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NEW ZEALAND | Tuesday, 14 November 2006 | Views [1016]

October 16 - Monday
Auckland, NZ

It was like we were back home in Seattle.  The weather was completely overcast there was no hope of the sun breaking through these thick gray clouds.    I was up and paid for "one more night" at the guest house - surely we would be getting our packs today.  The airline had emailed Jon their contigency plan if the packs were not recovered - we didn't want to consider this as I explained to the guesthouse owner while my card was run.  We had spent all evening walking from one cash machine to the next trying to get some NZ dollars with each and every machine denying us access to our account.  This was annoying, frustrating and just a little upsetting.  Thankfully, it ran okay through the machine - I think the guesthouse owner was giving me the eye when I handed him my card.  Then he told me that the bags should be delivered before 1100 and that the airline had called him early in the morning!  Great!  Our bags were found, they were being delivered as we spoke.  I hurried back downstairs to tell Jon the good news.
What a relief.  Now all we had to do was get the bike trailer situation figured out. 
The packs arrived shortly after I found out about their delivery.  We did a quick inventory and everything was there including my much needed fleece jacket which I put on immediately. 
We spent most of the day working on the bikes and journals.  We've been quite entertained by the construction workers next door who are building a contemporary house with a view of the houses on the otherside of the very small valley we're perched on.  They've been listening to American pop/top 40 and rock.  They're all these huge Maori and Samoan guys and to hear them singing along to these bubblegum songs is pretty amusing (they're awful).  We can hear them talking and laughing at different times of the day - it's nice and pretty darned comical at times. 
By the afternoon we were ready to get out of the house.  We had also been using the free internet and the place seems to empty out by 1000 so we took advantage of it.
It was still pouring outside but we needed lunch so we walked up to Parnell and went to get a kebab.  They didn't take cards so we crossed our fingers, held our breath and tried the cash machine next door in a vain hope that for some reason the card would work today while it didn't last night.
It worked!!!
Don't know why, don't know how, didn't really care at the time because we were really hungry. 
We had our lunch, sat and looked out at the rain for a while and then decided to walk around the neighborhood and look at the shops.  It was very quaint.  Lots of boutiques.  We stopped at a little asian grocery store for some fruit.  They had the freeze dried fruit I had while in Thailand and I was tempted to buy some - that was good stuff with jackfruit, pineapple bits, tamarind, sweet potato (ok, that's a vegetable but you get the idea) and other tastey things that I ate but didn't recognize.  We stopped at a coffee shop which had organic coffee and other gluten free, sugar free types of foods.  They had a selection of baked goods and then some bulk items packaged to take home along the wall.  I was looking at the bulk items and realized that it was all the same item:  carrot oat cookies.  The barista asked if we wanted anything other than the cappucino I had ordered.
"I think I probably should try a Carrot Oat cookie" - S
"They're our most popular item.  I can get one for you right out of the over."
I actually would have preferred a cookie that had had time to cool as, it seems to me, they're much more flavorful than a cookie right out of the oven but, oh well.
The cookie was good, hearty, not sweet but there was just something about it that made you want to eat more.  Not necessarily worthy of being the only bulk item for sale but good.  The coffee was also good.  We sat the bar lining the front window and watched the rain come down, the traffic go by and the kids waiting to catch the bus at the stop outside the shop.  We could have been anywhere, it was the typical suburban picture but here we are, in New Zealand.  It's a little unreal, which I think I've said more than once during the course of this trip and it's always been true! 
We walked back in the rain and spent the rest of the evening researching and planning, killing time until a trailer was delivered or we came up with some other alternative plan for traveling with all of our gear.

Tags: Adventures

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