A foot on the road, a path beneath the trees.
Two months of staying put makes you feel like you're home again, and the same feeling applies to the moment of departure. I felt genuinely sad to leave our hostel, somehow knowing that the future might not bring anything better for a while. In a way, I guess I was right.
We had initially bought bus passes from Auckland during our first stay there. From Paihia we could book all of our buses for the next two weeks and it felt quite good to notice how easy something can be here, even though related to buses. If I were a mighty, omnipotent being the first thing I'd teach to the people of New Zealand would be how to make a proper, working public transportation system. The current system is what you get from combining a school bus and a military bus - except that there are no toilets on the buses, which makes the school-military bus reference a compliment.
Our departure morning felt good. That certain feeling you get when you set your foot out on the road again is one of the best feelings I know. Listening to an acoustic country song on the bus, gazing out from the window, letting your thoughts fly. Our bus ride – even if a tad over-timed – took us to some sights we would have missed on a normal bus, such as Tane Mahuta, the Lord of the Forest, a 51-meter Kauri tree behemoth with a life span of 2000 years.
Auckland, for the second time around, was a bit more pleasant than the initial take on the Sky City. We lucked out and got a private room instead of a dorm, spent a night out dining in a Spanish restaurant and faced the classic waiter-there-are-dead-flies-in-my-wine-glass syndrome but had a great evening regardless of the insects. However, Auckland still didn't quite impress me.