8th-9th September 2012

An hour in the morning that seemed a blur of getting ready activity, throwing clothes in the bag, sitting on the bag to try and close it, crying that it won’t close, then squeal with delight that it did when I changed my shoes, I was headed back to Auckland on the Intercity Bus.

This came after a tremendous time in the Northlands particularly with my fellow travel blogger friends, Mellyboo and Canuickikate, especially teaching Kate’s class all about travel!

As I sat back, relaxed and stared out of the window at the rain on the way back to Auckland, I seemed to notice out the corner of my eye amidst the craggy views flashing by the windows, a grinning tall man with us in the bus. Everytime I glanced at him, he was always grinning. What’s there to smile about, I wondered? But soon that grin became my grin as he grinned (my head aches from writing grinning repeatedly) at me at a rest stop because of a very cute dog trying to beg some food off a lady travelling with us.

Speaking with him in the end, Mike told me that he’s from Germany. That didn’t surprise me. It seemed that every single foreigner I’ve met in New Zealand has been German. Like in Paihia when I met Freddie and Stefan.

At the end of the 6 hour journey of winding roads, craggy views, splattering rain and throw in a bus driver who liked to think he was a F1 racing car driver, we finally arrived in Auckland mid afternoon and I headed straight to my hostel, where I would be staying for 2 nights before I got on board the Kiwi Experience Bus…wait….hang on…what’s going on?

Mike the German was following me…grinning. Looks like I won my token German! He was actually going to the same hostel with me. We exchanged travel plans and he’s actually the first person I know that is going to Fiji and actually had some knowledge about it! I’ve never met anyone going to Fiji and I desperately needed some recommendations for my time there after New Zealand.

After checking in, we arranged to meet up for a drink later on. I had smelly stuff to do. I.e. my washing. I hadn’t done a proper wash since Sydney and my gum my bag was starting to smell bad. Even giving my a ‘French shower’ of spraying it all over with my aftershave, that usually did the trick, didn’t work! So I spent the next hour and a half in the laundry room reading my guide to New Zealand while I waited for the washer and dryer hoping that they wouldn’t shrink my clothes even further. But I was very much looking forward to my clothes smelling sweet again after carting around a good amount of washing powder in my bag. (of course, the box had to split creating a nuclear settlement of dust all over in my bag earlier on!)

Showered and primped, I met up with Mike for a nice selection of Kiwi beers outside a nice quiet and quaint pub. Just how I like it rather than inside a very noisy bar where you shout each other hoarse!

We arranged to meet up for the next day to chill out in Auckland. We checked the weather and it was going to rain the next day do my plan to take a boat to Ranguito island was in tatters. As we met up, he wanted to buy some new shoes and I wanted to buy a camera as my current one was pretty knackered and worn out with marks showing on the pictures. So after a while of window shopping, and intense questioning from me, I plunged and bought a very nice camera! It was very pricey as well so I definitely needed a stiff drink!

Rain ominously lashed down so what could we do? We went to the cinema instead to see ‘Hit and Run’…a serious subject you may think but actually was an hilarious comedy. Definitely recommended! Grabbing a few drinks and a meal afterwards, I introduced Mike my favourite drink, Southern Comfort and Lemonade. He’s never had it before so as he sipped reluctantly, he broke into one of his trademark grins and proclaimed he loved it. But he had to go afterwards to grab his flight to Fiji. Exchanging contact details, he said I must come and visit Germany sometime and he thanked me for becoming his ‘Southern Comfort‘ buddy.

So there we have it, I’ve now got a token German to visit!