Escaping Auckland

Yesterday (Wednesday) we’d arranged to call on Traillite in Pukekohe to get a couple of things fixed up. As well we’d arranged to get the car to a repairer in Pukekohe. So it was an early start at Ambury Park on another lovely morning. It is an idyllic place and a privilege to be able to stay there. We were away by 9am wondering what the traffic would be like. The previous days I’d had Andrew’s help giving me directions ahead from Nev the Nav. This time I’d have to rely on his voice instructions and Wyn just had the usual task of trying to follow and anticipate where I’d dart next. I did OK until the on-ramp to the motorway south at Manukau. I ballsed it up completely and took the on-ramp to the north. Wyn to her credit realised it before me but faithfully followed anyway and it was a relatively simple job of exiting 3kms north and re-entering and getting going south. We stopped for petrol for the car at the service centre south of Manurewa and that was a process as the pump instructed we had to pre-pay. This at 9.30am in the morning. Theft is a big problem for them it turned out. Just that morning someone had filled up with petrol, then loaded up with food and groceries from their convenient shop and walked out without paying for anything.

We were soon at Traillite and sorted out we’d need another connection for the TV. We headed off to take the car to the repair place and get the connection. The car repair man was horrified at the damage to the car. I thought we’d bent the towing lug but it turned out we’d done some major injury to the front cross-thing of the chassis. We left it with him for the insurers to have their assessment. It could be a long story. Wyn let me into Harvey Norman’s on my own but soon came to retrieve me. We escaped eventually; with the TV connection, a spindle of 100 CDs, a torch, some batteries and a couple of DVDs.

Back at Traillite we had fun sorting out whether and how to connect the satellite receiver to the home theatre system to the TV. Bless Sony and their proprietary ways. They make some lovely stuff that can be hard to connect to anything non-Sony. We ended up with it connected as well as we could figure, and best of all my iPod turned up in the process. I’d been missing it for much of the year and head had several searches for it. I was thinking of launching a full-scale Search and Rescue Mission, but would never have found it where it was. I was happy. Wyn had to post something so launched her bike and headed off. She got some groceries while she was there and found that the gear changing on her bike actually worked. The guy in Kerikeri had done very well to sort it out. So Wyn was happy too.

The day was getting on by the time all this was done. We had decided to head east to the Firth of Thames while the car gets sorted. There is an ARC park or two out there but it turned out that the gates are locked at 5pm so that was not going to work. We figured we’d head for Miranda anyway. We’d always wanted to stay at the place called Ray’s Rest where motorhomes are allowed to park beside the sea for a couple of nights. We zoomed off with the sun setting as we headed east. We were keen to get there while it was still light as we were not sure about access. We found the place just as it was starting to get dark; it wasn’t hard to spot with a long line of motorhomes along the seafront. As we pulled in Wyn started to wonder if some motorhome friends we’ve corresponded with might be staying there. They were in the Bay of Plenty last we knew but for some reason she thought they might be here. She asked if I knew what their bus looked like; I’d seen photos on the net a year ago and suggested the front of it looked like one on the beachfront.  So we pulled up in front to read the name on the bus and discover it was them. At last we got to meet Suzanne and Les and quite by chance. We called over for a quick chat (yeah right ….) and then chucked some tea on and down and wound down ourselves with a wine. It’d been a funny old day with a good ending.

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