Trip Start Jan 22, 2008
101Trip End Sep 30, 2008
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The Friday bus journey to Auckland took in Hobbiton, which is now just a farm where you can pay to have mounds where the set for Lord of the Rings used to be pointed out. No thanks. I instead settled for a couple of cheesy pictures by the "Hobbiton" sign and a terrible statue of the Smeagol.
Auckland is home to an extraordinary percentage of the entire population of New Zealand - 1.25 million out of a total populous of just over 4 million. It is actually an amalgamation of four seperate cities, rather like Stoke-on-Trent (although the comparisons with that particular city end there)
Despite the night out and a failure to set my alarm I managed to get up in time for a two day Bay of Islands tour which set off from Auckalnd at 7am yesterday morning. The scenery on the drive up to Paihia could have been anywhere in the English countryside and the tour appeared to have been somewhat of a waste of effort as I settled for a quick sit down yesterday afternoon to consider my activity options, only to wake up four hours later, too late to participate in anything. The kip did me some good however and I felt full of the proverbial this morning, wasting no time in hiring a bike and peddling off to explore the local area. The first gentle incline revealed that I am probably nearer to Louis, rather than Lance, Armstrong in terms of fitness but at the end of the day I do have all the time in the world so no worries I guess...