay music!), having lunch with Gavin at the Henderson Mall (Indian food for me!), shopping for joke gift for his brother’s birthday, picking up cheap sunglasses and beach towel for me, then going with him to find the missing piece of my scissor jack at a Pick-a-part, which is a junkyard full of scrapped cars (easy score for $3!), storing up on non-perishable foods, and filling up on gas. Made plans to meet up with him later at his brother’s 48th birthday party. Mostly just an errand-filled day, but all necessary preparation for the real beginning of the road trip. I think I am pretty set to go.
On the way back to Piha around 5 p.m. I went down to see Karekare Beach. So amazingly beautiful and secluded. Have to cross a scream to get out there from the car park. Some guys were skiing along it attached to a thick wire pulled along by a big motor near the carpark. It was hard to keep the chatter in my brain down and just enjoy the beach and rugged cliffs. Funny that no matter how jaw-dropping the scenery, it is still sometimes so hard to get out of my head.
This morning went down to the beach to grab a veggie burger and watch a bit of the Grommit Surf Competition. Some of those kids are great! They start surfing at about age 5 around here. I am a little bit jealous, though I had my own fun activities at that age, so no complaints. The sun is out. I am cleaning out the caravan, sadly, and packing up to go. It is very hard to leave here. The ladies have been so lovely to me. I am starting to think I may do a big circle of the south island and head back up to Auckland on my way out. Would be nice to see both Gavin and Bobbie and Julia again.
Now the plan is to head down to Raglan, the premier surf spot in New Zealand. I still need to find myself a board. I am sure I can keep on renting ones, but feel like it would be better to just have my own so that I can haul it down to less crowded beaches and maybe get more hours in the water. I’ll just take it as it comes. WIll probably camp tonight, then go on helpx.net to see if I can find a local homestay looking for someone to work in exchange for accomodation. Seems to be a lot of opportunities on the site.