High speed travel.

Trip Start Feb 19, 2006
Trip End Oct 01, 2006

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Monday, September 25, 2006

Renato knows how to drive. Fast. Over the hills and into the mountains, a loaded jeeplet with four and gear. Nice bouncing over dips in the road, and barely holding upright around curves. I believe the proper word for this is careening..
I only feared for my life a split second, honest. To go over the side would mean, well, certain death, but Renato is good, presumably from growing up careening down Brazilian roads. I hear they are pretty crazy drivers.

There was some big rugby game going on in town, and there were drunks everywhere, hostile drunks, some angry because their team lost, and some angry because their team won. No-one much harassed us as we looked for cheap accommodation though, they were busy fighting amongst their own. Of course, the by-product of this rabble being in town was that said accommodation was not very forthcoming, as all the rooms in town were full.
We had to settle for a small room with two single beds in a clean but stale-marijuana smelling place, and packed two of us on beds and the other two on the floor. At least with four of us the price was pretty cheap, and there was a hot shower down the hall.
Slept well enough, considering that there were confused drunks banging on our door all night not knowing which room was even their own. I yelled loudly "the next son of a bitch that knocks on this door is going to get a bottle upside the head!" And perhaps they heard me, as the knocking trickled off for the night.

The fellas were up early and off to work, training to pick asparagus for the funny little malaysian man who had met us the night before, and I decided to have a little walk in the town and try to decide whether to proceed to Aukland or to spend one more night with my friends.
I called Kim, an old friend I had met some years ago when she was living in Boston, and my decision was made, she told me to come on up. I guess I was a little torn, as I probably won't see my buddies for some time if at all, and we had become fast friends. But in the end, one can not fight the tide, one can not run for long into the wind.
So, remembering my hitchiking years, I made a highly visible sign for "Aukland" and set out.
Two rides and less than two hours I was in the center of Aukland, tossing back a beer on the street with a maori busker and his friend, a well over-the-hill streetwalker. We traded off songs on the guitar until Kim and Gary, her boyfriend got there. So nice to see a familiar face in the long months of travel. Also so nice to sleep in a quiet house, with friendly cats, a couple of good beers, and coffee in the morning.
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