Auckland days

by Melissa on January 20, 2011 · 1 comment

The Auckland days have been interesting to say the least, this last week. As per my previous post, I landed at the wee hour of 12:10am. I couldn’t be bothered traveling into the city and trying to navigate my way through the city (especially when my hostel’s front desk wasn’t even opened until 7am), thus resulting in me attempting to get some shut eye in the airport. I successfully managed to do so for a few hours, until the area I was sleeping in got really busy with folks traveling on early flights. I was wide eyed and not so bushy tailed by 4:30am.

After charging up my electronics, and letting some time pass, I hopped on the airbus and made my way into the city. I easily navigated myself to the Frienz Backpackers where I was able to check in, but the room wasn’t quite ready. I stored my big bags and then went out wandering the city. Prior to my travels to Auckland I had spoken with my friend Bradford, who let me know that he was planning on being back in Auckland on the 13th, by 8pm. During my few hours that I was wasting before I could check in, I managed to find a café with wifi and was checking my facebook and noticed that he wanted to meet up by 1pm and told me to text him to just make sure that I could do that. Well I went to text him from my phone (which was my Australian cell) the 3g had been working no problem, so I figured the talk and text would also work… I was wrong. I was soon redirected to the recharge call center, and then customer support. I explained my issue and was then forwarded to tech support. Where I was on hold for 3 hours! Needless to say, it was a very frustrating day. Dealing with call centers and being on hold.

bradford & me
Bradford and I then wandered Auckland, and after a few hours had pretty much seen everything there was to see and did everything there was to do in the actual city. Auckland is definitely not one of my favorite cities. It’s not small and charming enough to be considered ‘cute’ or nice. And it’s not big enough to be cultured and interesting. It’s just a plain, boring city with not a whole lot to do.

The second day we took the ferry to the much talked about Waiheke Island, about 45minutes away. Upon arriving, we decided to take the bushwalk trail into the main village, to go to the beach and have a much deserved lunch. We arrived at the Oneroa beach within 45minutes, ate a wonderful sandwich lunch that we made then and there – yay for Esky bags! We then found a lovely place on the beach to set up shop and work on our tans and relax for a few hours. After we got bored of that we decided to head out and find a winery that was close by (so many to choose from!) and settled upon Cable Bay- about an hour or so walk away (thanks to us taking a wrong turn… twice). Bradford and I enjoyed a lovely wine tasting, led by our guide Sebastian (a German on a working holiday visa). For a mere $8 we tasted a sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, guevustramaener, chardonnay, rose, a blend of merlot-malbec-cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and a syrah. All very delicious wines. I bought a bottle of the syrah for myself and Bradford and I split a bottle of the pinot gris – to make things better, we got an $8 discount on each bottle!

wine tasting

cable bay winery

winery picnic

After leaving the tasting a touch tipsy, we decided it was time to eat some more food before continuing on our journey. We set up shop in the vineyard and had a lovely picnic, consisting of the exact same thing we had had a few hours prior.

After eating, we decided to continue on and were planning on doing another bushwalk through an ancient Maori reserve and to Blackpool beach. Alas, an hour of walking in the stinkin hot sun later, we realized we’d done something wrong and decided to turn around and head back to the ferry. We had timed our day so that we would be on the ferry for sunset. And it was definitely worth waiting around until the 8pm ferry, because the sunset was gorgeous and we had a beautiful view of the Auckland skyline.

auckland sunset

The next day, we decided to take it easy, since we had walked probably closet o 20km the previous day. To be honest, besides grocery shopping and running a few errands, I don’t really remember much of what we did. That night however… well lets just say it had been a long time since I had a good sloppy drinking night. The night started after dinner (which was PHENOMENAL! Thanks dad for teaching me how to make homemade pan-fried hamburgers when I was little), Bradford and I headed up to the roof of the hostel, where we met a bunch of the long-term stay people. Well, that’s where the drinking games started. We played not one… but two rounds of kings cup! The poor German guy, Simon, who was new to our room that day lost both games and had to drink the kings cup twice! Bradford and I went through 3 bottles of wine. Then it was off to the pub! We were led by Mark, a charming Englishman now working in Auckland and staying longterm at the hostel we were at. There were 6 of us, Bradford and myself from Canada, Simon and Hannah from Germany and Emma and Mark from England. It was a very sloppy night. But the bar was awesome and we enjoyed lots of good music, stories and just had a general good time.

party in auckland

The next day none of us were feeling too great. Bradford and I had originally planned on climbing Mount Eden, just north of the city—which apparently has spectacular views of Auckland… well.. that didn’t really happen. We opted to stick around the city and just go to the park and relax. Ever have something happen to you that makes you realize how small the world really is? Well we were sitting in the park under one measly palm tree that required us to shift into the shade every 15min… after moving around a few times we decided to head over to a larger piece of shade further down the grassy area. Bradford noticed a friend that he had met on his bus tour, and I look over at the people that are sitting there and who is looking right back at me? Vanessa. The German girl from my 2nd day in Sydney! We had exchanged numbers in Sydney, when we realized we would both be in Auckland at the same time. But of course, both of us having Australian vodaphone accounts, didn’t realize that once we came to NZ we wouldn’t have talk or text available to us! So it was pure coincidence. The rest of the afternoon we spent chatting and meeting people in the park. Bradford and I eventually went back to the hostel. Made a killer Bolognese pasta for dinner (even had so much leftovers that we were giving it away!) and the rest of the evening consisted of me polishing off my bottle of Syrah, since I didn’t want to lug it around with me. So much for saying that I didn’t want to drink again for a bit. That was an early night for me, since there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot going on and I really didn’t feel like watching Despicable Me in the TV room.

We checked out the next morning and stored our backpacks for the day. We went out to the mall and I finally managed to buy some shorts. YAY! I’d been living off of 2 pairs of capris and 1 pair of shorts for the last 3ish weeks (and dresses too). It had started raining while we were at the mall (first rainy day since we’d arrived), so we ended up back at the hostel watching the Golden Globes in the TV room until we had to leave for the airport to pick up Kate.  Oh Auckland days!

Brock Family reunion and road trip to be continued in the next few posts…

Now Playing: Samson by Regina Spektor

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

John January 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm

It's nice to catch up on your travel adventures. I had not been able to access your updated blog from Dec. 28 on. Your mom sent me a link and I've now caught up. Sounds like you are having a great time!!

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