Ah, a lovely second night in the room, mercifully missing the snorer from hell (he was out all night partying). However, as it turns out, snoring is the least of my problems with him. He doesn't bathe, he is drunk 24/7, he was drinking beer in the room this morning and afternoon (alcohol is not permitted in this hostel), he makes slurred passes at myself and the twin sisters from Northern England, he eats beans out of a can and then spills some and squishes them into the carpet, and he has a stereo that he set up and listens to his music (bad Spanish rap/punk and rock) at full volume and stands in front of it and plays air guitar. I will not be sorry to leave him behind tomorrow.
The sore throat is starting to recede, but it's being replaced by a cough and an annoying tickle that makes my eyes well up and look like I'm either terribly sad or terribly stoned. I am hoping that I don't drag out this illness by starting my travels tomorrow, but the alternative is to stay here, and quite frankly, I would like to get out of the city.
Today I went back to the IEP office to pick up my mail (my IRD tax number came through), then headed out to visit the Mainline Steam Depot in Parnell (a suburb of Auckland). I had some pins and flyers about the BC Forest Discovery Centre I was hoping to give to Michael, and thank him again for such a great three weeks, but he wasn't in; likely taking a well-deserved holiday after three weeks of stress. I instead spoke to Ian, one of the volunteers, and when I gave him the pins to give to Michael he told me he had been to the museum in 1995 and had ridden on Hillcrest #1! It's neat how there are connections to home to be found in people all the way down here.
I bought bread at the supermarket on my way back to the hostel (mine had moulded, yum yum), then I made myself an early supper of rice and veggies and salad again. Then it was up here to my room (thankfuly the crazy guy was on his way out to a night of partying), and I repacked my suitcase and hiking backpack in preparation for my 7:45am departure tomorrow (the less thinking I have to do in the morning, the better).
I am off on my Stray Travel bus pass tomorrow morning: we are headed first to Hahei Beach in the Coromandel. The itinerary for my pass ("Max") can be found here: http://www.straytravel.com/new-zealand-bus-travel/straypasses/2 , although I won't be sticking to it religiously, taking a day or two extra in different locations... after all, I'm not exactly on a time constraint. My blog updating will likely get a bit more sporadic now; not all the places we will be staying will have internet access.
Anyway, it is Friday night, almost 11:30pm, and the streets outside are hopping (and so is the club, judging by the thumping music I can feel resonating from one building over), but I need to be up early, so it is off to bed for me. I'm the only one in the room right now; maybe I'll actually get to sleep without listening to someone else's snoring or heavy breathing!!