I wake up at 6 am but try to sleep in until 7, as I do not want to leave that early. Today is going to be another hitchhiking day. I found out last night the buses here do run on weekends, but only Saturday mornings. It’s Sunday.
Eventually I get up and head to the common room for internet and bananas. I plan my next few days, and head out around 9:30 am.
It is about a 25 minute walk to the highway. Today my back does not like me. It’s telling me, walking with 2 packs isn’t what it planned for today, but I must push on anyways.
It doesn’t take long and a car stops to pick me up. It is a man and his wife.
During our 45 minute drive to Whangarei we have a really good conversation about traveling. She tells me she did the same thing I am doing back when she was 30 and gives me some great tips. They also tell me they met in Tahiti 15 years ago, while both of them were working on sail boats. This is awesome! They tell me all about working on boats, and how to get free passage to other locations and also how to find this type of deal.
I am so thankful for the conversations we had during our commute. I am starting to see how much I gain from others, and I must start finding ways to give back. This is now my goal.
45 minutes passes to fast, and they drop me off downtown Whangarei. I say goodbye to another couple of new friends. Thank you for the ride and tips!
I message Jodi who is my next accommodations, to let her know I made it and will see her sometime after 3 pm.
I take my time and walk around the harbour looking for a place to eat and relax.
There are a few good restaurants, but not much in a cheap budget. I spot a smoking hot waitress with a cute NZ accent, waiting the patio tables. I guess this is now where I am eating.
I order a fish on a bun, and enjoy my views. All of them!
Here is some insight on eating at a restaurant in NZ.
1. Tips are not given, they are included.
2. Taxes are in the price, what you see is what you pay.
3. When you are finished, the bill does not come to the table. You go upfront and pay it.
With the above, my fish sandwich is $24 NZ, about $18 Canadian. A little expensive, but not overly if you think about it.
I take my time and walk towards Jodi’s. It is about a 2 hour walk, according to Google.
Check out Jodi’s AirBNB here. Jodi's AirBNB
After an hour of walking, it is 3 pm and I am not halfway. Thumbs Up!
The 3rd car that passes picks me up. It is an 80 year old man. He doesn’t say much, just smiles. I tell him where I am going and without me asking, he drops me off right at the door step. I guess he knew the address.
I say thank you, and wish him a good day.
I walk down the driveway and meet one of Jodi’s neighbors. She is a super nice lady and already knew my name. She is like, “Hi Rob! Welcome to NZ. Jodi’s house is the one on the left.” I say thanks.
Jodi meets me at the door and shows me to my room. Wow. Very nice with a private patio. This is where I am sitting right now, writing this blog entry. J
I meet her BF, and we have a nice little chat about the area and travels. Jodi has 3 kids who will be arriving later in the day.
That’s pretty much my day. I go to the room, relax and catch up on some work.
What a day, I am tired!
Whangarei is not pronounced with a Wh, but with an F.
Check it out here.