Back down the gravel road, through Thames, across farmland, over the Bombay hills, and back into Drury. The hens all gathered around as we pulled up to the pet shop, each wanting to be the lucky lady chosen to go to Waiheke Island. Before picking them out however, we had to engage in the obligatory chat with the fellows working at the store. This procedure, which I have taken to calling "chadding" can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours, and while it usually results in some fascinating incites into local culture and/or useful information, my attention span can't handle that much small talk. Realizing what was about to happen, I took the dog out for a walk. When I returned, Chad was getting directions from the two gentlemen for shops where we might do some bulk food shopping. After telling us just exactly how to get to the shops multiple times (complete with hand gestures on navigating the roundabouts), they drew a map and then proceeded to walk us through it one more time. O-kay! I think it's about time we pick out those chickens and hit the road!
After visits to an Asian market, and Indian market, and a Fruit and Veg shop, our gypsy van was complete. To compliment the poultry, the blue heeler, sleeping pads, campstove, and yesterday's smelly attire, we now had three sacks of potatoes, two sacks of rice, 6 varieties of dried beans, a gigantic bottle each of tamari, olive oil, and hot sauce, assorted spices, and way too many kiwifruit. This is real life Oregon trail, minus the snakebites. And the typhoid. Although one more heavy rain and we would've had to caulk the wagon and float.
With Chad by now being proficient in Kiwi driving techniques along with my superb navigation skills, we made it back to Auckland with time to spare before our ferry. Fish and Chips? Yes, please. A stroll along the harbor in the sunshine? Oh if we must. What a lovely ending.
4 chooks, $96
1 bag of feed, $20
1 round-trip ferry ticket, $90
1 camp site, $12
Fresh eggs every morning, priceless