Kawakawa to Auckland

Beez Neez
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Fri 20 Dec 2013 23:57
A Bimble Around Kawakawa then to the City of Auckland
 
 
 
 
 
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We left the train station and went for a bimble. Bear posed on quite a funky bench with the Star Hotel behind him. We took a picture of the track in the middle of the road and passed the theatre.
 
 
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“F” 159 Engine outside the Star Hotel in 1895. This wonderful old building has been the making of many stories and much local history. There are well recorded stories of earlier days when engine drivers stopped outside here and “dropped in” for a quick drink, only to be delayed inside by convivial mates, sometimes even forgetting about their engine waiting outside. On a hot summer day after shovelling tons of coal the occasional transgression could be forgiven. The Star Hotel shown in the picture was established in 1879, but destroyed by fire in March 1899. It was the same great fire that saw a large part of Kawakawa’s businesses destroyed. The Star Hotel as it stands today was rebuilt on the same site.
 
 
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A first for us was to see a sign for named toilets on a tourist road sign. The Hundertwasser Toilets was a must see in the town.
 
 
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We went for lunch in a place called Cafe and Roast. Bear could lift his plate to any angle and the gravy wouldn’t budge. Not surprisingly he said it was delicious. I had chicken and chips and off we went.
 
 
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On the road, we were surprised to see so many lumps and bumps in the background.
 
 
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Everywhere was incredibly green.
 
 
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Mid afternoon, we stopped at The Devonshire Tea Shop. Bear even had an egg timer to know when to pour. My chocolate milkshake came in a jam jar and Bear caught a couple of Zzzzzzz’s.
 
 
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Roadside stop, literally.
 
 
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I love it here, they have bugs and an interesting cafe.
 
 
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A view that looks so British.
 
 
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We feel this odd upside-down boat will be the closest we get to a ‘one careful owner’ here in New Zealand, so a six month hiatus for the feature. A road tunnel, haven’t seen one of those for a long time. Long stretches of good highway all the way to Auckland.
 
 
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Must be nearer the city, a housing estate.
 
 
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We saw a sign to Devonport and soon the Sky Tower came into view.
 
 
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Just over the bridge we saw our old friend A in the main marina.
 
 
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Our first city skyline in ten months.
 
 
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Ten minutes out of town we found our B+B, the Bavaria and soon Beds was settled. Our hostess told us St Luke’s Shopping Mall, five minutes away was opening late tonight, off we went for our first big shopping experience since Panama.
 
 
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At the traffic lights we found another bug.
 
 
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We were pleasantly surprised. We had thought that the final Friday before Christmas the Mall would be heaving, not a bit of it, modest decorations and no loud Christmas music anywhere. Bear bought me a kiwi for my bracelet and I bought him new sandals. We walked our feet off, ate supper in the food hall. We found a Chinese where you buy the plate (cheaper because it was nine thirty) and you helped yourself to whatever you fancied, there were loads of dishes to choose from but all I wanted to dive into was sweet and sour chicken and rice. Bear grazed on a bit of everything. Off back to our digs where sleep came almost immediately.
 
 
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ALL IN ALL A LONG AND INTERESTING DAY
                     FANTASTIC SCENERY AND BURNING FEET, NIGHT NIGHT