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Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Saturday, October 6, 2012

Back in Auckland after my first hostel experience and full of cold, the girls' flat was really beginning to feel like home, especially since Kate and I had made the decision to stop being polite to each other. Being polite means that every decision of what to do or where to go takes about ten times as long, is very confusing and often results in neither party actually ending up with what they would like. Thus we decided to just say what we think without worrying about offending anyone, an arrangement which has resulted in far more fun and relaxed relationship and many an intense debate. I think it helps that we're both just quite nice people anyway, on best behaviour or not.

I therefore had a couple of very chilled out days with the girls, Kate painting and me blogging with lots of gossiping, watching films and getting ready to go out together - reassuringly normal and I think just what I needed.

In the evening we went to the 21st birthday party of a friend of Mandy's which was lots of fun and with lots of similarities, and at the same time contrasts, to back home. It was in a function room with bar but in a surf club, not a cricket pavillion. Parents and friends made speeches and there were some free drinks, but friends also performed a haka in the birthday boy's honour and we all downed shots taken from the muddy water around a tree root -  I assume this is of some significance, although it was lost on me!

In preparation for my second solo trip I again went to the supermarket and bought the most travel friendly, cheap food I could after much deliberation - for the next week I will be surviving on a diet of fruit, crackers, hoummus, cup a soups and pot noodles. It could be worse.

Leaving Auckland I felt again very apprehensive and nervous about once again setting out be myself but Lacey was driving down through Waitomo on her way home and so soon forgot about being worried amidst chatting and more beautiful rolling landscape - acres and acres of huge green hills covered in cows and sheep, looking beautiful in the evening sunshine.

It turned out my hostel was 10k from Waitomo itself so there was lots of organising to be done to book my shuttle there the next morning in time for the trip I booked and after several phone calls made using the free phone numbers (another great thing about New Zealand) I was feeling proud of myself and once again very independent. I celebrated with a pot noodle, but regretted not buying tea.

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