We’re off!

The first day of our holiday. Not that it felt like it.

It was a cruisy morning. Neither of us got out of our PJs until late, as we held off having our washes until it was closer to the time for leaving. So we packed our bags, repacked our bags, changed our minds, chained up the Pink Purrer so no one could pinch it… (Would anyone want to pinch a 26-year-old pink motor scooter? I suppose that if someone’s willing to pinch one with a flat battery, anything is possible.) …made sure that Hillary (next door’s cat) was outside, stopped next door’s other cat, Frankie, from pestering Hillary (he’s the reason why she’s got her nose out of joint and prefers to spend her time at our place – but I think all he was doing today was sitting next to her on the windowsill).

But the time it was lunchtime, we’d done everything and got dressed, so we watched a couple of episodes of Qi – the G series before we left home at about 2.00pm.

When we got up it was raining heavily and blowing. Then the sun came out. While we had lunch it was bucketing down. It had stopped, (but not the wind) when we finally walked down the road – going the long way via Pollen Street, so we would have shelter under the shops. Not that there are many verandahs on the western side of the street.

We got to the i-SITE dry, and in plenty of time. We had a chat to a young German lady, who’s holidaying in New Zealand. Her backpack was 20 kilograms and her “frontpack” was five kgs. We also had a chat to Brian Loveday who was waiting for an over eighty-year-old Swiss (or was she Italian?) woman who’d been cycling all around New Zealand.

We scored our front seats on the bus – taking the reserved seats because that was what we’d booked. Turns out they weren’t for us, but no one was bothered. I feel for the poor guy who was several seats behind us from Tauranga and was sick when we reached Kopu. He came and sat in one of the other front seats.

It was a smooth trip up although, because of the sick guy, I was aware of every bump in the road. And believe me there’s a lot between Thames and Auckland. Even new bits of tarseal can cause enough of a jolt to the bus to make the dodgy tummy feel even more dodgy.

But we all made it to Auckland without further incident.

When we went out to dinner the other night with Jan D. D.C. managed to leave her good angora hat behind at the Coach Inn in Puriri. They kindly brought it in and gave it to Jan at the shop where she works. This time she was in a hurry to get out of the bus (places to go, things to do), so I took my time gathering my things together and checking we hadn’t lost anything. I stood on something soft…

D.C.’s hat.

We collected our bags and started walking. We’d originally decided to take a taxi, but it was still daylight and it wasn’t raining, so we thought we’d save money. Doing this did mean that we had the interesting sight of part of Fort Street smothered in white soap foam. It looked like an ad was being filmed, and judging by the number of Asians standing around, it wasn’t for the local market.

I just hope that’s not the only “snow” we see.

The Station Hotel is on Beach Road opposite the old, grand Auckland Railway Station. (I’d so love to have a look around there again.) And just out of interest, if anyone remembers watching an ad for an insurance company that had a bloke parking his car, getting out of it, and then spikes springing up out of the ground, and a moat with sharks swimming around it suddenly appearing – that was filmed in the parking area next to the Station Hotel.

We found an entrance easy enough, but it had an arrow pointing left on one door with the words “check in”. Was check in through the door it was pointing at, or around the corner in Beach Road?

A gentleman came out and opened the door for us. He was the manager. We signed in, paid, and got the keys to room 306.

We were both hungry, so decided to get something to eat before we did much else.

Last time we stayed at the old art deco Station Hotel, was the first time we’d ever tried banana, bacon and maple syrup pancakes. They were so good that we had them for two breakfasts.

Now they don’t even have a restaurant… as we discovered when we went hunting for our dinner – it’s now a bottle store.

We asked the manager where the nearest eateries were and he said there was a pizza place a couple of doors down, or a bit further on there was a Vietnamese restaurant.

We ended up at a Subway. D.C. must have been hungry because she doesn’t like Subway because she doesn’t like the smell. We haven’t identified which smell yet.

I like Subway, but this one wasn’t one of the best. Something smelt burnt. (That’s not the smell that D.C. doesn’t like.)

D.C. had a vege delight and I had an oven roasted chicken. When then hunted out the road we’re going to have to walk tomorrow to get to the railway “station” (the photo looks more like a platform), checked out an Asian supermarket (I don’t think I understood a single word or symbol in there) and went back to the hotel.

It’s supposed to be the middle of winter, right? I only had on a thin merino jumper and a Kathmandu blouse and, although another layer would have been nice, it wasn’t majorly uncomfortable.

Back up to the room.

Back down to reception to find out how to log into the WiFi and where the phone was.

WiFi’s free (and easy) and the phone was in reception. Because there wasn’t much in the way of room or privacy D.C. went and made two quick phone calls to the Hallys and the Stills, and I stayed in the room, updated our who owes what schedule (I’m still in the red), and tried to work out why everything relating to this holiday, which I’d saved on OneDrive (Microsoft’s “Cloud” offering) wasn’t showing on my tablet “EOS” despite it being there yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that…

I still don’t know why it’s not showing, but I’ve downloaded it all so I don’t need to be connected to the Internet to see it.

We had a cup of hot chocolate each, and then went to bed. It’s only just gone 8.00pm.

Early start tomorrow. We’re going for a ride on a train!!!

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