February 12th 1983

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Thames panorama

Away out of the city today.  Bruce had sent us a great pile of addresses, one of them being of his aunt in Thames, at the foot of the Coromandel peninsula, so we planned to head down there for a few days.  Rich told us last night that Ganesh is about, so we’ll probably come back to see them afterwards.  It took us our usual hour or 2 to breakfast, pack etc – then we were off.  First to the bus station, where we caught a bus out to Green Lanes, co-incidentally the suburb where we’d been dropped off on our way in to Auckland the first time.  We were just walking out to the motorway entrance when a car screeched to a halt a little way ahead of us, + the driver leapt out + started leaping up + down.  We didn’t realise these gestures were meant for us until we came closer… it was Frank, one of Cascade’s policemen, God knows how he spotted us.  He was good, squeezed us into his car with 2 of his friends, + took us, not a long way, but to Papatoetoe, a few miles south.

This was the first of a succession of short rides, none longer than 25 miles or so, none remarkable in terms of the people, vehicle, or events along the way – just nice, helpful, ordinary.  Arrived at Thames mid-afternoon sometime, + called Bruce’s aunt.  She was very nice, but apologetic that she was really tied up over the weekend.  Of course I said that we were fine, + would call again Monday if we were still about.  Found out the location of the nearest motor-camp, + walked out there.  It was a mile or so, but we can fit everything into two packs, so don’t have to carry extra bags, which makes things much easier.  Obtained vital provisions at a dairy along the way.  The camp-site was a real beauty, surrounded by towering trees, the facilities spotlessly clean + well laid-out.

Pitched our tent, cooked a basic meal, then hitched into town to go to a pub, where we could write + read in relative comfort – rather better than in the tent anyway.  Didn’t stay long, + then hitched home.

Aha, so that is where Thames is – good to have the photo slightly more relevant to the blog itself.

But back to hitch-hiking, with the usual ease, especially when we run into an old acquaintance! I know New Zealand is a small country, but still. And good to take advantage of our address book/Bruce’s relatives, even if a bit delayed.

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