Driving again

Trip Start May 18, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Sunday, September 21, 2003

As Sebastian and I left the Auckland skyline behind us it felt great to be leaving the city and venturing north into the wilderness. The roads were uncomplicated and very clear; at some stretches there were hardly any cars on the roads. The single lane bridges were a little odd, but after crossing a few they became second nature.

After about an hour Sebastian asked if I wanted to drive and it felt great to get behind the wheel again. These roads were a dream to drive on; a mixture of straight stretches broken up by winding curves up and down each hillside. All of course with spectacular scenery that had us repeatedly saying how fantastic it was to be on this road trip.

Our first stop was Paihia, a popular destination with all the tour companies as we soon found out. A quick comparison of the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide singled out Pipi Patch Lodge as a suitable place to rest for the night. At $20 we thought it was a bit pricey for a crowded 8-bed dorm this far north of Auckland but we made the most of it. After a hearty meal we headed off to see the NRL Rugby Semi-Final on the big screen next door to hopefully see Auckland Warriors (the only Kiwi team in the league) to get through to the final. They just about pulled through by the skin of their teeth 17-16.

Once back in the dorm room we discovered that the Pipi Patch Bar/Disco was still very audible and realised that places frequented by the tour companies were probably going to be of a similar ilk.
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