‘A day in DEVONport…’

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

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

After a really restful night’s sleep at Jenny’s and a lovely breakfast of porridge, apple and Craisens (cranberries) Jenny invited me for a walk with her walking group… luckily she had some spare shoes and I’m the same size as her. 8.5 in NZ! The sun is so bright today and the sky is clear as crystal.  Two of her friends, Jo and… my memory fails me, meet us at the door and we set off down the road to meet a further two, neither names of which I can remember!  We walk through Devonport town… it’s beautiful.  The fascias of the houses are really deceptive, opening back into long corridor-type spaces.  And the views, wow.  Auckland city is clearly visible, the peninsula surrounding and the beautiful bays.  Both Mount Victoria and mount…. Nope, memory again, can be seen also, they look really odd though, almost ‘planted’.  When we reach the top of Mount Victoria the views just open up.  It is stunning.  I’m incredibly jealous of the ladies I share company with.  Their weekly walk takes them up here whilst they catch up on each others news.  It’s funny, all 5 women have sons the exact same age, who are all friends.  They say that if any of them have ‘been up to something’… one of them is bound to slip up and say something to a mum, then they all know!  How funny.  Wednesday nights must be grounding-nights.  We head off for coffee at a local coffee shop, I mean so local you could fall out of the front door and roll into a flat white.  The women are amazing company, and really keen to hear about what I’m up to.  I’m so used to saying it, it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal any more!  “I’m going to live in China”… it is quite big though.  I know that from the horrible knot I keep getting in my stomach when I really think about it.  Luckily, Michele being in HK for my first few days is making me feel allot less agitated.  I receive confirmation from the company that they are sending their driver, Mr.Chu, to pick me up from the airport.  This is such a relief.  I can just get on the flight and switch off without having to worry about negotiating the metro at the other end with my multiple bags.  They’re also organising a HK/China mobile for me to get started, but I have a bad feeling it won’t be until I get to Shenzhen, so it won’t be of use whilst arranging to meet people in HK this weekend.  Never mind, it’s one less thing to worry about in the long run.  At lunch, Jenny’s friend pops over, no can’t remember the name.  She’s lovely and great fun to talk with.  We have lunch which Jenny makes, a cauliflower/egg pie, sounds random, but tastes amazing!  After lunch, Jenny +friend invite me out for coffee.  I really need to sort out my baggage weight, as I am stupidly stressed about it.  I have 18kg already at the airport, so 2 to play with.  We weigh my bag and it’s 3kg, naturally.  So, the two ladies ruthlessly set about trying to cut down my weight, and do so!  I need to buy more toothpaste and sunscreen now though! So, drama over we head back to the café round the corner for coffee and gluten free cakes… perfect!  The sky is still crystal clear, so whilst Jenny goes to work in the gallery down the road and walks her friend back to the ferry terminal, I take the opportunity to take some photos from the roof terrace.  It’s better than I remember, the last time I was up here I was so jet-lagged I could barely speak coherently.  Today the weather shows Devonport in all it’s glory, the bay a line of glitter between township and city.  What an amazing place to live.  And you can tell by the atmosphere and nature of people that there’s a real sense of community here.  Jenny told me some lovely stories of how she was comforted by her neighbours in her hour of need.  Everything is so serene about this place, and the locality and easy-access of the city is fantastic!  When Jenny gets back we have about an hour to chat before she takes me to the ferry terminal, a quick, quick goodbye and I dash off to get the ferry.  Me being me, and getting my usual pre-travel anxiety,  I’ve been such a bundle of fidgety nerves that I get myself to the baggage pick up 4 hours early.  I’m 9hours too early to check in and 11hours to board… there is method to my madness.  My flight being at 7a.m. means that a good night’s sleep was out of the question, so a ‘nap’ at the airport will suffice.  I realise that I am so painfully early that my flight isn’t even up yet!  So, I grab some dinner from the upstairs food court and proceed to update my blog (for $20 an hour I’ll wait until HK!) and hassle people via text for entertainment.  The place is pretty sparse considering it’s an international airport.  But people come and go, probably arriving an hour or two before their flight, like sensible people do.  The night passes really easily though, and before I know it - my flight’s moving up the board…

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