This morning we said goodbye to Manjot and Kulyjot as they rushed off to school.
Puaji, paji and phenji were home, it was nice that we got to catch up with paji and phenji. Puaji and Phenji made lunch which we all ate together. After lunch paji went to work.
Indian goodbyes last some time, in our case about 45 minutes. It was sad to say bye, we have enjoyed staying here so much, feels so relaxed and like home. It was fantastic to see everybody again. When we left Puaji and Phenji packed a lot of fruit and various soft drinks. There are some Indian traditions I question, this one I do not. It is such an amazing tradition….somebody stays at your house, you feed them, accommodate them, when it is time for them to leave you pack so much food they are unable to carry it and send them on their way!!
We arranged to pick up Nolan around 2 pm but got to the hostel at about 2:45pm where Nolan was waiting in his chilled out way. We then went to get the car tyre seen to. The garage was so good, they said that the paperwork needed was too much so they just repaired the puncture for free!
We set off to Wellington taking highway 5 to Taupo then 1 to Wellington, on the way we stopped at Huka Falls, powerful and very amazing falls.
We then stopped at lake Taupo, this lake is huge. The views were stunning with snow capped mountains behind the lake.
The drive to wellington is around 5 to 6 hours, with taking breaks it took about 7 hours. Towards the end of the journey, we were driving in the dark so played 21 questions to keep ourselves occupied and awake which was very entertaining and made us chuckle.
We stopped for dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Bull, called Hungry Bull, that served fish and chips, burgers, bacon and sausage fry up as well as Chinese food! They also sold lollipops, various ice lollies and pastries, as soon as we entered, the restaurant looked dodgy…….the food was amazing! Just goes to show don’t judge a book by its cover!
Once we arrived in Wellington we went to the YHA but as we arrived there at 11:20pm they would not check us in. Tthey said as we had not booked in advance they could not check us in, if we got there by 11pm they would have checked us in….suppose rules are rules. They suggested we try Nomads which had rooms. We got a double room with ensuite. The room was very clean and had a television (in a hostel room!?!?)
118 Wakefield Street
T: +64 4 978 7800
Today we were home with Puaji. She is an amazing lady, she is in her late seventies, very active and very up to date with technology and world affairs. The other day she was telling ME what the current exchange rates were!
Paji was home before going to his clinic and it was nice to have a quick catch up over a cup of tea.
Manjot was home after school, she chatted with us for some time before studying for her exams. It was nice and good of her to take time out whilst she is studying for important exams. She has achieved so much!
I fancied a wonder around town, on the way I checked the car tyre pressure and noticed a slow puncture. As soon as I arrived home I called Jucy who said take it to Firestone and it will be sorted, there are no fees for us to pay…nice!
In the evening we met phenji and Kulyjot who arrived with paji. It was fantastic catching up, the last time we met was seven years ago. I asked Kulyjot if he wanted to play hockey on the pitch (which has been built in the huge back garden), he agreed,so paji, Kulyjot and I were playing, I got a quick lesson from Kulyjot, later Manjot and Sangeet joined us.
After dinner we had a video Skype call with Karanjot, she is studying medicine in Auckland.
We did not go out for any sightseeing, spending time with Puaji and later with everybody else has been excellent. It is great to see the children make awesome achievements in their studies and hobbies.
In the evening Kulyjot and Manjot played the guitar they were excellent and played to a high level.
Hostels usually have an early check out time, this hostel it is 10am, you have to take the pillow cover and room key to reception to get your key deposit, I took the cover off my pillow and, well lets say insects would not use that pillow! The joys of hostelling!
We left the hostel and popped to the library to check last minute emails, Sangeet also enjoys the library coffee shop’s soy hot chocolate!
Afterwards with heavy rucksacks we walked to the car rental location, the walk was through Albert park, which is near the University of Auckland. This location was a complete opposite to Queen Street which was just hustle and bustle. It actually felt good having a 30 minute walk with our rucksacks fully loaded, really felt we were one of the backpackers! Saw some interesting buildings on the way.
