Thursday, 24 October 2013

Next Stop... Auckland... City Of 1.6 Million

After the solitude of the Northland beaches and Motu Kaikoura
I decided to brave the city. I used a GPS to navigate  and got to
my friends place safely with no accidents despite the rather daunting
traffic in such a slow vehicle. I parked in the
street opposite her house and was welcomed into the
neighbourhood with great interest and enthusiasm.

It took me a while to juggle myself between the trees and lamp posts
and to get level, but eventually I was parked and 'at home' here
in the suburb of Westmere for the next two weeks.

I was in a short U shaped street, no through traffic so very quiet
especially at night. The only noise was the roaring lions and
chattering monkeys... the zoo was just down the hill!

It was a short walk along here to the corner to  get the bus
to wherever I wanted to go and I could walk to various
local shops and cafes. I had a great time exploring.

I had visits from the neighbours asking if I needed anything,
inviting me to visit them, calling out in the morning to see if I was o.k.
It was a very nice neighbourhood to be part of for a while.

These are some of the old houses all round this street. They were
built in 1927 for the local mill and meat works workers.
During the 1930's depression they were abandoned  because
people couldn't pay their mortgages.I suppose the banks
re-sold them and ownership moved on.
The local residents society are trying to find the original owners.

Now the houses have historical protection on them, the front's can't be 
changed but decks and patios have been added onto the backs. They
have been painted interesting colours and collectively 
make a very interesting street.

This house has been a 'clan lab' - where 'P' is clandestinely
manufactured... Known as a 'P' house... A property where
Methamphetamine has been manufactured.
These dwellings are so contaminated by
poisonous, explosive, corrosive, toxic and extremely flamable
chemicals used, that they have to be stripped back to a bare shell
and rebuilt. Even the water pipes and drainage have to be replaced. 
 Behind the fence and trees on the other side of the road
is the speedway and associated noise.
Despite all this, this property has just sold for $900,000!

It's been stripped, the back is being added onto...
It's on a tiny piece of land... But in the process of being
restored to another historical home in the street
and soon somebody will live in it again.
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