third time’s the charm

my days in Aotearoa were coming close to an end.
I had finally reached what I thought would be my final destination before flying back home. but I got there on Tuesday, earlier than I expected, and obviously I didn’t want to be a pain with my Kiwi family staying in their house for the whole time… AND for the third time… but of course, mom Ali said that there was no problem and that I could stay there as long as I wanted!

notice the "Mexican maid" note there...

notice the “Mexican maid” note there…

I really didn’t do much in Wellington this last week and a half.
I met at Te Papa Museum with Andrea, Angela, and Jimena my Mexican friend that lives in Melbourne (she was travelling all around NZ by bus).


I met with Jeronimo and Anna who came all the way down to this city just to say goodbye. we went to the Te Papa Museum, again… but to be honest I could never get tired of this place. every time I go there, I find something new, it’s like the never ending museum! the Aztec exhibition was about to be open, so there were ads all around the entrance… and I found an old friend of mine among them…


Mictlantecuhtli and me


zee Germans!

then we walked around the city, had dinner at my favourite mexican place Viva Mexico, and finished the night at my favourite pub Molly Malones.

I gathered once more on Saturday with my Funky Green friends to say goodbye to Andrea who was leaving the next day. so we walked around the city, we had dinner at Burger Fuel, and then ended up at Four Kings to have a couple of beers.

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next day I was going to have the Mexican Night with my family. so early in the morning Mark and I went to the Sunday market on the waterfront. we bought all the ingredients, and on the way out I saw my friend Bruno once more! third time in three months… we talked a little bit and then said goodbye for good, chances of seeing him again this last week were very low.


after the market we went to their real home, which is being remodelled, for me to see the changes since last time. then he took me to see the Wellington sign near the airport, a sign I hadn’t been able to see and really wanted to have the cliche picture of it.


we went back home and I started getting things ready to start cooking. Mark’s daughter, Anna with her husband and kid were going to join as well and Tasarla’s boyfriend, Josh, too. so it would be full house for the Mexican night!

I started doing the dough for the homemade tortillas, and then started cooking the main course. everybody started arriving, and I started feeling a lot of pressure, the good thing was that they ALL started helping me, so while I was doing the sauce and the chicken, they became my tortilla making army.


it was a fun night! we laughed, and talked, and drank some wine. I was for sure going to miss them once I left.

the next day I stayed at home all day, writing and setting things for my departure. I was leaving on the 6th of October to LA from Auckland, so I had to find my way back up there. I found one of those relocation sites where you can rent cars for free, and there I found a car I could pick up in Wellington and return in Auckland airport after two days… so I decided to drive up to Rotorua, stay there for two nights, and then leave early on Sunday morning directly to the airport… the tricky part was that it would be a manual car, and it has been a WHILE since I’ve driven one… oh shit!

the next day I met with Angela. we went for a big walk and had some lunch together. we printed a couple of the “Funky Green Biatches” photos to give to the hostel owners as a thank you gift… she wanted to hang out a lot before I left, and I really wanted to do the same, but I just had a lot of things to do so I decided to be with her that whole day, and then see her on my last night… I was going to miss her for sure!


next day my driving lessons with Tasarla started. we went op shopping together along with Josh. I found this very cute outfit to wear the day I would meet with Robert, and other than that, nothing. in fact, I couldn’t really buy stuff, I actually had to get rid of my winter clothes because where I was going, was not as cold as NZ.


almost every day since I got to Wellington I had been texting and skyping with Robert. when I was in Napier, Robert and I had decided to go to Mexico. but I didn’t want to go back to Mexico City, it would not be fair to enter my comfort zone with him, specially if he doesn’t speak the language. I already had my ticket and I couldn’t afford to lose that, I was running out of money and buying a ticket to go somewhere else was not the best idea. so he agreed to come with me. we would fly to LA along with his friend Sebastian, stay there four days, then say goodbye to Sebastian and go to San Diego for a night to take the plane to San Jose del Cabo the next day. in Mexico we would start working for a guy from the States in Cabo Pulmo where he has some kind of hotel, a place that seems wonderful. we also had booked some work in exchange for accommodation with another couple in a ranch with horses, but that was not until the end of December. we decided that, because it would give me the chance to find a job to save some money and travel some more, if that’s what we wished for in the future. he was coming with me! he was being the sweetest guy ever, comforting me because I was really nervous with the road trip, and the manual car… he really cared for me, and we were both very excited to start this new adventure together!

