Auckland 23Sep 2004

Trip Start Sep 06, 2004
Trip End May 22, 2005

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Friday, September 24, 2004

After talking to Scott, I found out that in Auckland there was a place called Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic and underwater adventure and that you could see loads of penguins there and that they were really close.
So after a spell in the internet café I headed back to base to pick up some more money. As I arrived I bumped into Neil, he's 21 and traveling in his gap year. A very nice and polite lad from Bishop's Stortford. I had spoken to him the night before and he had said that he wanted to go as well. So we headed off. Kelly Tarltons is situated right next to the sea and the views are awe inspiring as I switched my camera on to take some photos it flashed up that it had no card in. I then realized that I had left my memory card and reader in the back of the computer at the internet café. PANIC. I phoned Scott and asked him-no sorry begged him to go and see if it was still there, he had been on the computer next to me that morning. He said no problems and that he would head straight there, have I told you how wonderful Scott is. I got a text message about 5mins later saying that he had found it. WHAT A STAR. One big drink to that man. I was so worried that I had lost all of my photos, the card and reader can be replaced, but I would have been heartbroken if I had lost my photos.
After the panic subsided Neil and I headed into Kelly Tarltons' the price was a bit steep at $26 but we both had 15% off vouchers so that brought the price down a little bit.
At the start of the attraction there is a museum dedicated to Scott of the Antarctic, with reconstructions of his living quarters, it was interesting, but I wanted to get to the penguins. When you leave the museum you enter a room with little windows at the end, this is your first glimpse of the penguins. You can see them swimming in the water from here, I was like a kid in a sweet shop. You then head down a ramp and get onto a little train, it smells a little fishy. You are given a running commentary on the train, but I really didn't pay any attention at all. The train moves quite slowly and you then enter the penguin enclosure, its amazing you are so close to them, I loved it. As you couldn't use your flash and the train was constantly moving it was a bit hard to take photos, but I just keep my finger on the button and took loads in the hope that some would come out. As you can see some did. They had kind penguin chicks there are well but they were in pens at the back, they looked like big bundles of fluff. For me the train journey was just too short.
You then moved onto the under water tunnels, theses were made from glass and all round you are fish, sharks and stingrays and they are massive. Again photos are a problem, but I managed to get one or two, you can use your flash here but it bounces off of the glass. After the tunnels you can go to the shop, there was tons of penguin stuff there. Neil and I had our photo taken and it was then superimposed onto a picture with penguins, I look like a raving nut as you can see!!
I spent far too much money in the shop about $80 and I had even put stuff back.
I did get a wooly hat and gloves, a spoon barometer and a fridge magnet. Neil must think that I'm a raving lunatic. We go the bus back to base. That evening was the big met up of all the people from the backpacker board forum. That story will come later; it needs to be edited first!
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