23 September 2005
Because our car was not ready in the morning, we had some room to visit Pini a third time, before we would leave to Whakatane.
As a surprise, we brought a beautiful cardboard box with us. And a t-shirt from Frank’s own travel collection for an essential home-smell. With one of those tiny foldable travel-scissors I have cut peepholes into the side of the box.
The gift is thoroughly inspected, nosed and tried, followed by the ritual of licking and rubbing our hands. It seems like she’s more confident now we occasionally visiting her broom closet. We didn’t dare to tell her that hereafter we will stay away for at least 1 week …
At 5:00 am the car is finally ready. That’s a little too late to drive to Whakatane, so after 3 hours practise in left-handed steering we stopped at Mount Mounganui.
In bed of our Spanish styled motel room we ate a delicious Indian dinner out of a plastic bag.
Since our plans to live in New Zealand got a certain level of seriousness, we always imagined a swelling sound of a large orchestra would be heard at the entrance of Whakatane as soon as we were arriving. But far after that moment has passed, we realized that we didn’t hear anything. .
However, the weather is beautiful. In despite of the sunny winter day, we are striked by the large number of bare feet people.
Every hotel in Whakatane said ‘no vacancy’, what ultimately drifted us to a very cheap hotel in a nearby village. It is mainly populated by truckers and laborers and it’s a bit noisy and old, but we have to pay only 25% of the prices of the motels on the main road of Whakatane.
We can stay a few days longer and quietly looking for a rental house.