53. Auckland: The last full day

Tuesday, April 4: A few showers in the morning, developing into heavy rain by evening

Walking: 8.3 km

Tracy’s

Tracy left for work a bit later this morning and I must have only just missed her. Breakfast was the rest of the sausages with tomato sauce on toast, one piece of toast with vegemite, OJ, and coffee. Bit by bit all the stuff is being used up.

Decided to time a trip to the supermarket and bought some stuff to take back (maccaroni & cheese). Back for lunch of toasted cheese sandwiches, mandarines & Tracy’s muffin (which finished off all of those things) then a decision had to be made about transport tomorrow. In the end Sky Bus won out, although it will be touch & go as to how to get to the initial bus stop tomorrow morning. One very small load of washing was done and clothes were presorted into those being thrown away. With the washing precariously drying in the garage I went off to the Highbury shops to print out the bus ticket and the QR itinerary (just in case), stop off for one last (huge!) hokey pokey at the Mokoia General Store for $2.5 (Moore Ice Creams, apparently award-winning) and throw the clothes into a clothes bin at a strategically placed bus stop. A bit of rain prevented me from returning immediately and I got back just in time for the rain to start in earnest.

Considerable chatting had been entered into with Rayna & we agreed in the end that she would come to my place and we would go for a meal somewhere. I gave Tracy a copy of the book and suggested to her that a bike or two might be useful for the guests. Got a bit of news while waiting for Rayna to turn up which she did around 7:00. Got her to come into the house briefly where she met Tracy, then grabbed Rayna’s copy of the book and was out to her car fairly quickly.

A bit of a struggle to get a parking spot in Birkenhead, but eventually we did and had to walk some distance in the rain to get to the Italian places. Chose Abruzzo Ristorante, 13 Birkenhead Ave, Birkenhead, for spaghetti carbornara for Rayna, and one last pizza prosciutto e funghi for me, sparkling water for her & a Chomp beer from Black Dog for me for a total of $66.4, which I shouted. Our mutual visits of each other’s countries, photography and, of course, the weather were the topics of an ever changing conversation. Pizza was firm rather than crispy.

Rayna took a brief look at the book before driving me back. Still rivers of rain were pouring across the streets and the early darkness and a slight feeling of cold reminded me of Melbourne autumns and winters, the melancholy of bad weather, the autumn leaves that are falling.

Back here the key wouldn’t release from the lock but after it had I met Tracy’s daughter Hilary and her boyfriend briefly before they too were on their way. Very little left to pack and the rain hammers down everywhere.