A 5 hour tour!
It was lovely taking the ferry out to Waiheke island today. An island full of vineyards and some more beautiful beaches! We wine tasted at 1 winery, basically because we felt bad going there just to use their wifi so Alicia could make her scheduled Monday Skype call home to her parents. We spent a good amount of time at Goldie (the winery). Then we decided to walk to the next winery because we missed the bus. That walk quickly turned into our first hitch hiking experience with a guy in a Prius who used to live in D.C. and is now retired on the island. His car kinda smelled like cat urien. Alicia didn't smell it though so I guess that's all that matters ;)
We hit a second winery and oh! man! the food in their outdoor cafe smelled great but as we are saving money on certain things we took our packed lunch from home around to the back of their property to basically "squat" and have our own lunch in their resttarunt area... This is the backpackers way, after all!
The vineyard cat Mori joined us and tried to share our food as well. It was a beautiful setting for a picnic! When we finished lunch and made it back to the main road we met a couple from Calgary at the bus stop & then we realized we were on the wrong side of the rd for the bus we wanted to take us to the beach. We crossed the rd and started walking in the beach direction searching for a bus stop when the Canadians yelled, there's a closer bus stop this direction (the opposite way we were headed) so we turned around. We walked forever! Okay maybe 5 to 10 min but we were wearing sandals not walking shoes and it was warm out, FYI there's pretty much no ozone layer left over Australia and NZ so the sun is way more intense here!
I swear I'm not complaining... This is all very comical to Alicia and I now that we are HOME! ;)
We finally decided we had walked to far in the wrong direction for a bus stop so we headed back towards the beach with our thumbs out once again. This time a guy picked us up in his VW bus. Super cool guy who loves the U.S. West coast, San Francisco and burning man! As he drove us We passed the bus stop area where the Canadians were still waiting for their bus. The funny part is, I noticed a bus pulled over right across the street from where the Canadians still sat waiting for their bus. When this bus pulled away it said "bus stop" ON the road! No sign on a post or bus stop like other places around NZ and this island but on the freakin road! Hey, way to switch things up NZ. Ha! So I'm sure the Canadians thought we were real smart as we walked right over "bus stop" looking for a bus stop.
Our 2nd driver took us as far as his house which was a pretty rad (underground) hostel. We walked right around the corner from there to get to the beach. A few hours spent there and the 5 hour public transportation commute, we were unaware of started!
We went took a bus, a ferry, a train, a bus, another bus and there was supposed to be yet ANOTHER bus after that but we asked the bus driver about that other bus and he said, "oh that's me!" What!?
So he was driving back to the place he had just picked us up from and then back to village where Alicia and I were going to get off and wait for HIM to come around and get us for the remainder of our ride home! Crazy! So we just stayed on and rode the circle with him. Then after we were finally dropped off Alicia and I started down to the bottom of the dead end rd we are currently calling home. Oh did I mention I almost got hit by a car and Alicia saved my life on our way down the hill!? Yep! She's a keeper.