We returned to Auckland with two weeks remaining before the flight to Bali. We tried to make it all count. There were a flurry of text messages and phone calls to set up a loose plan at Jane’s before we set off again in the camper van. First stop was our friend Kevin’s for a dinner with him and his girlfriend Zylah. The roast chicken was so good and it was really nice to have a home cooked meal again. The fire in the fireplace was welcoming and it was great to catch up with the two of them. I know we could have spent the night there but Marc had scouted out a good park up spot close by in Half Moon Bay and we were reluctant to sleep anywhere else as our time in the van was getting short. The next day, we took Kevin’s advice and hit Musick Point for a short tramp before moving on.
Marc and I had been wanting to hit up the hot springs at Paraki one more time before we left so that was the plan our first weekend back. We picked up some steaks and headed for a relaxing sojourn in Helensville. It was a bit warmer that day so our strategy was to go for the water slide first while we were dry and then do it again after we’d been soaking for an hour or so. While not that cold outside, it was still a bit nippy out of the sun. Man, were we relaxed after that trip!
We returned to Janes for a few days to start sorting out stuff before taking off again for Mangawhai Heads.This time though, I followed him in the rental car. First stop was Te Arai Point for a short tramp to the point to check out a cool daredevil spot. When it’s warm and the tide is in, people like to jump into the slot between the two cliffs and let the tide wash them back and forth. It looked intriguing and maybe a spot to come back to the next time we’re here.
Marc had been wanting to see Murray and Olivia again to tell them some of the places their old camper van had been and some of the sights we had seen along the way. We were shocked to discover Murray had a heart attack shortly after we bought the van from him, but he looked well during our visit. He even came out later to drink a couple of beers with us and let us park in his yard for our last overnight. It was a great visit.
The next morning was spent depersonalizing, cleaning and moving the rest of our stuff out of the van before meeting the new owner at the garage. We’d heard Carl and Judy were still keen to buy it but wanted to get it checked out first. No worries mate! We put about nine thousand kilometers on it in our five months but it is still in really good condition. It will need a new radiator down the line but except for needing a regular service it’s good to go. They got a deal! Marc spent some time with Carl going over stuff before Judy came home and we went to make the transfer legal. They were so excited and Carl was thrilled that Marc threw in the BBQ grill too. He said he’d always wanted one. We hope they enjoy the camper van as much as we did. Happy Glamping Carl and Judy!
I had to get hit up by the rest stop roosters one more time on the way back to Janes. I tried to feed them breadcrumbs. Aren’t they pretty?
Soon after our return we headed out again to visit our friend Margaret in Drury. She was the first Kiwi we met in New Zealand and a flatmate as well for our first month here. Really good to stop by for a cup of tea before we all went out for dinner. She’s been riding since she was small and currently shares second horse duties with her friend Annie for the Master of the Pakuranga Hunt. I really need to do a blog post just about Margaret some time. She is a fascinating woman and we’ve had some great meals and conversations with her.
We can’t go too long without a party and Jane thought our leaving would be a great excuse to have one. Wait…. THAT doesn’t sound right. *Laughs* In any case Jane decided to throw a Christmas in June party as they don’t get a chance to have a traditional Christmas here. It’s summer then and everyone’s on holiday. She made up the guest list, decorated and invited everyone. I made Jello Shooters and helped with the post party clean up. Marc wore the santa suit and I got to be head elf. Jane looked smashing as Mrs Claus. I think I’ve finally found someone with a more extensive wardrobe than mine. All told, about twenty-five or so made the bash and we had a blast! Now, what do I do with all the leftover shots?
Not much more to tell after that. We’ve just been sorting out our stuff really. What to take, what to leave behind, and what to give to friends. Also made a run to the op-shop for books as Marc says they’re expensive in Bali. Hopefully, we’ll have enough to last and we can leave them behind to make room for stuff we pick up there.
So, that’s it for now, We’re going to meet Rach for dinner tomorrow night and our friend Debs is taking us to the airport very early Wednesday morning. I’ve got a new supply of anti nausea medication and hopefully I’ll just be conked out for most of the flights. We do have a short layover in Brisbane, Australia though. Not sure we get off the plane but I can hope, eh? I won’t be taking my computer to Bali and it may take me a bit to work out the internet cafes there but my next post should be from Bali. OMG! OMG! OMG! I’m so excited!