Day 36. You can’t judge a book by its cover (part 1 of 2)


Today donations are also for 2 people. Well a family and a friend.

First Kimberly, Joel, and Jadyn. I had met this family about 5 years ago..? Joel had had a brain tumor and my good friend Kati was a relative of theirs. Kati (fork) came to me and told me. I made some time to meet up with the family to talk about my experience and give my advice to them. They are such an amazing faith filled family. Joel has been in remission for over 5 years and they give all the glory to God. Kimberly has been incredibly strong undertaking the insurance companies while battling to keep the bills paid while Joel was going through treatment. Joel has always managed to keep his head above water as his faith and family is a core to his motivation. Jadyn has grown up as a pillar of strength for their family and has blossomed under the stresses of her father having brain cancer and her mother taking on a ton of responsibility. I hope when I have a family, they will be as close knit as the Saunders. Happy 17th Birthday Jadyn!

Now to my fran Megan. I met her at Stereo D like many friends there. She’s a super quiet girl, but works realllly hard. She has a work mode and a veg mode. Lol We mainly met up at the joker after work to have a drink at the end of a long day. She’s a reliable worker and doesn’t put up a fuss working long hours. She loves to travel and will even do it by herself if no one goes with her! She’s always been that friend that you could confide in. If she says she will be there.. she will be there. Looking forward to going back to Toronto to see her and other friends. Thanks for your continuing hard work at the D, and for your donation Megan!


I tried to be as quiet as possible as it seemed the other 4 people were still sleeping and had already planned on staying an extra night at the hostel. I had an out time of 10am.. seems to be a country wide get out time. I packed my stuff as quiet as I could but when you’re dealing with ziplock bags and plastic bags, it’s near impossible. Luckily after I came back from brushing my teeth they had buried their faces into their phones. I probably woke them up. Lol I heard a few of them speaking French. I said hello when they arrived but when I left I said, Bonne Chance and Au Revoir. (Good luck and Goodbye)

I really had no idea of what my plan was for the day… I know I wanted to get some breakfast and figure it out from there. I remember seeing an All Day Breakfast place a block down. I headed there. I ordered a big breakfast and an orange juice. Several interesting things.. first. The bread was all free. They had it out in baskets with toasters and butter in packets beside it. Second. The orange juice tasted REALLY good. Like it wasn’t all orange juice? Did it have a bit of mango or something else..? Maybe it was a different kind of orange that wasn’t as acidic?

Third. This quote was on the wall.

I’ll put that there instead of in my daily thoughts.. Be yourself! Don’t try to be anyone you’re not.

I had seen a bubbling hot mud pit on the way to Hobbiton around town that I wanted to check out. Now… if I could remember where that was…. 🤔🤔

I googled mud. Or hot streams or a lot of stuff. I guess I found where it was in a park. I thought I was heading the right direction.. I walked for 20 minutes and realized I wasn’t going the right way. Welp. No big deal.. I don’t have any plans anyway. I cut over through some shopping centers.

It was only a 30 min detour. I found what I was looking for, butttt wasn’t as exciting as I thought..

I was told by … the biker guy with the dog. (Sorry I would have to look up his name and exit the blog) He told me that people had committed suicide there. They never retrieved any bodies because they boiled then sank. I guess they couldn’t retrieve any skeletons either because by sank! Who knows how far down they go or how hot it gets. We both agreed and death by fire / draining would be the worst two ways to go and this was a combination! Your burn then you drown. Not exactly a quick way to go..

I spent about 20 minutes walking around this fenced area and decided I would move on. Welp. It was almost noon. My flight was out the following day. I was about 3.5 hour drive from Auckland. 🤷🏼‍♂️ Might as well hitch that way. I walked for quite a ways. Just because I wasn’t exactly on the proper road to hitch out of.

A neat billboard:

A neat sidewalk:

A neat team:

I’m Mary Poppins y’all!

(Guardians of the Galaxy reference)

I hiked to what I thought was the edge of town. The speed limit was increasing and there was a big green highway billboard.

