Goodbye Aotearoa!

Trip Start Mar 12, 2012
Trip End Jul 10, 2012

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I finally made the trip back to Auckland. It felt weird doing my last bus journey. I just kept thinking, "Wow, is it over already?". I felt really reluctant going back. Auckland had become home almost, and I just felt like I wasn't ready to go back yet. But go back I did, and I was finally finished my Stray Bus journey. I absolutely loved my time on Stray. It's probably been one of the best times of my life. I had so much fun, saw some amazing places, met some awesome people, and just had a fantastic time. I'll never forget it! The company have some issues they need to sort out, with bookings and stuff, but overall they're pretty good, with brilliant drivers and great stops. I was so sad that I had come to the end of my trip, but still had a couple of days before flying out. 

 In Auckland I was reunited with my friends Kim and Eoin, and on the afternoon I arrived back, we all drove to Piha Beach. It was really beautiful, and reminded me of Muriwai Beach a lot. There was this huge rock on the beach, called Lion Rock, and I walked up it to watch the sun set. Absolutely stunning. Then it was back to Auckland, with a quick supermarket stop on the way home to get a last pack of TimTams! Kim cooked me a wonderful dinner when we got back, and it was lovely to have a nice sit down home cooked meal! I hadn't had one for a while! Then I went into the city centre and met up with some of my friends from the bus who were in Auckland for a drink. We decided to go to Waiheke Island the next day together, as for some of us, it was our last day in Auckland. 

 So the next morning four of us jumped on the ferry to Waiheke Island. Waiheke is a large island, where houses are very expensive. It's also famous for its many wineries. We spent the day visiting some of Waiheke's beaches, and also visited a vineyard for some wine tasting. It was a lovely place, and sitting out on the sun deck, surrounded by olive trees and grape vines, it felt like we were in the Mediterranean, not New Zealand! That was a nice way to spend my last day, and that evening I was reunited with even more friends from the bus, and we all went out for some final beers at an Irish bar. I had my last Tui, Export Gold and Monteith's. I'm going to miss New Zealand beer! Then we said some final goodbyes, which again, was horrible! I hate saying goodbye to people.

  I got up early to pack and sort out my stuff. Then it was time to go to the airport. When I got there they told me when I stopped in Buenos Aires, my flight to Santiago was at a different airport than the one I arrived at. That sent me into a mini panic, trying to work out how I was going to get there. But I just got some Argentine Pesos and decided I'd just get a taxi or something when I was there. 

 So I'm sitting on the plane waiting for it to take off. I can't believe I'm leaving New Zealand. It feels just like yestrerday that I arrived. I don't want to go now. I love it here. I feel I haven't had long enough. There's so much more to explore and do and I haven't done it yet. It's the most perfect place. Beauitful, great atmosphere, wonderful people. I'm already planning when to come back, but it won't be till I've finished uni at the earliest, which is a depressing thought. I still wasn't really worried about South America, till I got on the plane and they're all speaking Spanish, and I don't understand a word. I hope my spanish lessons at school come back to me! Time to start the next part of my journey. Probably the hardest part. It kind of feels like leaving home again. New Zealand was a great part of my journey. A dream come true and one of the best times of my life. But South America will be awesome. Completely different to anything I've ever experienced before. I'll be totally out of my comfort zone, which is a good thing! I'm looking forward to experiencing a culture so different to my own. 

So the next blog entry will be from South America! Gonna miss New Zealand like crazy, but off I go!  
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