After passing the beagle sniff test at the airport (thankfully vitamins, blood pressure meds, and Lipitor are not on her list of illegals), we grab our ride to the Apex car rental place. It is about 6 a.m. Auckland time. I can’t do the math to figure out what time it is at home but I know that somewhere over the Pacific, we lost October 2 in the blink of an eye or rather, in my case, a jerking nod of the head that woke me again.
Working on little sleep, I wonder how I’m going to survive Bob driving on the left side of the street. Thankfully he got a bit more sleep than I did. While he fills out the papers and kibitzes with the young man I sneak off to the restroom and brush my teeth and splash water in my face. It has been twenty-four hours of travel and we still have several more to go before I sleep, before I sleep. Frost must have felt that when he wrote his poem.
We check out the red Toyota Corolla that has seen some surface abuse, say thanks to the nice young man and promise again not to drive on 90 Mile Beach and plug in our new Garmon that Bob has programmed with all our stops for the next five weeks. Our first destination is just outside of Auckland in Silverdale. There is a couple there we met on our April cruise to Galapagos who have invited us to stop by and visit for a bit. They are travel addicts too and know that we aren’t going to be in great shape but they were eager to meet up with us again.
Morning rush hour traffic is picking up but we manage to make our way through and out of the city limits to find our friends. They live in a spectacular area on top of a hill that overlooks the greenest hills and dales you can imagine. Their yard is filled with semi-tropical plants that are beginning to bloom and refresh as spring is just arriving in this part of the world.
They tell us we are fortunate to have arrived when the rain has finally ended. There were three or four days of it but now the sun is warm on our faces as we sit outside on their patio enjoying the view, great coffee and muffins and conversation. We feel ourselves begin to relax a bit too much and finally excuse ourselves so that we can get back on the road. We have miles to go. . .make that kilometers to go before we sleep.