We're almost done with this story, and the end is pretty good. You may, however, want to see what we've done thus far this week. You can check it all out here:
Part I -- Part II -- Part III -- Part IV -- Part V -- Part VI
We needed to return the piece-of-crap Toyota by 2:30, but we made it with plenty of time and, though it almost ran out of gas ("petrol") once on the way, in one piece.
In Auckland, it was a city-wide holiday. Much like national holidays in the States, NZ tends to let each town have one, and we were returning the car on what's known as "Auckland Anniversary Day". Steve's daughter, Robyn, was earning time-and-a-half by showing up for work on a holiday, and we were crashing with her that night, so we needed to kill some time before she got home. We did so by having a really nice lunch in Albert Park, right by the University, and reading by the water while our towels dried.
Robyn met up with us around 6pm, and showed us her lovely home she shares with two other flatmates. All three of them had plans for the evening, so we were free to make ourselves at home. Some warm dinner and warm showers revived us to plan for the next day. But a wrench was thrown in our plans when our phone rang. Our new friend, Cali Brian, was calling to inform us that he could no longer give us a ride South to Wellington. ...Cue the scary music... We couldn't fault the guy, since he had the opportunity to go skydiving. With no planned way to get home, we decided to get to sleep early and see what happened with the sunrise.
...more to come, but first -
Robyn, and her dad, Steve. Robyn, thanks again for letting us stay in your home. It really helped us out!
...to be concluded...