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Wellington to Auckland – Day 65
Tuesday 31st May 2005
It turned out to be just one of those days today, one that I wanted to be over with as soon as possible. It would be a long, long day. I had the enjoyable prospect of a long drive from Wellington in the south, to Auckland in the north.
I left Cambridge Hotel before anyone had woken up, and just left. There was nothing on the car to say I shouldn’t have parked there, so I was OK to be on my way. Off I drove towards Auckland, feeling very tired.
The trip seemed to be going well, but for the fact that every slow driver in New Zealand was out on the roads today, in front of me, making progress very slow and irritating. I did, however, revisit some of the roads I have already travelled down, and this was nice. I had another one of those moments where I was desperate for fuel, I needed some food, and needed the toilet, as well as knowing I had to book my hostel for the evening. Almost at once, I came to a small town with a sign saying ‘Petrol, Food, Toilets and Phones’. Result!
I set out all refreshed and ready for another long haul. It rained periodically throughout this journey, and my boot leaked a little again. I was stopped by a routine Police check on the side of the road and couldn’t believe it. It has to be today of all days that I get stopped, with my registration ending today. I expected to be called out of the car, and sure enough, the officer took a long look at the disc in the car, then simply pointed at it to make me aware of it, then said “On you go”. I was very relieved.
I reached Auckland some time later and managed to take the wrong turn off on the motorway. This turned out to be a big mistake. This seemed like New Zealand’s busiest road in its busiest city, during rush hour on a rainy day. Heavy traffic prevented me from getting back on the motorway before much time had passed. I eventually did, and found the hostel a short while later.
I was at Pentlands, and when I got to the door, a Japanese lady stopped me from entering. I explained I had a booking, but she didn’t understand. After a while of hand gesturing, I eventually concluded that this hostel has a redirection service on its phones. All calls coming here were being diverted to another hostel, which I surely should have known!! It took a while to find this other hostel, and I took many wrong turns in the process, but I found it, and it was getting dark by now. In all honesty, I hated every minute of this, and just needed a rest.
Once I was in Bamber House – the hostel – I put my things down and collapsed on the bed. The room was small but I didn’t care anymore. I had been driving for 10 hours today, with only one stop for petrol and food. It was a similar story yesterday also, so around 20 hours of driving in a car that is suppose to be old. It actually was quite an achievement, and made me realise that I could not have coped without my car. It had been brilliant all trip, with only a couple of setbacks.
I had a much-needed shower, had some dinner and just sat down and relaxed for the remainder of the evening.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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