4

Day 1

Yellow Kiwis at breakfast

We landed in Auckland just before 6 am on Friday, successfully passed through customs without having to get rid of my stash of Luna bars and managed to get our tent and boots through biosecurity without any problems. We boarded a bus at the airport while it was still dark and watch the outskirts of town slowly light up as we wound through the surrounding towns and approached downtown Auckland. It is winter here, which means it is typically 55 and rainy. Yesterday was misty in the early morning hours, turning sunny then chilly at night. The jet lag wasn’t so bad, and was eased immensely by a delicious “tall black” (espresso w/ hot water, which we would call an americano) to get through the morning.

 

 

This is how the day went:

  • While still on the flight, I realized that I packed our WWOOF handbook (with the listing of farms) into storage. This was to be our survival guide and resource for work. MAJOR WOOPS.
  • Also while on the flight, I realized that I need immediate dental attention for a tooth that has become infected. When I visited my dentist in NYC a few weeks ago, he told me that nothing was wrong and I was over reacting. Turns out I’m not.
  • Arrived at Prince’s Wharf around 7:30 am, where we are couch surfing in the lap of luxury.
  • Upon checking my email, we learned that our first farm no longer needs us to work there. Heavy rains have made for little farm work. Instead of freaking out, we got right to work. Zach searched on HelpX.com for work trade opportunities for next week and sent some emails. I also requested a new handbook to be sent to Jon, who volunteered to hold any mail for us.
  • Got a recommendation from Jon, the dude with whom we are staying, for a dentist. Was in their chair at 11:00 am, got a script for antibiotics and was home by lunch time. I also think I made new friends there, with the nicest receptionist and most honest and helpful dentists I’ve ever visited.
  •  Zach and I headed out to explore downtown Auckland and check out a bouldering spot by Mount Eden, a dormant volcano. The walk there was about an hour and gave us the opportunity to see much of downtown Auckland, which Zach compared to Montreal. Mostly older buildings, pretty gritty, not dirty, just not pretty. Also realized not a place we want to spend much time. While we are here, we are taking full advantage of the conveniences of the city in getting settled. The climbing spot was on the property of  boys private school, so we cut through their athletic fields (where they were running laps barefoot) and followed a Harry Potter looking boy’s directions to the spot. It was a great area, with sport routes set and chalk from previous climbers, marking the routs. Unfortunately, it was soaking wet and pretty hard to find good, dry routes, so we didn’t climb much. We anticipate being back when it dries out.
  • On the way home, a bird took a poop in my hair. Not a kiwi bird. Just a pigeon.
  • Got home round 5pm, made beef stew, drank some red wine and watched highlights of the Olympics with Leandro, our couch surfing room mate from Argentina. Both of us were dead asleep around 8 pm.

“Don’t run, skip. As if the path ahead is full of daisies.”

Day 1 was not at all what we expected. We had a plan. It didn’t work. So we made a new one. But, isn’t that what it this all about? Being flexible and open and learning new things? Instead of farming, it looks like we are going to work for a caterer on Waiheke Island. Also looks like I’m going to have a tooth extracted (this is a good thing, that tooth has been a problem for years). And we have good luck bird poop to make sure all goes well.
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