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NEW ZEALAND | Tuesday, 14 November 2006 | Views [866]

October 14 - Saturday
Auckland, New Zealand

We slept in until noon.
I have a vague recollection of vacuuming in the hall outside our door and someone using an electric saw at the construction site next door.
"Whoa, it's really late." - J
I've never known either one of us to sleep in so long.  We needed it though.  After showers we were outta there and on  our way to find camping gear and bike gear. 
We had a lead on a bike store from the information site gal at the airport and got directions from the lodge owner and there was a outdoor store on the way there.  We stopped at the outdoor store, got some supplies and asked about any other bike or outdoor stores in the area - they were pretty helpful.  The first bike store we went to:  Bike Barn was not at all helpful when we asked about bike trailers so we decided not to spend a dime in their store getting the rest of our supplies.  The guy all but guffawed when I asked about bike trailers - the loser.
We also wanted to activate the cellphone and stopped by the Vodaphone store nearby.  Turns out they're the only carriers in the NZ but for some reason couldn't 'unlock' Jon's phone to put a new sim card in to make it useable in NZ.  The guy did recommend a phone store in the city center that might be able to 'break into it' and told us where to go.  We thanked him for his help and were on our way.  We found a couple more outdoor stores and got some necessities.  There was a bike store somewhere nearby and I followed Jon down one street, between some buildings, into an alley and Voila!  There it was!  They had one bike trailer but it was already sold.   We explained our situation and he said he would call his supplier on Monday and could have a trailer in town by mid to late this coming week.  Sounded good to us so we continued on with a brief stop for coffee.  We headed for the city center about the cellphones.  It was a bit of a walk but we agreed that we needed the exercise and since it wasn't raining it was quite pleasant outside.
We just happened upon another bike shop:  Penny Farthing and the guy behind the counter didn't carry trailers but recommended an outdoor store that was "down the hill, over the motorway, up a hill, turn right and directly across from the gas station".  Hmmmm, okay.
We actually found the place.  Having the name of the store painted in bright yellow lettering the size of the side of the building helped.  They were just closing for the day and we explained that we were only looking for a bike trailer.  The staff was really nice at R&R sports which is like a Big 5 store back home - but better. And while they did carry the occasional bike trailer they didn't have any in stock but might be able to help us if we came back during store hours the next day.  We thanked hime and continued on our way, through the seedier side of town looking for Queen street.  We stopped at a book store and bought a book on camping bike touring in the North Island before continueing into the city.  Turns out that the phone store we had been referred to was run by Koreans.  Jon handed over his phone and they said they would know within an hour if they could unlock his phone so we left the phone and looked around, got another kebab (falafal for us both this time) before returning to Cool Phone near the IMAX theater and not too far from where my friend Robyn and I stayed when we were in Auckland in 2003.
They were able to get the phone unlocked so we paid for the service and I thanked the guy in Korean which he seemed to get a kick out of.  We had one more bike store to find and only a street name to go by - no street number.  Since it was the road we would have taken back to the lodge anyway we took the long way covering as much of the road as possible with no luck.  We did find the grocery store we were too tired to go to the night before and stopped there.  They had some sales going on but we weren't a "club card member" so couldn't partake.  Jon suggested we apply for this discount card since we would be in the country for a while so as we were checking out I asked if we could apply for the card and the cashier said we could but they were currently out of cards.  She did say that there were stores all over the North and South Island.  We stopped by the costomer service desk and inquired about the discount card.  The manager asked if we were tourists "just visiting" and gave us a tourists discount cards!  We were pretty pleased with ourselves as we walked out of the store with our groceries!  The rest of the night was spent contacting wwoof hosts, and general internet stuff before hitting the sack.  No word about our luggage so we decided to stay a third night at the lodge and not sleep in so late tomorrow.

Tags: Adventures

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