on my last night in Wellington, my Kiwi family invited Angela and me to have a farewell dinner and drinks. this time, was the real goodbye… until they go to Mexico again, which seems more possible than me going back to NZ. we had dinner in an Indian restaurant, and then had some beers at a pub called Laundry… a pretty cool place!


next morning, Tasarla took me to where I had to pick up the car… I was VERY nervous… of course, I took the wheel and the engine stopped like three times right there in the car rental company… in front of everyone… terrible! Tasarla tried to cheer me up and helped me feel less nervous… we said goodbye with a big big hug, and we both drove away…

I was sad to leave my family… but I’m sure we’ll meet again someday… that’s what families do!

note for the road… may the Gods be with me and the people around me while I drive…

there and back again

after going through customs, where I was questioned about my motives of coming back to the country (because I had been here three months already), I finally got to the first backpackers that I ever stepped into in my life (and on this trip). it was Saturday at 1am when I got there. though people were socialising in the lobby, I just wanted to go to bed. I was not tired at all, but I was feeling very confused – not knowing why I hadn’t stayed longer in Melbourne.

the next day I texted Flavia, a girl from Uruguay I met back in march when I first arrived into this country. it turned out we were both staying in the same hostel, which that night was throwing a costume party (which I had no intention in going until then). so we met in the evening to go buy our drinks and costumes… she would be a weird female version of Chaplin and I would be a very feminine marine.


the party was nice, people actually dressed in costumes (something that doesn’t really happen in Mexico). we went to bed early because Flavia had to work next day, and I was not very much in the mood.


next morning I changed hostels, and went to the YHA. I had two prepaid nights there that I had to use. to be horribly honest, the other one is always filthy, the kitchen is too small, you don’t really meet a lot of people… and that last thing is what I needed, to meet someone with a car that may want a travel partner to share costs… so I moved.

I thought it would be very easy to find this person with a car in Auckland, but I was mistaking… seemed like everyone there had already travelled and was just waiting to take the plane back home.

but I did meet some very nice people, among them Giorgia from Italy, Fabian from Austria, and Chris from Germany. this last guy is a very extroverted person that just came to my table and asked if he could sit… he had a great attitude! so that day we talked about our plans and what we wanted to do the next few weeks.

another VERY interesting person I met in the hostel was Tuhoe “Bruno” Isaac. this Maori guy, with a full moko on his face, came on Sunday evening into the hostel… to stay here… it was awesome to see the looks on all the guests’ faces! no one knew what was happening… it’s SO weird to see a local (very local by the looks of it) staying in a hostel.
but he turned out to be a very nice person (when sober) with lots of stories to tell and advice to give.
he’s been travelling for six years in his own country to sell his book: TRUE RED, a sort of autobiography.
I liked Bruno, every time we met he would call me “bub”, like if I was his granddaughter, and we would talk (actually he was the one doing all the talking) for hours.

on Monday night I was going to have some drinks with Flavia, and Giorgia joined. I wished I would’ve met her before, because we bonded immediately and travelling with her would’ve been very fun.


Tuesday morning Chris came with a brilliant idea… since we both had a lot of time to kill (he was waiting for his girlfriend to arrive on August 17th, and I was waiting to serve at a vipassana course from August 21st to September 1st), he asked me to hitchhike with him to Northland, and it became our new plan… we were doing it next morning! that meant: pack again, get rid of food, throw away clothes that you are NOT using, get a cardboard and a marker…

that night I tried to have my picture taken with Bruno, but he answered “have you bought the ($45.00) book yet? when you buy the book we can take a picture together”… bugger…
later Chris and I went to have some farewell drinks with our friends from the hostel… another girl that came with us was Sophie, who was crying in the room because the bus had left with all her things except her… so we asked her to join us so she could cheer up a little bit.
after a couple of beers and watching some people make fool of themselves with karaoke, Flavia came with some of her Argentinian friends to say goodbye as well.



on Wednesday morning we got ready to start our hitchhiking adventure aiming to hit Whangarei, a two hour drive, in one day…