Then charging down the straight, passing another fleeing Aucklander - I see what would probably become the bane of the owner by the end of Labour Weekend. It was a red van that had included the letters "JAFFA" on its plate, and south of the Bombays, that takes some guts.
I blurred their plate for their safety
Yes, the roads have been improved remarkably. From Mercer right through to Huntly is what could make Auckland's Southern Motorway 'central' in years to come. It is definitely Motorway and America large. There's room to pitch a tent on the grass either side, new overbridge intersections that seem to offer a destination (but upon 2.5km of "discovery" down one, I decided one u-turn was enough), and travel time was shaved too.
Bombay to Hamilton at the legal speed limit - 45 minutes. Push over the limit hard and you'd get it in 30. Huntly may be the bypass of the future, but it doesn't mean we will visit more often though, Hamilton.
I forgot how horrible radio is in Hamilton. I thought it could get better over time but within that 45 minutes of travel time, I heard a slamming campaign of Waikatos World too many times across all of the major stations, in between the centralised playlists. Wow, whats up with the weekend announcers? Seriously, there are some REALLY underprepped jocks on air there. Ouch.
Hamilton lake is so bleak, I wish it did rain.
I managed to get out to a friends place in Whatawhata. He's got a few acres there and has a place on a hill with the most wicked view behind his bright flower garden, pool and typical farmhouse pillared deck. The house is a do-up, two years into the renovation and its a real treat to see its progress after such time between visits. He's going to make a mint one day once he decides how to subdivide is empty lots. We toasted his success with a couple of beers and hot dogs.
I had Sunday brunch with a great radio bud (a true gentleman who I think should revive his online column) at Scotts on Victoria Street, only to return 30 minutes afterward for coffee with another dear friend.
The staff there spotted the Aucklander right away. I informed one of the charmers there that scientists had figured out how to naturally produce straight bananas. She duly told everyone else over the following 90 minutes, and returned later with facts from another table about how ladies cannot close their mouths when applying eyeliner. I did not know that!
Off to Paeroa that afternoon to see the new mansion on the hill where another friend has recently moved in. It's a great house and the lucky bastard has an awesome office setup there. Looking at your computer screen now, imagine glancing left to see your vision engulfed by Paeroa and the overwhelming Hauraki Plains. It's a surprisingly AWE-some feeling of displacement when surfing the net on broadband there.
Back across to Whatawhata on the Monday to catch up with another girlfriend who had just returned back from her Labour Weekend. Its weird how they use rainwater in Whatawhata, yet Environment Waikato charge for it? I thought a lot about that on my way back to the smoke until Huntly where I needed to refuel with 96 and consume some local grub.
In Huntly, I scanned the LPFM dial and found a little broadcaster in Huntly on 107.7 playing some unforgettable stuff that could really be forgettable. Signal was weak too. TLC will move in there soon, so Huntly will have something a little more polished - which they should assume the honour at the upcoming fireworks display there.
Roll on New Years, where I will avoid the Waikato and head north!