As mentioned yesterday, I met my travel group who I will spend the next 3 weeks with. I knew already that I would be the youngest (cough) person in the group. But there was no need for me to be worried, this seems to be a very jolly and fun mix of personalities, I am looking forward to hanging out with them and hearing their quirky stories along the way. There is no one I’d want to stay away from, so that’s a plus. Our guides are Kate and Andrew. Kate is the quieter one (that’s the first impression anyway), and Andrew is the typical Kiwi guy, laid back and easy going.
I am tired today. So tired. I didn’t sleep at all, not for 5 mins. Why? Not because I’m giddy with excitement, no – it’s because my roomie snores. I didn’t quite know what to do – I didn’t dare poking and prodding an older lady! Eek! So I resorted to listening to music. First I played an album, then played it again. I then created a playlist of 5hrs so I don’t have to keep choosing an album to play next. When the alarm rang in the morning she woke up, all refreshed and very soon was mortified when I told her that she kept me awake all night. I now have permission to poke and prod. I really hope the next night will be better, because I really really (really) can’t function without sleep and don’t want to have to hate her. 😉
We went on our first short hike to Rangitoto Island, a volcano island to reach by ferry from Auckland within 30mins. The island is very young, it was formed about 600 years ago, when the last volcano erupted in that area. We basically walked on fire, well – it was fire a while ago. 😉 It’s a nature reserve, we spotted a few birds, and the island was covered in what the locals call the ‘New Zealand Christmas Tree’ (Pohutukawa tree) which was in full bloom with vibrant red ‘baubles’. It was a good opportunity to check-out my fellow travellers’ hiking speed. I am very relieved to say that I am not the slowest walker.
On the way back I stopped at a really cool bar and tried the local brew (Brothers beer). The brewery was just down the road, so it couldn’t have been any more local.
Today was just a mini ‘test hike’, tomorrow we will finally set off on our trip – I am excited about this. I also realised that I had forgotten my sturdy water bottles at home. I have 4 of them in my cupboard, they were on my packing list. Along with a rain coat. Guess what – I forgot both at home. Dooh! Seriously, who forgets this on a trekking trip? So I went shopping this afternoon. My guide recommended a New Zealand brand (MacPac), which is functional and stylish – exactly what I was looking for. I now call water bottles 7 and 8 as well as a bright red rain coat my own. Silver lining and all of that… 😉
Also, I am still hoping to see Auckland guy. We still haven’t managed to agree on a time, I offered to meet either tonight or early tomorrow morning. I somehow feel it won’t happen, which would be such a shame – I am not over here every few months after all, this may be the only opportunity for a catch-up for the next few years. Also, I’d just like to see him again. He was an important person in my life a couple of years back.
And yes, curiosity kills the cat… I opened one of the dating apps to see, what the men over here would be like. And my goodness, they are hot! Ha ha. I swiped (mea culpa) and matched with a few guys right away. I am off to bed now, but wouldn’t it be astonishing if they replied, also right away? I’ll let you know tomorrow. Good night.
Links: Rangitoto Island, New Zealand Christmas Tree, Brothers beer, MacPac