© 2010 J&K

Hello Goodbye Auckland

Waking up next to the river at our campsite, a good meal was in order before our daily run which would take us along the stream, through some crossings and end with hill sprints that are reminiscent of Gill Hill (read Open). The only meal suitable is of course pancakes, but tragedy struck when we discovered that we were out of bananas (Kelly hasn’t lost her monkeyness, the condition has continued to worsen…) and low on chocolate chips. Our only choice was to sacrifice the days after our departure on our advent calendar leading to the creepiest looking Mickey Mouse pancakes (don’t use advent chocolates for eyes and the mouth…).

Today would be a day of driving as we needed to head through Auckland and then up towards the Bay of Islands. We read about a cheese factory in Thames and upholding tradition, decided to stop by, lucking out with our tastiest cheese yet – gouda with chives and garlic. On the road again, we didn’t know quite what to expect in Auckland, only that most people don’t have anything good to say about it and the one person who did was proud that the city stretched on for kilometers and kilometers in every direction from the Sky City Tower. To put Auckland into perspective, the entire South Island has around 1 million people. Auckland alone has ~1.4 million people. We hit traffic even on a 6 lane highway but were eventually through and back among wilderness. The Auckland harbor was pretty and we are excited to spend a night there at the end of our trip but for now we couldn’t pass through fast enough.

Further north, we started the challenge of finding our DOC campsite for the night using their guide that has directions which are often wrong, making for an interesting adventure. After ending up at a desolate beach (which explicitly stated no camping) after following the directions, we decided to forge ahead. Luckily it was right alongside the highway a few kilometers up the road and we grabbed a spot before heading to the dunes to enjoy the sunset. Dinner was a tasty breakfast burrito turned dinner style with baked beans, eggs, courgettes and chicken sausage. We ended the night the only way we know how, a tasty cup of warm milk and Bailey’s.

We woke up to crumpets (they’re back!) before heading to the beach for a barefoot run down the beautiful, seemingly never ending stretch of coast. The water is much warmer here, almost pleasant and we splashed along. Today was also a city day, meaning we got some free WiFi and explored the town, visiting our favorite attraction, bookstores. The next stop was the nearby Abbey Caves. We drove the 4 km and climbed down to the entrance, receiving a warning that it was 1) dark and 2) slippery from fellow spelunkers. Even though Kelly was in sandals and we had one headlamp between us, we trudged on. After sliding our way down into the entrance of the cave, we found our headlamp was dimming rapidly, not something you want heading into a pitch black cave…

Twenty minutes later we were back at the cave entrance, having driven to purchase new batteries and don the appropriate footwear. We climbed deep into the caves, turning off our light to look up and see all the glow worms above shining like stars at night (although with a definite green tinge). Quite cool indeed!

An hour or so later we were pulling into out campsite, a beautiful secluded beach with islands offshore, a bit south of the Bay of Islands. We had delicious cheese and crackers with our Tui beer (we think we have had all the main brands now) and before we noticed dinner time had crept around. Jeff pulled together a culinary display of red and yellow peppers filled with garlic, butter, quinoa, sausage, ricotta cheese and spicy sauce, accompanied with carrots, asparagus, and onions (far off from our European dinners where the only thing close to a vegetable was pesto). We also had a salad with beets, avocado and cucumber so don’t be surprised if we come home with a greenish hue. With stomachs stuffed full of greens, we fired up the iPhone to listen to one of the Church on the Hill talks while sipping on coffee with Bailey’s. We finished the night listening to kids running around our van playing hide and go seek before planning out our last few days in Kweelie. Only three more nights! Oh my!

One Comment

  1. Kim
    Posted December 14, 2010 at 9:21 am | #

    I’m conflicted — sad for this splendid adventure to end, yet wagging my tail that you’re coming home this week. Bittersweet. We love you. Grandmother wants to know if you’d like Amaretto cheesecake or rum cake when you get home? xx

6 Trackbacks

  1. By james on August 22, 2014 at 10:12 pm


    tnx for info!!…

  2. By stuart on August 22, 2014 at 11:01 pm


    спасибо за инфу!…

  3. By scott on August 23, 2014 at 3:13 am



  4. By trevor on August 23, 2014 at 6:24 am



  5. By eddie on August 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm



  6. By Felix on August 26, 2014 at 8:31 pm



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