Today I had to leave Tui Lodge and Coromandel Town. I won't lie, I really considered staying longer. Unfortunately, Quentin left while we were eating breakfast and Chris/Lewis left a bit later. I was stuck waiting around for the ferry to Auckland, though, which left at 3pm. This gave me plenty of time to let the relaxed environment fill my bones with content laziness. Staying longer would have meant calling my trip over, essentially, so I figured I needed to follow suite and leave as well. I think if the others had stayed longer I would have been fine with finishing my time here but only Lorenz was left, and his girlfriend is landing tomorrow and they they will be heading off to travel. So after Chris and Lewis left, I road to town to use the Internet and booked my ferry.
The morning was full of sad farewells and hugs but that's the way it is. Maybe I'll see some of these guys again if I'm roaming through Europe (something I really want to do in the nearish future). I had some time to kill and Jackie was okay with me hanging out a bit so I came back to the hostel after booking my ticket to wait for my ferry. I talked to Lorenz, enjoyed reading in the back yard and had a final short bounce before I had to hit the road for my 8km flat ride to the ferry.
I guess for a ferry to Auckland I was expecting to find a large dock awaiting. Turns out Hannaford's Wharf is about as small as it gets.
I loaded my bike on the boat and got ready for a two hour cruise to Auckland. After I sat down I noticed a familiar face, a Czech girl I met along with Paul when I tented at the hostel back in Whakatane. Was fun to catch up on where we've been since then. She hitch hiked around Coromandel area some and was heading to Auckland to catch a red eye flight to Thailand.
The ferry over was a bit expensive ($54nzd) but was a pretty scenic ride, bouncing between some of the islands, so it was a good ride.
When I made it to Auckland the chill mood I've been in for the past few days was stripped away. The boat unloaded next to a cruise liner that had probably an order of magnitude or so more people on it than lived in Coromandel Town. The port sits next to the train station and bus hub, so the streets were full of busses and cars. Sidewalks packed with people running to catch their transport and in general in some type of rush I haven't seen since I left America.
I realized quickly that I wasn't getting out on a bus tonight, so I followed Quentin's advice and headed to City Garden Hostel. A 3.5km ride from the ferry landing and it felt like I dived into a new world. The street felt like a suburb and the hostel had a lot of garden space (hence the name, I suppose). Full of people who looked much younger than me (I must be getting old) though I found some people to talk to. After getting my quiet and peace back, I had no interest in roaming back to the city so I spent the rest of my night there.