Friday, May 28, 2010

The continuing journey of the PT Cruiser

Nico and I took the bus to Auckland last Saturday with the hopes of picking up my PT Cruiser and driving it back home; flying would have been preferable, but on the short notice given to us, the bus was far, far more affordable. Also, we got to see all kinds of interesting things during the 8 hour bus ride.

Arriving in Auckland, we were treated to several hours of stunning weather on Saturday afternoon/evening. [Moored boats in Okahu Bay, if you're interested.]

Unfortunately, Sunday was more of what I'd expect from Auckland (which claims to get more rain annually than Seattle).

The blue sails belong to either NZ40 or NZ41...hard to tell which from the top of Mt. Victoria. [That's Nico manning the largest gun in NZ--fired only once because it shattered windows miles away.]

Our travels then brought us as far as Orewa Beach, which like many places on the north end of the North Island, reminds me of Hawaii.

Monday morning was car pickup day. It was supposed to be ready at 7:00 AM, and finally appeared at 10:15 AM...out of gas and with a dead battery. Sometime around 2:00 PM, AA installed a battery that almost fit, and we were off to the North Shore Compliance Centre. [In case I've neglected to mention it here, my car took so long to get here that they changed the law, and a left hand drive car can no longer be registered; the place in North Shore had agreed to certify my car under the old rules.] Sadly, they were about to close, and said it would take them a couple of days to complete the process.

Since I had to be at work the next day, we decided to drive to another compliance centre (in Napier). None of the many cops we passed during the 5 hour trip seemed bothered by our California plates. And in two weeks, the compliance centre in Napier says they'll have time to look at my car...

PS: If anyone's curious, driving an American car on the left side of the road is no big deal. In fact, if you're used to the steering wheel on the left, it will probably be easier for you...with two exceptions: 1) if you have to yield to car coming from the right (as at a roundabout), it's a little hard to see (you're passenger and the front pillar are in the way) and 2) if you're trying to pass someone on a two lane road, it's impossible to see around them from the left side of the car.

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