It has been an emotional few days, we are leaving after two years here in New Plymouth, and we don't know when we will be back (but the car is in Taranaki, so we will have to come back for that, and to visit Hayden and Honey-Rose too ;-) )
Packing up the unit takes forever. We have had days of very late nights and early mornings, and we are fair shattered. Five hours sleep last night, urk. We are finally ready for the flight to Auckland and the shuttle rings to say they are running late, and would we mind waiting at the end of the street, if it is not raining (it had been fair persisting down earlier). Timing is going to be tight! Yvonne offered to do the dishes and do the last bit of cleaning, lovely lady that she is. We will miss our neighbours, and many of the community at the Lodge. Yvonne, Sean and Wayne help take our bags down.
We make it to the airport with minutes to spare, not even enough time to put a label on our bags, thank goodness for on line check-in. Bags are (just) under weight, 23.5kg for Tony, but some weight will be dumped in Auckland. Cynthea's is under 20kg. Flights are cheap despite last minute booking, $45 and $49 with bags, booked just last week... we had a bit of trouble deciding what day to head off, haha. By comparison, AirNZ were $144 each for the same deal... no brainer really.
A good flight with Jetstar, quite a bit of cloud, but still plenty to see with a few bumps coming in to Auckland. We arrive about 10 minutes early. After a quick bite to eat we get the Yellow Bus to our accommodation, Kiwi Airport backpackers in McKenzie Rd. $150 for two nights, we are in a 7 bed dorm for two nights.
We meet up with Irene, a mate from our Jaycee years, and head out to dinner at a Greek/Italian style restaurant. Things turned sour when Irene ordered a pineapple juice, and was given pineapple flavoured drink, with an orange juice base. The restaurant insisted it was just pineapple juice, and offered to bring the bottle. There on the front label it was called pineapple drink, with real orange juice. Irene is very allergic to oranges, and needed medicating to settle things down. The main meals arrived, and were very average, Tony’s “38DD” chicken breast was about as flat as a pancake, and about 3.8mm thick – or should that be thin. Nothing like the plump juicy breast he was expecting. We let that slide, but when we challenged them about the pineapple drink, saying it could not be described as juice when it clearly wasn’t, they got very defensive. Said they didn’t make it, it was a commercial product. We tried to argue that they should have correctly described it on their menu, and as a result Irene had something that could have had disasterous consequences had it not been picked up. The manager started shouting and said he couldn’t believe we were arguing about a $6 drink, and then it got quite nasty, with some of us shouting back. Not nice, and definitely put a damper on the evening. Tony had a grumbly tum that night, he blames the chicken. It was a restless night, think we are just over tired…