I’m leaving the last plane in a dream-like state. I’m glad the airport signs are big and yellow because it makes them easier to see through my sleep deprived eyes. I’ve been warned about the airport security regarding pests and fruit and mud, so I declare the dustiness of my boots to the government and they ask me to stand on a sponge…. Am I still dreaming?
I’m released into the general population and grab myself a Sim card and a ticket for the bus to town. Winding along the streets I see what people mean about the 1950’s nature of the place. I guess my eyes are trained to notice the buildings. There is a strange cross of architectural influences; red brick bungalows with white wooden windows and tiles roofs remind me of home, painted wooden panelled houses and large advertising signs look american but with wriggly tin roofs at two different pitches look chinese in origin. There is also a style to the shops, of 1950’s nostalgia (although I suspect it’s just not been updated rather than made to look nostalgic)
And then I pass something on the bus from a long lost memory in my childhood; Circus Circus – in coffeeshop form, on the corner of a non-descript row of shops. Circus Circus was a favorite place mum and dad took us when we were in America, Las Vegas. Its technically a casino, but child friendly because there are circus acts performed high above the roulette tables – another type of risk entirely. We spent ages (and probably dads dollars) there on the games machines and water cannons enjoying the OTT nature of Las Vegas. This coffeeshop was only themed to look like it from my fleeting glances, but still got me really excited!
Sally (my dads, brothers, widow’s, sister – say that three times fast!) and her husband live in Auckland and very kindly agreed to pick me up from the bus station and give me a bed for a few nights. I’ll talk about their house later, but needless to say, I LOVE IT! They helped me get settled in and then helped start my mission to find a motorbike.
Dropping me off on the way to work I walked down a road that’s a bikers paradise. Every bike brand known to man, has a dealer here and there are bikes lining the windows in all directions. I had seen a good looking Triumph Street Triple on the net so headed for that and jumped on for a test ride. It’s a wonderful bike and would do the job nicely, but some money transfer issues prevented me getting it immediately. I’ll have to come back tomorrow if I want it. I’m looking at buying the bike and then selling it at the end so hopefully it’s cheaper than renting one. To rent a bike for 22 days would be about $3000 NZ so as long as I can buy, sell, get all the kit and legal docs I need for less than that, I’ll be golden. It’s a bit of a risk when I come to sell it, but I’m in no rush so I’m going to leave it for my cousin to sell while I carry on travelling.
I didn’t get the Triumph today, because there is another place I want to try out on the other side of Auckland first. I got myself a local bus back towards Browns Bay, and couldn’t keep my eyes open. I haven’t worked out how long I have been awake for, but it feels like an eternity. I crawled up the hill to their house and spent the rest of the evening desperately trying to stay awake until 8pm when I gave up and turned off like a light.