Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Twelve Hours and Done: Auckland, New Zealand

So our first happy surprise of the trip was that our flight wasn't 18 hours long, it was only 12. And we got fed two full meals including free wine. Not bad, Air New Zealand! Our first bit of anxiety about landing in NZ was if our extreme budget camper van we rented was a complete scam, or would come through (more on this hypothethis later...)

We did indeed get picked up by the van rental guy, and while the van didn't look too spiffy, it looked serviceable (more on that later...) We made it into Auckland to our first hostel of the trip, the lovely Lantana Lodge, just outside downtown Auckland. We spent the first day slightly brain dead from lack of sleep---always a good opportunity to get some errands done. We made a stop at the grocery store and to the American Airlines office to purchase our Round the World tickets for the rest of our trip. Buying our tickets was really our second bit of anxiety,partly because of how complicated buying these tickets can be, and partly because we had left for our RTW trip without our proper tickets.

Luckily all went well with purchasing the tickets, we saved ourselves some cash by purchasing in New Zealand, and we got a couple of days to see the sights in Auckland. We walked through a lot of neighborhoods, including the 'K' road area and Parnell. Some noteworthy sights included the Auckland Museum, which has a nice collection of pacific island art and cultural artifacts on display.Maybe because it was the last place we visited in the U.S., Auckland seemed like a more walkable version of L.A.

After a couple of days and with tickets in hand, we drove out to the countryside toward the east coast, something all the locals kept encouraging us to do as soon as possible.
K & D

1 comment:

Lee said...

Ah..the shoeless Lantana Lodge. The owner's a nice guy. Did you check out Burger Fuel nearby? Glad the tickets were not too complicated to come by. Hopefully you won't have to change them!