We had made plans to meet Jake M at our hostel at 5pm, so when our ferry docked just after 4pm we couldn’t take the time to walk all the way back up Queen Street and through hooker-land.  (Plus, that whole “exhausted thighs like painful bags of oatmeal” thing). We grabbed the Link bus that dropped us off right in front of the hostel. Yay public transpo.

We rushed through a shower and were walking downstairs right when Jake was walking up.

First order of business – a drink.  We walked down Ponsonby to a little pub, got some hard cider, and chatted about the upcoming semester.  Then we drove to another pub, drank a micro-brew, and talked about why Jake and Cece want to be vets. Then Jake drove us to the top of one of the many volcanoes to check out the city from above. The Maori tribe would fortify a caldera and defend it from other tribes who might live in calderas only a thousand meters away.

(See that? I’m talking in meters now. A meter’s about as long as a yard, right?)

One thing I noticed is how few of the dormant volcano cones have been developed.  We have hills in Los Angeles, and we build homes and strip malls all over them. Here, they develop the flat land all around the cones, but they leave the elevated parts alone. It’s pretty cool that there isn’t a Starbucks on top of each ancient volcano.

A view of the Sky Tower from the top of a volcano

Next Jake took us to a Bavarian restaurant for beer & mussels.  I’m not a seafood guy, so I had a schnitzel while Cece and Jake ate their little bags of guts.  Eugh.  But at least they had plenty of garlic for me to dip my fries in.

All in all, a great relaxing evening with a new friend.  We were exhausted from our hike earlier in the day, and we had to wake up before 6am to catch the train to Palmerston North, so we said our farewells to Mr. M and hit the sack.