So its been a few hectic days since I last posted, so as with all good stories I will start from the beginning….
So we left Franz at about 9am knowing that by 10pm we needed to be in Picton for our ferry across to Wellington overnight. This gave us plenty of time to drive the west coast highway, which can only be described as scenery from the film Jurassic Park crossed with beautiful coastline scene on the American west coast. It really was a great drive and we got to the Pancake Rocks where we aimed to stop for lunch. But yet again this beautiful spot was ruined by bus loads of tourists who, like us, had been told to stop and see them. So we quickly sacked it off and drove another 20 minutes up the road and stopped for lunch on top of the cliff in 20oC. V special.
We then cracked on to Picton and after a phone call to the ferry people found out that the ferry was delayed till 1:10am - what a joke, so we turned up to the ferry terminal on a whim and managed to get on the 6:40pm. Great work and we settled in to watch the S. Africa v Samoa game - brilliant game of rugby and a great way to kill the 3.5hr crossing.
So next stop Auckland!!! A 9 hour drive through the night with us taking it in turns to be Pilot and Co Pilot/Mav and Goose etc etc. My leg started at 3am quite calmly until I swung round one of New Zealand's classis hair pins to be met by one sheep and two lambs sat in the middle of the road. The Beast and I swerved, it was like a car advert, to miss by a whisker. 4 minutes later and round another corner I came face to face with the results of a cliff avalanche - a rock the size of a mini sat in the opposite lane with other debris scattered across the road. Poor Woody in the back trying to sleep, it was more like a roller coaster than a scenic drive. So the final straw was a kamikaze raccoon/cat/fox type thing causing me to get perislessley close to the cliff edge. So at 4am it was time to get off Highway 4 and go back on ourselves to Highway 1. Added an extra 1.5 hours onto the journey but it was a good call by myself and Nodding Dog aka Rex. So roll on a few hours and we arrived in Auckland at 8am to grey clouds and people and cars everywhere! I guess this was what I noticed the most. Having not seen more than about 50 people in 2 weeks in the South Island this was a shock to the senses. We eventually found the hostel and managed to sleep on a few sofas for an hour or so before deciding it was time for a beer.
The fan zone down on the waterfront was alive and kicking, full of Scots, English and Kiwis pretending to be Scottish. So where to go? It was easy the Irish Pub!!! So a few beerios down and with the weather closing in we hiked our way to our seats in the the nose bleeders with rain and wind lashing into Eden Park. It seemed there were around 12 english fans in the whole stand - but the Scots had nothing!! Not compared to our boy Rex. He made 3,000 enemies in the first 5 minutes by screaming the National Anthem, then a chorus of Swing Low and a few choice words with some mouthy Kiwi with lots of chocking noises and hands round the neck. Only Rex!! Brilliant!!
Shame the rugby wasn't as good!! I love you Jonny W, but something is up. I could have kicked that drop goal from 10 yards!! Anyway again a win is a win, but the other teams will not be concerned at the prospect of playing England - and that might be our downfall.
So we woke this morning realisng we had not moved the Beast into a new parking space, so at 8:30am I find a parking ticket. $65 we can deal with that. Then I noticed the lock on the drivers door is half hanging off! SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTT So an hour later after speaking with the Police, the car hire company and the boys we leave Auckland as quickly as possible with a bitter taste and a desire to get back into the 'country'. So with a slightly battered Beast we made our way South towards the Waitomo Caves - an attraction lots of people plus all the books had told us to go and see….
With Nodding Dog to my left and Snory Danny Dyer in the back seat sleeping for the whole journey we turn up to the Caves expecting something special and for $150 we expected massive things. No words can describe what a waste of time it really is. After 20 minutes and a slow boat through a cave full of glow worms it was all over. HOWEVER nothing, for at least a year, has made me laugh more than what happened in the next 30 minutes.
After the tour Rex and I stopped into the restaurant to grab a drink where we sat waiting for Woody. Sometime later Woody appears at the steps and slowly waddles towards us. To say he looked like death is an understatement, he was man down! With no sympathy coming from his friends he made his way to the car to sleep some more. After we had finished our drinks, Rex and I decide to leave through the gift shop, where we realized they had a digital photo of us in the boat when we were on the boat tour in the cave. Its one of the tourist trap photos and for $30 no chance. However our attention turned to the photo of Woody's boat which shows 8 Indian tourists with huge smiles, a few Japanese taking photos and Woody sat in the back row, his head leaning on one of his hands looking like it was time to see his lunch again.
Rex and I left the shop in tears of laughter after showing this photo to most of the staff and the other customers, in fact it was so good I almost bought the photo but for $30 I just couldn't bring myself to give them any more money!!
So back in the car park we chuckle at Woody and drive off. Within 5 minutes Woody is screaming for me to pull over. He dashes out of the Beast onto the grass verge facing the on coming traffic where he proceeds to projectile vomit the sausage roll he had at lunch, my leftover Chinese takeaway he munched at 5am, and at least 17 pints worth of alcohol. Its at this point you know who your friends are - Rex and I are crying with laughter so hard I cannot see and Rex is taking photos. I so wish I could have seen the faces of the drivers driving towards this 'Brit Abroad' as they must have been a picture. So after a quick wash down, he cleaned his teeth and promptly fell back to sleep for the next 3 hours until we reached the hostel for the night.
Which is where I find myself writing this extremely long blog post as they are showing the rugby league grand final and I cannot bear to watch it or socialize with the crazy people in there!!!!
So since the last post we have driven 1700km, 5 hours sleep, drunk Auckland dry and had some of the funniest moments of my life. Tomorrow we were set to hike the Tongariro crossing but with a server weather warning for the area I think its time for the Wolf Pack to hinbernate, sleep welllllllllllzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz