Fond farewells...

Trip Start Feb 17, 2005
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Trip End Feb 27, 2006


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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Monday, June 20, 2005

My last day at The Mount was amazing! It obviously began with the birth of my nephew, and I quickly made my way to the library to check my emails - my brother had sent some pictures. Ethan William is so cute and I made sure almost everyone at the hostel saw the photos. I even called Heather's 78 year old mum to tell her the good news, as she always used to ask about the baby on her visits to the hostel.

In the afternoon, I spent a lot of time playing with Heather's 2 year old grandson - you could say I was practising! Despite putting his toys down the pool table's pockets on a number of occasions, he was well behaved and I think he's going to be a good footballer when he is older!

I had already said goodbye to Murray the previous day, as he was going away for the weekend to see his parents. As the hostel was fairly quiet, I spoke to Heather a lot and she showed me her pictures from when she went to Japan - very nice! My first surprise came when she gave me some leaving souvenirs, such as a New Zealand badge and a towel with the words of the Haka written on it. Heather, Murray and Keiko's friendliness has made my stay very enjoyable and it was so easy to settle in there.

Later in the day, Steve (a Canadian guy), the two Japanese guys and myself went to get some beers from the liquer store across the road - we were going to settle down and watch the rugby at the hostel. We were putting the beers in the fridge, when all of a sudden Keiko came in and turned the kitchen lights off. The next thing I know, Heather is walking in with a huge cake for me - I was completely taken aback! It was a touching gesture, and I proceeded to offer it around to the others, although I made sure I squeezed in a couple of pieces for myself first. Earlier, Matti had made me ham/salad toasted sandwiches - it was just one of those days!

So we watched the rugby, and it was a decent game, although I spent a lot of time explaining to Steve that the word "touchdown" wasn't used in this sport! The Lions won of course, but only after a battle which saw them come back from behind. Kazu and Shinya were so enthralled in the action that they both fell asleep on the TV lounge floor - white wine! In fairness, they did recover enough to meet the rest of us in the Creme Bar later that night. Claudine and Shinya both bought me tequilas, and come 2am we were all a little worse for wear! The traditional stop at Burger King followed, and back at the hostel, I stayed up talking to Kazu and Shinya for an hour or so. To my surprise, they continued to drink white wine - maybe I underestimated them afterall!

Four hours later I woke up as my bus to Wellington left at 9.50am. Heather gave me some fruit and home made cookies for the long journey south, and I said my last goodbyes to everyone. I think that I am going to spend Christmas at Pacific Coast Lodge, as it has such a homely feel to it. If not, I will definitely return before I leave New Zealand...the beaches in Mount Maunganui will be irresistable in summer!

After a long bus journey, in which I often found myself nodding off, I eventually arrived in Wellington at 6.50pm. Once again, it wasn't in the slightest bit windy! I don't plan on doing anything too special over the next couple of days, although I do need to do some shopping and purchase my concert tickets.

The real excitement will begin again on wednesday...
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