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Leaving Auckland, Finding Orewa – Day 8
Monday 4th April 2005
With my lovely new car I set off North from Auckland in the search of adventure, and was not disappointed with what I found. Finally the trip could really begin now, and I was very excited indeed.
I awoke in the usual fashion, braved the laughable shower room once again – hopefully for the last time – then set out to meet the guy from the previous day and to sort out the paperwork. I was still a little on edge, and couldn’t really feel comfortable until all the necessaries were taken care of.
We met up and walked to the nearest post office and before too long, the car was officially mine. Only now could I start feeling more at ease. I offered to take the guy back home but he insisted on getting the bus, so I didn’t force the issue. To be honest I was glad to be shot of him once and for all. Now I could set off and enjoy the rest that New Zealand has to offer.
My first stop was around Mount Eden, north of Auckland, to a couple of Bed and Breakfast places, neither of which looked particularly inviting. One actually looked deserted, so I moved on to a place called Orewa, and to a hostel called Marco Polo Backpackers Inn. It was situated up on the hills with stunning views from the wooden deck that overlooked the valleys beyond. We were in amongst the banana trees up here I gathered as I parked the car outside this beautiful place. At the reception I was met by a very friendly face, and was made to feel instantly welcomed.
Today was a very hot day again, and I decided that I would take a walk into town, which proved to be further than I had expected. I didn’t mind however as the views overlooking the sea were incredible. I found a nice little shop in town, and it was here that I discovered the most delicious pies I have ever eaten. I purchased two, as I was very hungry, a decision that proved to be very good. I simply loved these pies. They were only pies with mince inside, and a topping of melted cheese, all wrapped up in lovely pastry, but they were so yummy I could have eaten more. I sat on the beach devouring my lunch and listened to the waves lapping at the shoreline. I half wanted to run in, but my belly was kindly telling me to rest a while, seemingly overwhelmed a little by the intake of loveliness.
Once the pies had digested a little, I took a walk along the beach, blissfully ignorant to any stress that might still be in my system, although still aware of the nagging pain from my knees and ankle. Getting away from all the grind back home was exactly what I needed, and after each passing day I felt a little more relaxed. Strolling along the beach today swept away any lingering negativity inside my head, and filled me with a joy that I had dreamt about on so many occasions. I was in heaven, and fell in love with the place right from the off.
Back at the hostel, I sat on the sun-drenched deck and looked out over the hills, listening to the deafening silence that engulfed my presence as I sat without a care in the world. I drifted into a meditative state. To be honest I could have sat here all day, and if I owned a place like this then that is exactly what I would do. It seemed the most idyllic place to have a home.
Later that evening, I sat on the same deck talking to a couple of well-travelled girls, listening intently to the welcome advice I was receiving. I picked up good ideas about places to go, and even picked up useful information about trips outside New Zealand. Suddenly I felt as though travelling would become a big part of my life. All the stories I was hearing from the girls – as well as others who had momentarily joined the conversation – inspired me to see more of the world, and I didn’t relish the thought of going back to a boring job back home.
It was a great evening for me, but I paid for it with dozens of mosquito bites over my hands. It looked as though I was wearing a pair of red gloves, but it felt like I had dipped my hands into a pot of acid, although it wasn’t pain I felt, but an overwhelming desire to scratch until my hands bled. I almost wanted to put my hands into a pot of acid, if only to stop the itching.
At one point in the evening, the other guests and myself had heard an audible crash in the trees surrounding the quaint hostel, and were all a little startled. None of us had any idea what it might have been, but speculation bred many wild and wonderful stories, from falling trees to monsters looming in the dark. It certainly brought out the imagination in some.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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