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Sloggs' Travel Blog A journal of my travels in 2008 & beyond...

Auckland and a friendly face from home

NEW ZEALAND | Thursday, 1 May 2008 | Views [1050] | Comments [1]

Auckland from my hotel room, exciting init!

Auckland from my hotel room, exciting init!

Flying into New Zealand presented a similar ordeal as Australia in respect of their assault on anything animal, vegetable or mineral being brought into the country, not to mention that they didn't want to let me board as I didn't have a printed itinerary to prove I had a flight out of their country! Luckily I had my battered old original itinerary from trailfinders stashed in my day rucksake in the hidden back pocket. As I dragged this out and unfolded it, I could smell the stale sweat of hundreds of kilometers of walking, lol! The miserable bitch behind the desk deserved it... :-p

I got the Airbus into town to go to the four star hotel that Ringo had booked for us. He was waiting for me in the hotel lobby, and after a joyous welcome I carted my bags up to our room. It was quite big, and Ringo had blagged a 'corporate' upgrade through mentioning HP, even after being made redundant months ago! The upgrade meant we had two queen sized beds (insert joke here Shane!) instead of the singles in the original room, for no extra cost. The beds were ridiculously comfortable, so much so that I feared not being able to sleep on it after slumming it for so long on various random beds and swags! The room also had cable TV on a large wall mounted LCD screen, so plenty of Super 14's rugby highlights were in order, splendid. This wasn't particularly in keeping with my 'budget', but I was due a treat and at 45 quid per night which included a buffet breakfast, I wasn't grumbling really. After a superb HOT shower, we wandered out for a look around the place, taking in the surrounding blocks around the hotel and the massive SkyCity complex, which includes the huge Sky Tower (the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere), cinemas, bars and two casinos. We settled on an Irish pub and got stuck into some Guiness and played 'joker poker' in the bar, which only encourages you to drink more, as for each drink you get a ticket to the random draw, the winner of which gets to uncover a playing card in a cabinet on the wall to try and find the joker. The prize was $3000, so we were obviously encouraged by this also! Plenty of Guiness later, and none of our collection of tickets came in the draw... we wandered of to find food and decided apon a Thai restaurant, where I tested their Green Curry skills... 'average' but still nice as even an average Green Curry has that wonderful flavour! After another couple of beers and more conversation we went back to the hotel and dozed off to some rugby (which is ALWAYS on TV here) in the stupidly comfy beds!

Waking up was quite difficult what with the coma inducing effect of the afore mentioned bed! I felt knackered after sleeping loads more than I usually do! We abused the buffet breakfast so much so that our plan to climb the Sky Tower had to go out of the window due to being uncomfortably full. We spent the day wandering the city as I wanted to look at laptops to compare prices and try to pick one up, and check out some clothing and equipment stores to price up some warm weather clothing for this part of my trip. There were only a handful of shops in town that did PC's and only one laptop really interested me until the drull sales assistant bored me past tears and I had to leave before I actually slept there! We also visited one of the travel shops at the big back packers places to check tour prices and itineraries against van hire. After checking the prices I was happy to book a van for the whole two months here, the price was pretty good value at just over 700 squids and the freedom the van would give me meant I could take in absolutely everything I want to. I booked direct with the van hire company (using my NZ mobile phone simcard, picked up earlier that day) as Ringo had found a $1 off per day voucher in a magazine which could only be used when booking direct. Result. We pick the van up tomorrow and had arranged a taxi at their expense to collect us and take us to the depot... Later we checked out the weird 'Atrium Bar' we clocked yesterday in the SkyCity venue, and they were all doing the same thing tonight too... ballroom dancing their asses off to 70's, 80's and 90's tunes being warbled by a live singing trio on stage! Quite possibly the most bizarre bar I have ever been to... the people there were really into it, counting their steps and getting annoyed with themselves for missing steps etc! Random! I only took a few pictures of the city from our room. The weather was pretty bad (wet!) and I thought I'd be back anyway so can do that kind of thing later...

If anyone wants my NZ phone number, drop me an email and I'll forward it... :-)

Tags: onward planning, planes trains & automobiles, sightseeing, walking

 

Comments

1

hi sloggs just read your blogg post , nice you hooked up with ringo, is ringo blogging yet .
have a great time

  paul May 15, 2008 11:23 PM

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