Sunday, 18th November – Auckland to Paihia

Rather less comfortable night, as the aircon wasn’t functioning. Apparently a hotel-wide problem – never happened before, sir. Many apologies. Price you pay for being “funky” and “contemporary”, maybe…..

Breakfast, then I left to collect our rental car from the Avis depot. AGES in the queue, but finally drove away in ANOTHER Toyota Corolla. At least this one was red, not silver…..

Packed the car up, checked out of the hotel – apart from the aircon issue, it had been a very comfortable stay – then went out to a couple of points in Auckland that we’d identified from the bus journey yesterday.

The first was the Michael Savage Memorial Park. I confess I don’t really know anything about this gentleman, but it offered some nice gardens and views. We had also seen many electric scooters in Auckland, which apparently you can hire like a Boris bike. We both want one of these!

Jean got the chance to ride one when we got chatting to a group of young people. One girl offered her scooter, and Jean managed, after a bit of training, to master the technique.

Then on to the Auckland Museum, which had all these crosses in its front grounds commemorating New Zealand lives lost in the First World War, as it’s the hundredth anniversary of the end of it. All sorts of names on these crosses, but I couldn’t work out any logic to the naming or classification. It was quite moving all the same.

As it was a longish drive to Paihia, we had to get underway northwards.  Not much to report, apart from some heavy rain at times, twisty roads and pretty scenery.

Got to the Waterfront Suites at Paihia in the Bay of Islands, and checked into a largish self-contained room with, inter alia, a washing machine and tumble dryer! Hallelujah! Guess what we’ll be doing tomorrow? These things are important, you know……

Dropped in at the local supermarket to get some essentials (breakfast stuff so we can rise even later than usual, plus wine – not for breakfast, I hasten to add). Then ate at a restaurant on the wharf called Charlotte’s Kitchen. Excellent food once again and very reasonably priced.

Visit to the local tourist office a necessity tomorrow, as we need to plan the only full day we have here. It looks a very pretty place.

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