Cruising around...

Trip Start Feb 17, 2005
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Trip End Feb 27, 2006


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Monday, February 28, 2005

I spent my final day in Auckland (at least for now) just cruising around on my own...literally! Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed spending yesterday with Steve and Paul, I wanted a day to myself to do exactly what I want, when I want. I love being free and independent in a new country...so much exploring to do and people to meet.

I actually had a bit of a sleep in for the first time since I got here which was nice. 10am I arose. I went for a quick shower and returned and had a nice chat to a Swedish girl who was staying in my hostel room (see, there are some positives to staying in dormitories!!). She was really nice but was leaving today as she only had about 2 weeks in the country.

I decided to go on a little cruise in the afternoon around Auckland Harbour. It lasted for 90 minutes and I really enjoyed just chilling out, listening to the commentary by the captain. I took plenty of photos and got talking to a guy from the Phillipines who had been here for 4 months and was leaving next week for Australia.

We passed under the famous Auckland Harbour Bridge (that's famous due to my bungy jump of course) and watched some mad fool throw himself from the platform! People who do stuff like that must have rocks for brains!!

The cruise cost me $30 but included in that was a hot drink (I'd have preferred a cold drink bearing in mind it was 27 Degrees!), a cookie and a free ticket to go to Devonport later in the day. It was well worth it.

So, in between cruises, I went for a stroll around Auckland and would you believe it on a Sunday in New Zealand...I had a roast dinner!! Don't worry Mum, it wasn't even in the same league as your dinners (and there were no Yorkshire Puddings!) but it was a nice change from Burger King! Next week, I'm going to start making all my own meals as the hostels will be smaller and cosier, therefore it will be less of a hassle to use the kitchen.

After chilling out at the hostel for a while and talking rugby with an Irish guy there, I headed back to the Harbour to go to Devonport. It was only a 10 minute ride across the water. As soon as we got there, I knew I would like the place. It was so calm and peaceful, a lovely little town that was the complete opposite of Auckland that could be seen on the horizon. It was basically one main street which had a few gift shops, the odd fish and chip shop, and a number of cafes and restaurants.

I went for my traditional wander around the place, taking in the lovely houses that were just outside the main street. A really quaint little town.

Once done wandering and browsing, I bought some chips and went and sat on the sea fronts, with a number of huge seagulls to keep me company!

It was a wonderful view of the Auckland skyline, and it was extremely quiet. I actually stayed seated there for a couple of hours as I was in a reflective mood, and I made a point of watching the sun set and seeing the sky change colour from blue, to red, to black. This alone time is essential I think, especially when you are staying in the city and there is hustle and bustle all around you. It was nice to take a step back and look at the Sky Tower, the Harbour Bridge, and the hundreds of yachts from afar.

At about 9pm I saw the ferry pull in and so I decided it was time to go back. Once again, I got talking to a woman sat next to me from Bristol who was here with her husband. They were doing a round the world trip and had only just missed the tsunamis by 5 days. She was telling me about the sea lions on the beach in the South Island, and she recommended a hostel to me that sounds excellent. Her and her husband had done a skydive in Taupo as it is the cheapest in New Zealand, and it offers great views of the glorious Lake Taupo. I'm undecided as to whether I am going to do mine in the Bay of Islands next week, Taupo or Queenstown. We'll see...

Finally, on my way home 3 girls from Nottingham asked me if I knew the way to Base Backpackers! It was a coincidence as that was where I was heading. Turns out one of the girls' families hail from Armthorpe! She said she thought I was from Barnsley because my accent was quite broad! No comment Stu!

So that was my last day in Auckland! One of the great things I have found so far is that you meet people so easily, and you immediately have something in common with them. You may only know them for a matter of minutes, but speaking to so many people from such a vast array of places means that this can only be a positive experience for me. I know that there will be some people who I don't get on with somewhere along the line, but that's fine too.

On to Paihia next...wonder who I'll meet there?
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