Bye Bye New Zealand

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our campervan days are over for this trip. :( We got up early and cleaned out our van to drop back in Auckland. We weren't being slow but we were still tidying the kitchen at 10.30am when check out time from the campsite is 10am.  Now bearing in mind we were the only people camping there and every other campsite had been really flexible about check out time given it was low season (and we had stayed in a couple until lunchtime) the lady tried to charge us $10 each for still being there! Not likely.  We threw everything in the van, forgot a couple of things in the fridge and headed towards Auckland.  We had booked a hostel in Parnell so that we could drop our stuff before taking the van to Sleepervans – we learnt that lesson when we both tried to walk from the van drop off to a hostel like pack horses in Sydney!  When we arrived the lady told us that she was really sorry but the people in our room were sick so they couldn’t make them leave, and offered us a room in her other hostel, which was on the other side of town and by the looks of it in the red light district of Auckland, or at least where the sex shops congregate!  Now I didn’t think much of her anyway, but my main issue was with the people who simply wouldn’t leave the room we had booked! They were told the situation but just 'couldn’t’ leave.  I don’t understand some people, although as Kevin and I have come to notice, the Irish and British are probably the most polite people in the world, behind Americans maybe, which means in situations like that we get shafted because we don’t push it!   We told her to leave it and ended up in a nice hostel up the road instead, albeit paying a little bit more…grrr..!

Parnell is a nice area of Auckland, although a little on the fancy side with boutique shops and non-chain cafes up and down the street.  Our hostel was in a cool building that used to be owned by the Queen of Tonga as her Embassy.  It was a classic hostel situation where all the young people talk shit to each other and avoid making eye contact with us because we’re in a couple!!  We had a few nice chats though and some compliments on our fancy ‘last night before back to proper travelling’ dinner.

We didn’t do much other than drink coffee in Auckland but we did make it to the big museum up on the Domain which is pretty cool. Some more Moari stuff and a big WWII area. It’s interesting to read about something like this from a totally non-European centred point of view. And the spitfire was cool too!

So goodbye Aotearoa. We’ll definitely be back. We hope. Still plenty to see. Didn’t get to the Catlins, Dunedin, Abel Tasman and most of the North Island. Many more walks to do and Liz is itching for another go at the canyon swing.

Highlights include the ice climbing, the Kepler track, my skydive, canyon swinging and of course meeting my cousins and Laura.

Lowpoints: None. Could have stayed here forever!
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