Saturday 11th October – Whangarei to Tauranga

In the morning we headed to Whangarei falls.  Although it was relatively pretty I was slightly at a loss as to why every guidebook I had read had raved about and recommended the place.  Needless to say we didn´t hang around for too long, instead opting for a McDonalds´ on the way to Auckland.  When we arrived in Auckalnd I wasn´t overly enamoured with the place…..can you see a theme developing here?  Seriously though the place just felt, well, a little soulless to be honest.  Lance agreed so it wasn´t just my hangover making me hate the World!  So we carried on South and went through several equally non-exciting places such as Athenree, Waihi Beach and Waihi. 


We arrived in Mount Maunganui at around nine at night.  I went up to a backpackers´ place and was greeted by perhaps the rudest woman in the World.  She had a mouthful of food and, despite my question, she replied with, “we close at eight thirty”.  Even a complete stranger passing by remarked how helpful she was.  So, unperturbed we headed to another backpackers´, this time in Tauranga which we were informed was full.  Eventually, having driven round for some time, we found a motel in town.  When we rang the doorbell we were greeted by a Kiwi who wanted to be an English eccentric more than any English person I´ve ever met.  She was kind of cool actually and had the flat cap, fur around her neck and the classic car to match.  She seemed to think Lance was up to no good which made me laugh and surreptitiously sneaked him two bottles (one of Sangria and one of beer) which apparently were for, “later”!  After we had sorted our things out a car with a young couple pulled up and she turned them away.  I couldn´t help wondering why as we hardly looked like classy clientelle and there were two units free when we arrived.

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