Wow! Quite an evening which has led to me being in here in a disused shop on Devonport High street. I’m settling in to this very commodious accommodation after enjoying a few beers with the regulars and owners of the Seven Stars bar who have done me a real favour in sorting me out somewhere to sleep.
I’ve met Amy, the lovely owner with her son, she is originally from China but been in NZ for 16 years and been running this bar for about a year now. I’ve met brothers Vinnie (John Travolta lookalike! I’m sure Vinnie will like that) and Dominic who work together in automatic transmissions in Glenfield, I’ve met John who has sorted out the shop for me as he is renovating it, Doug who is a shower installer and Merv from Mt Mangonui who has being up doing some work for his Daughter who lives here. Had a really good few hours with them talking about the trail and other stuff. Amy and her sister even sorted out some tasty Dim Sum and fried fish.
All came about from my getting into Devonport and not being able to find any accommodation advertised other than at the Esplanade hotel. After walking up and down to no avail I asked a local if there was anywhere to stay and she pointed me back to the hotel who would probably be able to advise where else. Nice chap at hotel reception said best he could offer me was $160 but to try the seven stars as he’d heard they may have room they let. When I asked a the bar Amy came over and had a word with her son who said although they didn’t they would ring someone who probably would. They couldn’t get hold of the guy so I had a beer and Amy introduced me to my new found mates, Amy was really great and said if nothing else I could sleep on the floor of her other business an accupunture clinic! After chatting a bit John offered to open up the shop he was working on just a few doors up which had toilet, little kitchen etc. Bought John and vinnie a beer to show my appreciation. All pretty down to earth guys so talked rugby, councils and learnt a few things I didn’t know, one being that NZ has the longest coastline of any country in the world (can believe it now as I’ve walked a fair few up north!) and that John Travolta’s real name is Vinni Barbarino . Nice bit of Trail magic left me feeling very happy and reinforces my view that Kiwis (both born and adopted) are the nicest on earth.
John said there is a chap that sells papers by the ferry port in the morning and I should say he is a “good F%$K as John said so”,even if being a good f£&k is a term of endearment in nz I’m not sure I can bring myself to do so to a complete stranger but will see!
My “rest day” had panned out fairly well with a good long Skype chat with Marie and Alice in the morning. Only trouble was they were upside down and if turned my tablet then I was upside down for them, but it was pretty cool to just chat about stuff over all those miles away.
Checked that camp site office would look after my rucksack while I went into Takapuna internet cafe to do blog, they were fine so spent next 6 hours doing blogs! I was by then desperate for a pee (and hadn’t eaten all day so yet another validation for my Korean Feast night before) and had to logoff still not fully blogged up to date. Grabbed a sausage roll on way back to camp and headed for Devonport about 4.30pm. Decided to wear crocs as was starting on the beach I went at a leisurely pace as was about 8km in all so would take 2-3 hours. Pretty pleasant walking with a few sights along the way, also cooler at this time. the Devonport headland was a bit of a rabbit Warren of tracks and couldn’t find the right materials to mark the 600km mark adequately (hadn’t spotted if Karla had already been and done one). Came down finally via a path I needed to swing on trees to get over the high tide level. The rest is history so goodnight from my not so vacant shop!