Said goodbye to my group as they were all heading to Wellington, and I was heading back to Auckland. Got a lift with Jonathan instead of getting 2 buses, whilst making it very clear nothing was going to happen, even if he wanted it to! I jumped in his Subaru and it was so amazing to be in a car again! Stopped for lunch briefly and arrived in Auckland in 4hrs rather than the 11 it would have taken on the bus. He showed me around the nicer places of Auckland - after being horrifed that I didn't think much of it on my 1st visit - and when you know where to go, it's gorgeous! He dropped me of at my hostel, sweetie.
In about 10 seconds of being in the reception, I see Barry!! I'd arranged to meet him and Pete in Auckland as we were there at the same time and i'd been looking forward to seeing them again from doing most of the South Island together. They really are such wonderful wonderful guys. They took me out for a gorgeous dinner by the harbour...seafood risotto...and for far too many glases of red wine! They were looking a tad browner after a week in the Cook Islands and were on top form bantering away all evening. Went to some expensive Irish bar and they took it in turns to give me piggybacks to the hostel bar, where they posed for my incessent photo taking, and Pete gave me my first salsa lesson! Fell asleep sandwiched between them back on the couch in the hostel's tv room, and somehow stumbled to my bed, didn't even brush my red wine stained teeth or wash my face! Yuck, but a great evening!