Thursday, April 27, 2006

DAY NINE - Thursday 27 April

Lovely sunny day again, although noticeably cooler than it has been recently... Off to Auckland city via the ferry from Devonport today - so need to get my ass into gear, as I have a bus from Takapuna to catch first!

All tickety boo ... got my bus and got the ferry on an "Auckland Pass" - combined ticket for buses and return ferry trip. What a great deal!

Had a good old lazy mooch around the city, weather was fantastic, with a nice breeze too. Wasn't really looking for anything shopping-wise (saving myself for Sydney and LA!!), so chilled out for a while with my book (yep, still the Fortune Teller one) in the square in front of the events centre (Queen Street). Then popped up the road to University of Otago to say hi to a friend's sister - but she was in bloody Wellington!

Then back down the hill to the Art Gallery, which is just off Rutland Street. They had a superb exhibition on "Art and the 60s" - just my bag. Got chatting to guy who works there who just happens to be from Sheffield (been over here two years, art graduate) - so we had a chat about the forthcoming World Cup etc ... as only the English can; every hopeful.

Continued back down Queen Street, some interesting little boutiques as well as all the usual souvenir gubbins you'd expect - and lord knows how many places to eat, they're obsessed!!

Kirsty had recommended a little place off Queen Street for me to check ... stumbled upon it completely by chance, so thought I'd check it out ... $80 and 15 mins later i found myself in possession of a "permanent" souvenir of New Zealand ;o) I know this all sounds a little vague ... but I haven't told my dad yet!! Mum thinks it's really cool ... it's a "koru", which is very apt for my life right now ... that's all I'm saying! UPDATE: Okay, okay, my dad knows now ... it's a tattoo!!

Then off home ... but not directly ... I'd had a really awesome day in the city and I was even more chuffed when there was a ferry ready to go (i'd be home in no time at this rate, I thought). Not so fast Debbie ... got ready to disembark at what I assumed would be Devonport, but I was looking at a completely unfamiliar quay building ... I stated the obvious that this wasn't Devonport, to which the commuters around me agreed and politely informed me that it was Birkenhead ... yes, I was on the wrong ferry!! I thought that ALL ferries went to D'port - not so, it would appear.

After explaining that I needed to get to Takapuna, a couple of chaps entered into discussion about the best route for me ... one thought I should stay on the ferry until it returned to the city another was insistent I get off at Northcote Point (I think??) and get a bus to Highbury where I could then get a connecting one to Takapuna. I decided to plump for option 2 as it sounded like it might be slightly quicker.

$1.50 to Highbury then a 10 min wait for the Taka bus ... the man whose 'return to Auckland city' idea i'd rejected was also changing at this stop and still keen on helping a maiden in distress (aka a blonde bimbo who doesn't take any notice of signs!) - so he promptly checked out what stop, what route number and what time it would be and duly informed me! He shall go to heaven ;o) Nah, just be bestowed with good Karma!! Much better ...

$3 to Takapuna ... mum was bombarding me with text messages; 'r u ok?' 'where r u now?' But never fear, quick thinking Debbie (ahem ...) recognised the route the bus was on and discovered I could get off at an earlier stop at the top of mum's street. Ta da!!

Finally home about 6pm ... Megan coming at 6.30pm to talk about all things Aussie. Mum was off out to a local community meeting, for which she is treasurer. After pouring me a large G&T and many whoops and gasps at my "souvenir" ... I decided I didn't have time to change, oh well.

Mum went off and I waited ... and waited ... and waited. Tried Megan's home number, no answer - so thought she must be on her way. Still no sign 45 mins later, so tried again - she answered! Turns out she'd left a voicemail message on mum's mobile cancelling as she was going to be held up at work! So we chatted for ages on the phone, you must all visit this site and save heaps of money (only if you're interested in cosmetics though!)

Mum was home early, so we nipped out for Malaysian takeaway - nasi goreng for me!

and then zzzzzzzzz in readiness for last day in NZ and re-packing!!!

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