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Aukland New Zealand - by Dave

(From Journal entry Jan. 11 2008)

We are now in Aukland New Zealand. We arrived last night. We didn't get too much of a good look at the city during our 35 minute bus ride to our stop because it was dark. Besides we were pretty tired and just focused on finding the hostel. Once we got off the bus we had to navigate through a few streets before we finally found it. Its right next to The White House Strip Club. But that shouldn't give you a bad image of the part of town its in. Its actually pretty nice. Our room is rather small. It reminds me of my college dorm only smaller. It does not have an air conditiner or even a fan so I am glad that it has been on the cool side. There is a TV but it only gets two channels. One had the New Zealand version of The Biggest Loser weight loss competition show and I forget what the other was. So I haven't been tempted to turn it back on. Aukland reminds me of San Francisco. There's a mixture of old and very new mondern architecture, there's a lot of harbor areas with lots of boats. And there's lots of hillsides jutting up with houses and apartments scattered across them.

(From Journal entry Jan. 11 2008)

Yesterday we went to the sky tower. On travel shows and on postcards you always see these magnificent aerial views of cities, but whenyou go there you just end up walking around surrounded by buildings and you never get to see those great birds eye views. I wanted to go to the top to see the view of the city. That's obviously why they built the thing. The neat thing about this tower is that you can pay extra to walk around outside at the top. Of course you are attached by a cable. I am extremely afraid of heights so I was not about to do this. You can also pay more to actually jump off the tower. Not a bungie jump, just a controlled slide down some cables. We got to see a couple guys do that and it looked scarey as heck. I myself had trouble just walking around inside the viewing deck behind thick glass. I kept imagining the tower swaying and pictured what seemed like the tiny stick beneath us supporting the structure. I had to stay against the wall at the center of the room and could not go by the window. But at least I went up there.

Today we walked around Ponsonby which is an area of the city where there are a lot of quirky shops and cafes and bars. We happened upon a really beautiful park with amazing views. There were some spectacular and strange trees there. One looked like it came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. Others had huge gnarley trunks with tons of smaller trunks twisting up around it. I imagined that they came from the swamp where Yoda lived. Later we stopped by the public library. Lynette stayed inside for a while and read while I sat outside and sketched some buildings and a dude sitting on a wall.

Here you don't call the restroom a restroom or a bathroom. Its just called the "toilet." Not very subtle. Their flushers are different. They have these two buttons either on the wall or on the tank each about two and half inches diameter. You push them to flush. I haven't yet figured out the difference between the two buttons. I think one is for a full powerful flush for doody and the other a short burst for pee pee. But I'll have to ask to be sure.

Lynette read somewhere that in New Zealand the thumbs up signal means "up yours." I never realized until we came here that I give the thumbs up signal a lot. A few times when I meant to compliment someone or thank them I actually was offending them. Since then I've tried to keep my hands behind my back when talking to people.

The cars run on the left side of the road here. Which has made for some close calls when crossing the street. At some of the intersections when the walk signal lights up you are actually clear to walk across all four street corners. And all vehicle traffic stops. You can even walk diagonally across the intersection. It just looks like a big mass of people going all over the place.

There's an internet cafe just around the corner where you can get 30 minutes for a dollar and there's internet access for a little more money here at the hostel so I've been able to do some blogging to pass the time. I don't know how often I'll be able to do it at later spots. Since I'm paying for access I don't waste time with proof reading so please pardon any errors.

I'll try to post photos from New Zealand sometime in the future.

Posted by schuckley 00:23

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Comments

Hi Dave & Lynette! How EXCITING!! I just got the link to your blog this morning and I wanted to send you greetings and congratulatory wishes on beginning your journey. Enjoy every moment! I'll be checking in to read about your experiences (and living vicariously through you). :)
Love from your Southern Cuz,
Melissa

by Melissa66

I have to say that I loved the contrast between the Fifi beach pictures and the Ohio snow pictures. And my favorite one of the latter is the Blair Witch version! Glad to hear you're doing well on the trip. Can't wait to read more!

by Polar Girl

HI DAVE & LYNETTE I NOW CAN SEND YOU A MESSAGE. HOPE ALL IS WELL AND YOU ARE HAVING A WONDEFUL TIME ON YOUR FIRST STOP. D&M ON ROSS RD

by jwrossrd

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