Packing up and Heading Out

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26/03/08
Well folks, with mixed emotion, I find myself writing the blog post I’ve been dreading for a few months now. Yup, it’s official. I’m definitely leaving this beautiful country after having explored its many nooks and crannies by two wheels for a long time. After my last cycle trip yesterday to Waiheke Island, I knew that it was time to start sorting all the gear out and packing it back up into the respective containers. I’ve been fairly careful with my purchases on the road, so essentially, I’m leaving with pretty much the same amount of gear as I arrived with in this country so long ago. However, that doesn’t mean that it will all fit into the baggage the way it is intended to. However, all work and no play make Stevey a dull boy, so I did take a couple rest breaks and watched King Kong finally. After all, it’s another Peter Jackson flick, so it’s somewhat Kiwi in that regard. Anyway, read on for more info on my day of playing Tetris with my gear 🙂

Although I had high hopes of a late day sleeping in, I was awake shortly after 8am once again. I guess I can’t really complain though, as this is still something like sleeping in, isn’t it? Tee hee. Before grabbing my shower, I decided I’d tackle the dirty job of dismantling and packing up the bike with all its greasy and dirty little parts. Luckily, I’d picked up a pair of surgical gloves in my travels that I’d been saving up just for such an occasion, so I donned them, got out my tools and started taking my good friend apart. Of course, the engineer in me doesn’t mind dismantling and trying to optimally pack things up, so this was right up my alley, as I once again aimed to pack the bike, trailer, and several odds and ends into the box. Using a myriad of straps, I got the job done and had everything pretty much secured in there. I popped the top on an snapped a picture of my handiwork.

Rather than tackle the main bag packing, I decided to grab my shower, then wander out to find some food to eat for lunch. As I now had no bicycle to use to get around, my options were somewhat limited. I could head all the way down to the bay if I wanted, but I wasn’t really in the mood to go all that way. So instead, I opted to just head up the road to the intersection of a few major streets where I knew there were a few eateries. I opted for a place called Kebabs on Maskell, a kebab place as the name implies. Call it shawarma if you’d like, as that’s pretty much the same thing. I ordered a chicken kebab combo, with fries and a Fanta, and headed back to Kevins.

Popped in King Kong, and enjoyed my lunch. Outstanding Kebab I must say. I later learned that according to many people, they may actually make the best kebabs in all of Auckland! Imagine my luck finding that on a whim. Not only was the food good, but I was quite enjoying King Kong as well. I’m not too big a man to admit that I did in fact shed a tear during that movie. It was quite well done, and did display a good deal of emotion. Great acting by the leading lady, not to mention Kong himself. I didn’t even notice the fact that the movie ran over 3 hours!! Geesh, where does the time go.

After the movie, back to packing, now the task of shoving all the remaining things between my big duffle bag and my carry-on luggage. As it turns out, that wasn’t such a difficult thing to do, given that I’ve been living out of that bag for over 3 months now anyway. It was just a matter of adding in the extra stuff that I’d left behind in Auckland the first time around. I was all finished by around 5pm, and just vegged out and watched some videos on TV. I sparked up the Xbox 360 very briefly, but didn’t feel like trying to learn any new games. I also busied myself by cleaning up the house a little and doing the dishes for Kevin and Holly. I had planned to invite them out for supper when they got home.

Instead, when they arrived, I was asked it I wanted to head over to Kev’s parents place again for supper, given that it was my last night in Auckland. Who was I to say no. I graciously accepted, and we headed over there for the evening. We had a great meal and I enjoyed the company yet again. Boy, do I ever owe that crew a debt of gratitude for all they’ve done for me while in Auckland. It also gave me a chance to check on the status of all my flights, and give a quick call to Jody (at 5:20am her time!!) to let her know it was all systems go. All in all, not a bad way to spend my last night in Auckland. We drove back to Kevins, and I had another great night’s rest in the guest room. Tomorrow was the big take-off day, so I wanted to get a good night’s sleep, as I rarely sleep on airplanes, especially when they have great in-seat entertainment options 🙂 Stay tuned for more on my last half day and the return journey.

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