As soon as we got to the car rental place,the process to pick up the car was straight forward. Papers were signed and we were shown our car, ‘El Cheapo’ it was even written on the rear window!!
As soon as I got over how small the car was (I am used to big sized engines, makes a change us having a 1.3L car!!!) we headed to a health food shop to stock up on a few supplies. The shop was called ‘Harvest Wholefoods’ and had a good selection, the bill came to $121.59!!!!! Things here in New Zealand have become expensive!
405 Richmond Road
T: 09 376 3107
F: 09 360 1616
After getting over the shock we headed south on southern motorway 1 towards Rotorua, you take 1 to Hamilton then 5 to Rotorua. You drive on the left, same as UK, for some reason I could not get used to it! Think I still miss the States.
We passed through three Gurdwaras on the way, Otahuhu, Takanini and Hamilton and enjoyed delicious lungar at each one!
Indians started arriving in New Zealand at the end of the 19th century, most immigrants arrived from Punjab, and Gujarat. Most Indians settled in Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch. Indians are often stereotyped as owning convenience stores known as ‘Dairy’s in New Zealand. Also there are a large number of Indian Restaurants in New Zealand.
With the Sikh community in New Zealand increasing The New Zealand Sikh Society was developed in 1964, and the first New Zealand Sikh Gurdwara was built in Hamilton in 1977 and another in 1986 in Otahuhu. With the increasing number of Sikhs in New Zealand an increasing number of Gurudwaras are being built.
The number of Indians are increasing rapidly in New Zealand as seen in the 2006 census compared with the 2001 census, over the five years there was a 68.2% increase in the number of Indians in New Zealand.
In the 2006 census there were 9507 Sikhs in New Zealand.
Gurdwara Guru Nanak Dev Ji Sikh Sangat Otahuhu
Name: Sri Guru Nanak Dev Sikh Sangat Gurudwara Sahib Ji
Address: 120 Princess Street, Otahuhu, Auckland.
Postal Adress: PO Box 22579 Otahuhu Auckland.
Telephone: +64 9 276 9043
Fax: +64 9 276 9236
This is the largest Gurdwara in New Zealand
Address: 70 Takanini School Road, Takanini, Auckland
Telephone: +64 9 296 2376
Fax: +64 9 276 9236
The first Gurdwara in New Zealand
Address: 6391 State Highway 1, Te Rapa, Hamilton
Postal Adress: PO Box 9464 Hamilton
Contact Telephone: +64 7 849 4952
Status: NZ Sikh Society, Hamilton Branch
We had lungar at the Hamilton Gurdwara, afterwards we got talking to a lady Rajvir who said they are holding the Akhand Paath. We explained that we are on the way to Rotorua to see our Puaji, she asked what is their name we said their sons name is Dr Karandeep Singh Lall, she said “you serious?! they are very good friends of ours!” – what a small world. She asked us to come on Sunday also to bring Puaji. It seems like the further south we go the friendlier the people are.
Once we said our byes we headed south on 1 then took 5 to Rotorua. It takes about 1.5 hours from Hamilton to Rotorua and the maximum speed is 100kmph.
We arrived in Rotorua around 7 pm and got to paji’s (paji = brother) at 7:30pm, last time we came in 2005 and got lost, we arrived at the house 4 hours late!!
When Puaji opened the door it was great to see her. We totally forgot what a beautiful house they have, also the garden now has a hockey pitch and a small park! We enjoyed a nice meal together, chatted and watched a Indian comedy before a good nights sleep.
Hi, thanks for visiting my blog, feel free and have a look around.Here is a bit about me, as you may or may not have guessed my name is Mandeep,I work to travel as opposed to work to pay bills and die!Every trip for me is an adventure, I have been very fortunate to stumble across amazing places and meet awesome people along the way.
Why gaygoat? When I first started this blog I was a vegetarian, so gaygoat – happy goat! Also you have to admit it is catchy and a URL you will not forget!