I mean it looks like the beginning of the highway. I stood there with my thumb out for about 50 minutes with no bites. How long would I have waited? Alright Lord, waitin on your person to come grab me. I planned to make a sign.. maybe that’s why no one picked me up. I was digging for the marker.. when a guy on a bicycle came up to me.. ” hey man.. umm I feel bad for you standing here, I’ve done some hitch hiking and I think you should walk down there a bit further. ” I explained i thought that the sign was the highway and he reassured me that it wasn’t and I had to pass that sign and go a bit further where I would have much better luck. He said most of these people are just going back and forth to work.


At this point I felt like I was in the Bible.. on the boat. Casting my net out waiting to catch some fish. Nothin. Even though I wasn’t there all day, Jesus came along and told the fisherman to cast their net on the other side of the boat. They caught a TON! So.. I just had to move my fishing spot. Lol


I thanked him. I put on my headphones and made the best of it. I was almost dancing down the sidewalk lol. I saw a McDonalds.. I wish it were a Dairy Queen.. I could use an orio blizzard out in this hot sun. I went in and got an Orio flurry. Basically the same thing. I made it to where I could tell was the end of the city. I decided to make a sign.

It wasn’t the greatest cardboard because the side you see has black on it. I had figured if people could see the first few letters they would know where I wanted to go. Yea. There’s no D on the end.. I get that.

I finish my cold ice cream, throw my pack on and take my newly created sign out to the road. Boom. Five minutes later:

He even had a Coke Zero he said I could have as he had a bunch more. Noice. He said his name.. I heard ‘Grunt’. Loll then he said nooo, and in his best American accent he said “Grant!” He was from South Africa and was raised with a good British family. So the proper way to say his name was “Graunt”. I like that. Just try saying Grant in a British persons accent lol. Yup. Just like that. He drove me a little under half way there. I just wanted to be in Auckland by sun down. He said people form cliques in jobs and people who don’t speak the same language don’t usually try and meet new people. They just stay comfortable with what they know. It’s easier anyway. He was in between jobs but said he didn’t really have a lot of friends because they all got married. Couples like to hang out with couples and then they have kids and they only hang out with other families who have kids. True. He asked if I wanted to grab a cup of coffee with him as he showed me around where he lived. Yea sounds good! He took me to their biggest mall and it was a decent size and we walked to a stand in the center of an isle and he ordered us cappuccinos. We sat and chatted. I forgot to mention that he asked if I got car sick in the car. Lol no. He said he was toning down around some corners because he thought it might scare me. LOL.. right. So he was driving like a real Kiwi. They never like to be behind anyone. Always take the corners as fast as their car will let them. There are roundabouts everywhere in NZ and one he drifted around. He had a Honda.. suv..? He said people called him Lightning Macqueen (a Pixar movie about an animated speeding car) I could tell. He said he had worked in car parts for a long time. He talked about some parts and cars I knew, the rest was over my head a little bit.

Walking up the moving sidewalk in the mall:

Aaand our coffee:

Nice guy. He’s a real motor man. Like he is a mechanic / has a motorcycle / races his non racing cars. Etc. it was getting a little later than I wanted as I still had an hour and a half left. He took me to the busiest and best place to get a hitch. He had mentioned that he either wanted to start a under 500cc motorcycle club or as he was dropping me off, he said he wanted to make a popular YouTube channel picking up hitchhikers. Lol I encouraged him to do either one! Nothing is stopping you. As he left me on the sidewalk, he burned out in a lightning macqueen style. Lol

I resumed using my sign and 20 minutes later to my surprise a semi pulled over that had two trailers on the back. I hooped yo the 3-4 big steps and he said hop in, he was heading to Auckland to drop off his trailers and pick up others to take back south. Liam was his name. I had to manage to get my backpack up into the semi and behind the seat. Took quite a bit of effort lol. He had been driving semi for 25 years! Reminded me of my brother Steve! He was a bit overweight, but what can you expect when you sit all day. He worked 6 days a week and was running on 4 hours of sleep in the last 2 days I think? Maybe 3..? He said so many kilometers andddd I’m not good with those.

I laughed and said, ” so I’m here to keep you awake!”

He was fine. He had a wife and 4 kids. Two guys and two girls

(Well.. my plane is boarding now. I hate being a day ahead because I spoil all the surprises and suspense. Sigh. I’ll post this half then do the rest on the plane and post that in San Francisco)


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