Trip Start Jul 18, 2010
Trip End Mar 04, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , Auckland,
Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This morning Stuart and I said our goodbye’s.  It’s been great to see a bit more of Wellington and hang out with Stuart too, although I fI repay the favour I will have to ensure my tour guide knowledge is up to date after slamming his! I’ll be sad to leave Wellington, I love this city, it’s got so much character and isn’t like the ‘Bright-light’ cities that attract crowds.  The soup went down a treat (even if the quantities could feed several armies), so I think I’ll be invited back!  Today I am flying out from Wellington to Auckland.  The plan is to get up to Devonport tonight to pick up my bag from Jenny Hemmings’ place.  The morning and flight are incredibly uneventful… I’m quite glad, I’m not really feeling the social aspect of travel today.  I arrive into Auckland domestic and pick up my hold luggage.  Then take the bus to the International terminal and put it into the daylight-robber lockers. Well, Smartecarte storage, but I think the before was a more accurate description.  I have to be back to pick it up by 11pm tomorrow night, else they’ll charge me again… for looking after a bag.  Anyway. The route to Devonport is really easy. Airbus shuttle right to the port, then ferry over.  The bus driver is pretty amusing… unintentionally I feel, giving a really bizarre toll-free guided tour of the city as we pass it.  He should stick to bus driving.  I arrive at the ferry and only have to wait a few minutes before we depart on the 5pm ferry across to the peninsula and get some fairly uninspiring shots of the harbour, after the last few weeks - nothing less than spectacular views will do!  There’s a slight mix up with Jenny, but after a worrying hour, I get hold of her and she comes to pick me up.  The sun has now set giving the prettiest pink skyline behind Auckland city.  We get to Jenny’s in under a minute, yup I was THAT close!  Megan has cooked a really nice dinner which is so well received.  She‘s got an epic amount of words to do for her honours project so disappears pretty quickly.  Jenny’s other daughter Jess is in first year doing visual arts, and also busy so does as Megan.  Her youngest, Gareth is applying to University - well trying, the website’s down and being a bit of a pain.  I have a lovely catch up with Jenny.  She’s been teaching art contemporary art classes from her house, ‘Art on St.Aybyn street’, for a while and had her first exhibition of her students work on Friday.  Her house is the perfect setting for a gallery, super modern and slick.  She tells me of a few students who’s work sold, and just as she does, a student of hers pops round!  It sounds like it was such a success, and even got them in the local paper.  Jenny preps a pudding whilst telling me about her nephew Nathan who speaks Mandarin and lived in HK for quite a while.  She invited him round after dinner.  He‘s great to talk to.  It‘s always nice to speak to someone with ‘local‘ knowledge.  All those little questions I have are answered and I‘ve got some great idas for mine and Michele‘s now named ‘Asia-trip‘.  I take his contact details and everyone starts to depart home of bedwards.  I’m so tired rom travelling I sleep right through, bar blackberry e-mail pings throughout the night… you know who you are, time difference!

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