02.08.2010 - 06.08.2010 15 °C
So Lizzy is on my case to get writing. Better start as I mean to continue I suppose.... So here goes the first 'proper' entry for TBT.
We're here. Yay! The flights were pretty standard really although Emirates is pretty swanky. And there were some fittie 'stewards' on some of the planes - helped break up the journey a bit. Although I suspect Pip and I weren't really what they were after. Plus, any attempt to pull of the cool 'gap yah' look fell apart when I pulled out the ever attractive sleeping face (you all know the one) and Pip had an emotional breakdown over The Last Song.... We had four breakfasts, 3 dinners, the sun rose and set like a yoyo and we basically had no idea which end of us was up. Gaily - the shortbread was a HIT. Eaten in one go - standard.
We arrived in pissing wet Auckland in the afternoon and jumped on the shuttle bus into town. I had managed to pull a muscle in my neck so looked like a complete twat. Not sure whether it was the way I slept on the plane or whether this rucksack is to blame. It is like carrying around a not-so-small child the whole time. I've already had to start abandoning things. Hairdryer was first to go!
We had a couple of hours in bed once we arrived at the hotel. Double beds, tv - think this may be the last proper luxury we have for a while! Then we headed down to the harbour and had dinner and some drinks which was rather nice. Thought we better sample the local shizzle so the vino was a must. Auckland seems like a really compact little city - everything is easy walking distance. And they LOVE their food - we've eaten really well. Unsurprising perhaps!
Got up on Thurs morning and jumped on the hop on bus. Armed with my new bible - The Rough Guide and Wilma and Lizzy's advice - the bus proved to be a good hit. We hopped off at the Aquarium, Museum, Sky Tower and the market - no purchases tho. The thought of carrying around anything more for the next 5 months acts as a great disincentive to shopping!
The Bible and I at the harbour!
Feeding time at the Aquarium - these guys were so cute. Although the little buggy they pushed us round the pen in was 'naf', as the Rough Guide warned us. And I clouted myself getting into it. Generally a pretty smooth operation.
Auckland Museum was bargainous. And lunch was pretty good too - all about the food on this trip it seems. The sun had come out by this stage so we dandered about in the sunshine a little bit before hopping back on.
Sky Tower was a massive hit. Watched a lot of idiots bungying off the top of it. That ticked bungying off the holiday itinerary anyway - it looked horrendous. Paying to be pushed off the top of the highest building in the Southern Hemisphere and being dangled in front of 100s of tourists on the observation deck is NOT an acceptable way to spend an afternoon!
After our culture vulture day, we headed back to the hotel to watch a cheeky bit of Greys. Then headed out on the bus to Posnoby St which seems to be the local's evening hangout. We were very casually dressed but dandered into a bar/restaurant which was in all the guide books. And who was standing at the bar?! GOK WAN! Haha - definite highlight so far. Immediately regretted the choice of ladybird printed top with Uggs. He seemed lovely and chatted away to anyone who spoke to him. Although our waiter didn't know who he was so maybe he's not such a big deal over here.... Anyway, long and the short of it - he is our new BFF. (Despite not breaking breath to him). Massive love for The Gok.
After a pretty good dinner, we dandered up the street and went into 2/3 really nice bars. People seem really nice - very friendly and chatty. Although prices rival London prices for drinks - think we had managed to find the most expensive area though. Haven't really mastered this 'backpacker' thing yet! We finished the night at some trashier club. After an even trashier club turned me away for wearing UGGS. WTF?! We're in NZ - is that not their national uniform?!
So we are packed up again and heading off on our first tour this afternoon until Tuesday. It takes us up to the top of the North Island and then down to Wellington at the bottom. After that, we're making our way down to the South Island and doing a little road trip of our own. Someone pass Lizzy the valium....
Missing you all but having a ball,