On Thursday night we had an fantastic evening with our Tahitian friends (I feel like saying “family” now, we had such a warm welcome and have grown so close). They prepared a lovely, traditional Tahitian dinner. We prepared some of our own Swiss contributions (une tresse – ein Butterzopf in German – and a chocolate mousse), although these we left for our hosts to remember us by.
It was with a heavy heart that we headed for the airport. Our flight from Tahiti to New Zealand left at 1:30am on Friday the 13th, but as we crossed the International Date Line on our journey we arrived at 6:30am on Saturday October 14th in Auckland. How about that as a strategy for minimising bad luck? :-)
One of my oldest friends, Sean, picked us up at the airport. Sean and I have been friends since high school, but were acquaintances growing up (we went to the same church before then). He moved to Auckland around a decade ago with his wife, Sharon (who is from here), and their 2 kids (they’ve had a third one since). It’s shamefully our first time out here to visit them, but I’m so glad we did. It’s been way too long.
Sean dropped us all back at their place in Devonport, and then he and I headed out of the city to pick up our motorhome for the New Zealand leg. I was really lucky Sean was available to drive me up there: because we were renting from a smaller company (that so far seems very good) and wanted to pick it up on a Saturday morning, we ended up having to drive to the house of the lady who cleaned it. A little strange, but hey. The van itself was decent enough, thankfully.
Our main goal for the weekend wasn’t, in fact, to visit Auckland at all: it was to maximise our time with Sean and his family. So we mainly stayed in Devonport: On Saturday we visited the Naval Museum (where we had ice cream), Mount Victoria (where we played football with the kids) and had fish and chips down by the beach. We wrapped up with a visit to the local festival of lights.
On Sunday we went shopping for Halloween, visited the amazing Devonport public library and visited the tunnels at North Head.
On Monday morning Sean helped us get on the road as he headed into Auckland for work. It was fantastic seeing Sean, Sharon, Amelie, Macsin and Corin: we may live on opposite sides of the planet, but we absolutely need to find a way to see each other more often.
By the way… if you’ve enjoyed these photos, you can see more (and more regularly) via our Instagram page.