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A Day of Not Very Much in Whangarei – Day 11
Thursday 7th April 2005
A day of not very much happened today, it was a day where not very much happened. But what did happen?
To begin this day of not very much, I awoke quite late. Being in a large, comfortable double bed means I need to make the most of it. I knew that I probably wouldn’t get this sort of comfort anywhere else, so I had to lay in bed for as long as I could get away with.
I then proceeded to have a shower, which turned out to be a mistake on my part. Not for the first time this trip the facilities were a little laughable. There was a chill in the air this morning that seemed to follow me into the shower, and it wasn’t until I disrobed that the chill began biting at my bare skin. It didn’t help when all that came out of the taps was cold water. It wasn’t the greatest experience I have to say, but I guess I was a lot cleaner than I had been before getting in, so I can’t complain.
I took a small trip into town to the local supermarket where I stocked up on a little food for the day, before returning to the backpackers where I began to read my New Zealand (Lonely Planet Country Guides) It was a good read, but then I used some of the recently purchased food to make myself some lunch. I was very thankful to myself for making myself some lunch, and I enjoyed what I had made myself. I thanked myself before cleaning the plates up afterwards.
After lunch I drove to a nearby place advertising glow-worm caves, but found there was actually nowhere to park. I located the pathway to the caves, but I couldn’t just leave the car on the side of a busy road next to the pathway. I found somewhere up the road to park, then walked back to the pathway. Having realised that it was a long, long walk to the cave, and with the intention of seeing some better caves later on in the trip, I turned back and aborted the idea. I’m not sure whether this was a good idea or not, but it was decided nonetheless.
I spent the remainder of the day doing not very much, then made my way to the reception to use the phone. I wanted to book my next place to stay in advance, so at least I would know where exactly I was going on the day, and that there would be a bed waiting for me.
I obtained a small booklet from the last hostel I was in – Marco Polo Backpackers in Orewa – detailing information on all the hostels in New Zealand that are part of this backpacker’s club. I also received a phone card with the booklet with credit on that I could use to call the hostels to book. The booklet had maps, telephone numbers, hostel details and much more. It was all the info I needed, and was surely going to become my most valuable possession.
So I used the card and booked a night for tomorrow. While on the phone, the guy asked me where I was staying, and I replied “Wangarey”, much to the amusement of the reception guy who giggled to himself. Surprisingly, the guy on the other end of the phone didn’t understand me, so I repeated, several times in fact, but still nothing. I thought it might be a windup as the reception guy was now beside himself with laughter. “Wangerai”, I said. “Whankerei?, Wangeree?, Wangar…”, I was interrupted at this point by the reception guy who explained something very useful to me. “In New Zealand, ‘Wh’ is pronounced ‘F’, you are in Fangarei”. At this point I felt very silly, and immediately got the joke. It appears I was almost insulting the guy on the phone with bad language, but he got the funny side of it. I cant imagine this is the first time this has happened, or at least I hoped it wasn’t.
With the hostel booked, and an embarrassed smile given to the guy on reception, who by now had regained his composure, I re-entered my abode to make myself some spaghetti for dinner. After my belly was full, I took the opportunity to get some sleep. It was dark after all.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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