The End of An Era.... Bye Bye Buzza
13.12.2005 22 °C
We made it... 4788km later... we have gone round the country, both islands, not quite end to end, but done both west and east, north bits and south bits, both islands. We have toured through desolate empty bush, hick towns with long since abandoned railway stations, isolated villages, with dairies selling everything. We have been up volcanoes, glaciers, on beatuiful lake shores and imposing mountain sides. Crossed icy cold rivers and sat in boiling hot water. We still have much to see and do. The journey never ends... there's always something more to see, some new sight to revel in.
We delivered the Buzza (or Toyota Hiace to those who go for real names and not brand images) to a crowded reception area. We had done a mass of hassle free driving, given the van back clean and fueled up. Sadly our reality check came when we overheard folk complaining about the fuel duty they had to pay, damage charges, problems with engines they hadn't reported, flat pillows or some other such drivel. Welcome back to work... The Buzza did us proud. But its time to let someone else have an adventure... different to ours, but I hope they have the same sense of discovery that we have had.
Auckland was a shock, coming back to the hot sticky city after a month of sun and fresh air. The streets were thronged with crowds shopping, out for a bite to eat or a drink. The Christmas rush seems to be here now. Still having difficulty coming to terms with warm sun and christmas carols. We are not looking forward though to stepping from the plane in the uk to damp mist and freezing cold winds!
We dined out last night at a lovely italian restaurant overlooking one of the Quays here. Really tasty food... but reality has kicked in again and for the next few months it will be stews and casseroles and warming risottoes with extra piles of stodge to keep us going over the chilly nights. A light rain was falling as we walked home along the now empy dusty streets. I slept lightly... too much noise to keep my head down much after 6 am.
Our feet are itchy though. Theres a big world out there. And we haven't seen much of it really. We found this trip easy. What would it be like if we didn't speak the local language? How would we cope without the 'net? I have just finished reading a book by a chap called Brian Thacker. He is a chap who has taken his dad on a trip back to England after moving to Australia in 1970 odd. They visited the old haunts and then flew to other parts of the world. He makes a similar observation... what would it be like with no internet. Its fantastic to think that so many folk have kept an eye on us, seeing what we are up to, and contacting us on our travels. We are 100's of km away from home and yet theres this link. Unlike the early settlers here who saw the sea as a barrier to home, the Maouri see it as a connection to the rest of the world. So the net is a connection to home, and more importantly to your house/workplace/internet cafe or wherever you are reading this.
I have spent our last morning in an art gallery... Nettie is too cultured out to visit! I will show here the pics online. It seems somehow fitting to finish the trip with some culture... though some of the more modern instalations baffle me... I suppose they could mean anything really... so look out for my series of paintings... 30' square canvas with a green square to the centre right... I will take bids for this work of art at $250,000 to start....
Right.. one last trip... up the Sky Tower... we should have gone yesterday when it was sunny, but instead we will visit today in the cloud... the views will be impressive and the height will make me sick.. but that's what living is about... experience.
Thanks for reading this. Blogging has become a sort of diary for me... some call it adventure therapy. Others think its just an online gimmick. I think its a tool.. instead of post cards you get Blogs, and you can see my holiday snaps without me having to bore the pants off you.
This will be my last post on this thread. Keep an eye out for more Bongo tales as we discover more of the world. We will post here again, in the future.