Drive to Mangonui, New Zealand

Waking up completely rested, I made a plan in my head including times I wanted to get done with some of the events so I am not arriving and looking for my next place to stay at midnight… or sundown…

My plan as usual – implemented to perfection (ish)…

Breakfast was a brief walk to Sky Tower where I had a good breakfast sandwich, will want to make it like that at home… 🙂 Then pack and check out by 9:40 to take my brief walk to the bus station. Arrived at Avis at 10:34 (4 minutes past, but that is ok – nothing to panic over) and in the car at 11… My journey was supposed to take 4 hours and 50 min… It took me about 5 hours and 30 min.. I stopped for lunch and to just take a break. As you know, I am a driver now that does not like to drive over 2.5 hours a day… I don’t know how I became that way, just I get tired and worn out… to stop and check things out sometimes just procrastinates the inevitable… I had it in my mind already that this was a driving day and I was fine… 🙂

Driving on the left side of the road usually takes about 2 turns to get used to… the car has these – KEEP LEFT stickers on them to try to remind the drivers… having driven in Ireland, Turks and Caicos and recently Scotland this way, I was a little nervous but not scared…

Most of this driving was two lane highway anyway and when turning is the only times I had to really think about it. Following signs and making sure I am not veering to the right when it has been a long time since I have seen someone was enough to keep me alert.

Driving through this countryside was one of my wonderful things I wanted to do… I remember driving in South Island New Zealand and was amazed on how many sheep farms I saw, I remember my friend who I was with commenting about it – New Zealand had more sheep then men per capita.. Here most of what I saw were cow farms, hardly any sheep farms…. I mean the landscape is gorgeous, every time I wanted to stop for a picture though, there was no shoulder to stop on, I will have to figure that out on my next drive day on Friday. Maybe my GoPro – I can see about mounting it…

My new ride for the next two weeks

Alas I arrived and almost easily found the AirBnB I am staying in… just had to turn around as I passed it by 3 houses.. Here are a couple pictures from the place.. Interesting, I was thinking of getting one of these sheds and converting it into a living area, now that I am in it, not sure I will want to do that, maybe for guests, there is no closet space or area to put my suitcase…

Good thing I am traveling alone, the bed mate is my suitcase 🙂 I mean – perfect companion to sleep with, never moves – always there when you need to put your arm around something and if you need to get something out of your suitcase, you don’t even have to get out of bed….

When I went to get something to eat, I drive into town found a great spot to park and a marina, I suddenly forgot about my grumbling stomach and went to check out the fishing boat that arrived and was cleaning the boat from their trip. They had a whole bucket of bait (they looked like filet large fish) that they gave to the people fishing on the dock. My camera and I looked a little out of place 🙂 But they still smiled and said Hi to me, made sure I didn’t fall of the dock when I was walking and looking through the lens not realizing I was almost going over… 🙂

Finally my stomach started talking to me again and I left the dock, when I turned to go to Manognui Fish Shop I saw a tour bus just parked and all the patrons walking to exactly the same place… Sigh… Alas, I went left instead of right into a cute gift shop where I met this great lady and was chatting with her about the area, how to pronounce this town and the others around me and just travel in general.

Having a well deserved beer at Mangonui Fish Shop

Figuring I needed another 20 min to kill before the tour bus people left, when I drove in I noticed they had open market (farmers market) today, so was able to buy some cucumbers which look white (insert picture)… The guy next to me saw that I had no idea what I was about to buy so he let me know how he and his wife usually eat it… 🙂 take the skin off, soak in malt vinegar and salt and pepper and perfect.. 🙂

Put the food into my car and walked over to the Fish Shop…. It was really good, had a beer and fish and chips which was locally caught today and really good… There are only about 5 places to eat here and two of them are food I am not a great fan of (Thai and Pizza) so I might check out the other Fish and Chips place tomorrow 🙂 Anyway, the view from the restaurant was peaceful and enjoyable…

View from my home from the next couple days

It’s about 7:30 and I was back at my home for the next couple days and I exhausted… Deciding to take a small nap, I laid down and woke up at 8:30 PM still exhausted and just accepted it, already in my pajamas, brushed my teeth and went to bed…

What a great day!

Love you!

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