New year's eve! Caught the bus back here to Auckland yesterday afternoon. Our driver Ariel is another gorgeous kiwi native-dimples, tall, rugged, handsome:) He was rockin' out to his iTunes repertoire including Hans Zimmer (theme from Beverly Hills cop and Top Gun, plus heavy metal tunes)-priceless! Checked into the Jucy hostel around 8pm. Grabbed dinner down the street before bed.
Pleased as a pickle to finally have me own room:) I was able to re-organize my pack and chill out. Happy to be here over New Years:)
Today, catching the ferry to Devonport. Going to sit out at a cafe, people watch and then return to Auckland. Love the accessibility to water! I am completely content being a stranger in an unfamiliar place:) The serendipity of travel-not knowing who you will meet; what you might see around the next bend; new sights; new people:)
I also love not having to watch the clock all the time. Wake up when my body tells me to; not having to 'rush'. I have been able to slow down and just be-this must be what contentment truly feels like:) Time passes slowly when there is no set agenda for the day-I love this feeling!
The ferry ride to and from Devonport is only about 15mins. Once I got back to Auckland I strolled along the waterfront for a good couple of hours. Very touristy and not quite what I expected.
Spent the afternoon at the hostel in the garden here reading and sunbathing. Had a chat with Paulo who works here-he is from Brazil but has been living and working in NZ for close to 3 years. He learned English at a private school when he was 11 years old. Very friendly fellow!
Sat down at the waterfront harbour to watch the sunset. Packed full of people going on cruises and out for dinner for New Years. A woman asked if she could sit down beside me on the bench-we started chatting and we ended up hanging out ALL night! She is from Mission Viejo in California, travelling on her own for the next 6 weeks; recently got divorced so decided to come to NZ to push herself out of her comfort zone. She is full of energy and we got along fabulously:) Another lovely treat having met her and celebrating the New Year together!!
Did not end up meeting the Brits (James and Ross-both of whom work for Nestle in York. James has his Phd in engineering and is a whiz with numbers! He can count cards-a true skill. Ross is a graphic designer and works to develop packaging and marketing). He got a Maori tattoo yesterday in Paihia:) Their accents are hilarious-James is from the north and he almost sounds Scottish at times and he speaks very fast. Ross is from the south, so I understood him a bit better. Their humour is the same-when we went out last night, they danced and sang full out! They did karaoke the night before (Ross sang Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond-sorry I missed that)! Plus, they danced 'Gangnam style' (or tried to) with a group of Koreans-too funny!! So much fun with them-a spontaneous, living in the moment, joy:) When we were on the beach in Paihia, the water was luminescent either from the glow algae or from the moonlight-regardless, another incredible sight:)
Sat out again today. Truly loving the summer weather:) Bought a new book since I finished the one from Andrew McCarthy which was fab! Another travel tale from an Australian author....
Tomorrow morning, back on the bus. Off to Hahei-and south onwards from there. Happy that I booked the bus segments ahead of time since many of the buses are full-no seats!
Grateful to be here....happy 2013!!