It is not fast to get from Auckland to Laingholm. Even if it is only 25 km it took me about 2 hours. I took a train from a downtown to New Lynn where I had to wait for 45 minutes for a bus to Laingholm. The public transport in Auckland almost doesn’t exist. At least the one we are used to in Europe. Going through an outskirt of Auckland seemed to me more like going through a neverending village full of houses. The last buildings told me goodbye and the jungle took over their place. Beautiful, fresh green palms, bush and other trees like from a movie about a prehistoric age. In the bus, a driver spoke to me where I came from and he was really nice. Saying goodbye to the driver is a casual part of everyday commuting of each passenger. This is a really nice but maybe the only good thing about the Auckland Public Transport.
The bus driver yelled at me on a place I needed to leave. I thanked and went to find the Benoit’s house (a place where I could stay 3 nights thanks to Couchsurfing). After few attempts, I succeeded and I went down by stairs to a building. Coming to a house I already saw that something was happening in the house. There were two German boys who should have spent a few night in a Benoit’s place with me. Benoit welcomed us with an awesome dinner which was so nice after the three days in Auckland eating an easy stuff. Benoit is around 70 years old. He helps to travelers, who stray to New Zealand, with traveling and giving them his wisdom and experiences of traveler himself. It was really interesting to listen to his stories and about places in New Zealand. He had already hosted about 1000 people which is an incredible number and he is still going on. Unbelievable how some people can be generous and helpful.
The first earthquake
The next day I woke up feeling really bad. I could not speak and I felt sick. I was tired from the long flight, hilarious Hong Kong and from all the things which I had to solve in Auckland. I felt a little bit bad that I slept and ate for free so I gave Benoit a hand with getting rid of ginger plants around the house. I cut through it like an American soldier in Vietnam but the ginger smelt good so it was a pleasant job.
After the work, I went for a nap on a bunk bed. I was chilling and listening to a music then suddenly the bed started to shake. Really? The first earthquake in my 4th day in New Zealand? I ran down to tell Benoit. With a calm look he told me: “No, it was a washing machine.” 😀 Boring. :/ The building is built on wooden pylons so that’s why.
In the evening, we took it easy. The dinner and 4:20 with Benoit and the German guys.