Tiki-touring – or roaming around with no set plan – seemed like an excellent way to spend a couple of months. With no travelling overseas in the foreseeable future, why not enjoy our own country? We left Auckland early in the autumn and headed to the South Island. The temperature would cool substantially before we returned.
I always feel more at home the further south I go. It might be more years than I care to remember since I lived down south, but there it is. The south, and particularly Southland, will always reign as home in my heart.
Before our tiki-touring began, we needed to drop off a family friend in Thames at the bottom of the Coromandal Peninsular. While a little out of our way, we weren’t in any hurry. The drive was fun until we encountered the American Muscle Car Rally. Apparently they had driven over from Whangamata for the day. I admit we saw some amazing cars streaming past, but the half-hour it took to access the road into Thames soon waned any vestige of interest. Eventually, finding all main roads in the town closed off, meeting the contact to deliver our friend did prove more difficult and time-consuming than ever anticipated. Needless to say, we departed Thames as quickly as a cat with its tail on fire.
Another side trip was to visit with my father-in-law in Wairoa. In almost the complete opposite direction from the South Island, we were happy to have spent a couple of days with him and his lovely wife. Saying goodbye to them we set the compass to south and our tiki-touring began.
A while since visiting Wellington, we booked into a central hotel to enjoy the sites again. Our capital city turned it on for us. Rain, wind, and too cold temperatures for this time of year. We were happy to head for the ferry and expect better from the South Island.