3 Hours Back and a Day Ahead

Trip Start Jan 13, 2010
Trip End May 28, 2010

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Flag of New Zealand  , Auckland,
Friday, January 15, 2010

Finally, we begin! We survived our first long-haul flight amazingly well. Huge plane, great food, free movies, music, and wine! We sat in the center two seats, squashed between a Canadian and an Aussie, both great. The flight was 13h 20min, and we flew 11824 km, not including flying from PG to Van earlier. We finally landed, got our bags almost immediately, and headed off to our hostel. We almost walked there, but we decided to splurge on a bus instead - lucky thing, because it was far! Our bus driver dropped us off right where we needed to be - Oaklands Lodge was on a beautiful street at the foot of Mt. Eden, the tallest of many volcanic cones scattered around Auckland. We got some pizza, a haircut for Curtis, and a nap, then walked up Mt. Eden. The view from the top was fantastic! There was a huge crater in the top, and some sort of surveyors' monument (From the bottom we had thought it was a church). We got a 360 degree view of Auckland spread out below us, with ocean on all 4 sides. No noticeable jet lag!

Next morning, we took the bus downtown ($1.60 each only!), and then to Mission Bay for a lay on the beach and a swim (for Curtis, just a wade for me!) The water was a ton warmer than home, but not as warm as, say, Mexico, becuase NZ is subtropical. We got our first taste of the intense NZ sun - we both sunburnt, but Curtis was way worse! Ha! We wandered around downtown for a while, and got a look Auckland's famous Skytower; we watched a couple people jump off. Sunburnt & sleepy, we pretty much went back to the hostel and crashed!

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