Auckland.....and Away We Go
Trip Start Oct 13, 2010
58Trip End Jun 20, 2011
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After a 13-hour flight from Santiago that left at 11:30PM on Friday, October 16th, we finally arrived at…..wait for it….4:30AM on Sunday, the 18th!! Yep, go ahead and do the math…and don't forget to account for the time zones. As for the flight itself, it was mainly uneventful, as we managed to sleep through most of it….except for one little incident. Didn’t mention previously that I wrenched my back when our tourist bus in Santiago stopped abruptly while I was changing seats. Anyway, it was still in rough shape when we got on our flight to Auckland. After sleeping in a not-so-comfy position for several hours, I gingerly pulled myself up & limped to the bathroom…all locked up in my lower back & hurting. I squeezed myself into the tiny bathroom, locked the door behind me….and next thing I remember, I opened my eyes & was wondering where I was and how come my knees were hurting so much and I couldn’t move
So after 4 hours just killing time at the Auckland airport (can’t exactly check-in anywhere at 5 or 6 in the morning) and listening to the same mind-numbing and snarky airport boarding calls ("all otha passenjahs ah wayting foh YEW"…..said in NZ accent), we jumped on a shuttle and headed to our hostel…nice place and very friendly…much more so than our hostel in Santiago. After checking in & setting up our modest little room, we headed out and jumped on the bus to take us to city center….first stop…K Street.
Following story told in Jill’s words:
Joe and I were somewhat uninspired by what we were seeing
As we walked in, a grubby old guy gave a warm welcome asking “How she goin’?”
“Good” we reply, and carry on to ask if they serve any food.
“Ah, ya kinda but it’s crap. Microwaved meat pies. You’d be better off goin’ an’ grabbin’ something across the street and making your way back here for a pint. Just bring it in and eat it here.”
Happy with the invite, we made our way across the street to find ourselves some sandwiches and take out. Turning our noises up at a couple of sandwich shops, we see a tiny fresh fish shop with a sign saying FISH & CHIPS - TAKE OUT ONLY. Well, when in NZ… We wander into the shabby little store and order 2 F&C’s to go from this little Asian lady
Food in hand we hesitantly make our way back to The Eagle. As we walk in, we double check with a younger, cleaner cut guy to ensure that it is OK that we are bringing our food in. He laughs at our hesitation as we explain getting allowance from the older guy we just saw walking away. “Oh, you mean ol’ Craig?! Ya, he’s one of my partners, come on in!”
We bellied up to the bar and poured samples of the local beer on tap. This is where we discovered our favourite local beer so far, Red Lion. Pints, fish and chips and a corner table… perfect! We unwrapped our paper encased fish and chips and sank our teeth into our first piece of fish. WOW. This is by far the best fish and chips I have ever tasted. The batter was super thin and perfectly golden. So good, melted in our mouths.
I continue to enjoy my fish and chips sans tartar, however after being a couple of bites in, Joe decided to dig into the mayo-based goodness. Now you’ll have to appreciate that the to-go tartar came in these tiny plastic containers and to dunk your fish into them, could very possibly cause some problems
Now a good girlfriend would’ve jumped up to help with her handy travel wipes and a Tide To-Go pen… but I just burst out laughing and am now kicking myself for not taking a photo!
…once the laughing was over, I did come to the rescue!
Hahaha…vey funny….back to Joe typing now
After a huge walk around the rest of the downtown core…getting lost in the process (of course!), we hopped on the bus back home, bought our groceries, prepared a light dinner & hit the sack.
October 19 - Day 2
Breakfast, shower and off for a day of heavy walking
After they kicked us out of the museum, we bumped into an Irish couple that were also at our hostel in Santiago. They were very quiet at the hostel and a bit awkward. We chatted a bit and then hopped on the city bus together, where they sat in a row where it was impossible for us to sit beside them, which we thought was weird. When they got up to get off, the guy looked back at us, we both said goodbye and waved, he saw us….and then just turned around to get off the bus…very, very strange. The girl never looked back at all. I know we’re both the unfriendly types, but seriously….
Anyway, after the museum, we figured it would be rude not to have a Guinness, so we popped into The Dog’s Bollix for a couple & split a pizza. I guess the place must do well at night cuz we were the only ones there at the time. After finishing up, we headed back to the hostel to rest a bit before we made dinner, met and chatted with a few new people, split a bottle of New Zealand pinot noir, and headed to bed.
Tomorrow is a big day as we’ll pick up our campervan and get on the road to see the rest of the country. Jill is a bit nervous about driving on the left-hand side of the road…and I am nervous for her. Will she navigate NZ’s windy, hilly roads successfully and without incident? Stay tuned for the next entry and you will find out.