Knocked out as you are after the long flight CET still rules over you. We are not able to rest more than four hours in an uneasy sleep. We are granting ourselves a fast “continental breakfast” in our hotel before we leave to get our rented car.

Relating to traffic the hotel is situated conveniently. We are allowed to store our baggage at the reception and it only takes a five minute walk to the car rental agency. Though we drop in 1 ½ hours before the agreed time they already have our car ready for us. My goodness: Driving left with a right-hand drive car we are already used to from GB, but automatic?! Gernot starts very carefully, in slow motion we reach the relative safety of the hotel car park. Getting there we at first have to acquaint ourselves with our new car. What does every gear stand for, and why is the car always beeping? Never mind – it will have to work!

Our next steps lead us to the shopping center on the other side of the street. Gernot urgently needs a local SIM card for his mobile phone. It is no problem at all to buy one but then the fun begins. After what I think hours we succeed to reach my son in Germany. He calls us back – that also works perfectly. We just cannot manage to get an internet access, even 2degrees is not able to help us.

I now absolutely want to get away from here and to head for our first proper accommodation, a bed and breakfast on the Whangaparaoa peninsula North of Auckland. It’s my turn to drive. And I do so without any problems. In the beginning I still switch gears mentally but that fades after a while. Also driving left is no issue. Only the blinker does not stop irritating me as it is on the right side. Left side is the lever for the wiper, and now every time when changing lanes or turning we wipe our windscreen first.

At „Peone Place“ Elizabeth already waited for us. There is a cup of tea and scalloped cheese toast and muffins. Our room is furnished cosily. You can realize the English origin in every detail. The views to Stanmore Bay are stunning. We just take a short rest before we leave for an ample walk on the beach. Actually we planned to have dinner at an Indian restaurant but no chance, we are still too groggy. A pack of cookies and a bottle of water is all we need for dinner. At half past five we fall asleep – game over.

Getting Down Under

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