So after much planning and a couple of freak outs (namely one over tired moment as I came to land in Hong Kong and I felt a bit tearful and scared) I am FINALLY in New Zealand.
But let’s start at the beginning because, like Julie Andrews says, it’s a very good place to start.
I started my journey at Heathrow on Monday morning, donning my sexy Osprey Farpoint 55 and flitting between thinking I have way too much stuff and not enough (I’m still undecided but it’s currently summer and really warm in the north island and I forgot to pack shorts). I said goodbye to my mum and dad and headed off into the jaws of Heathrow departures lounge. First up, a glass of merlot and a conversation with the Barman about my age.
The flight is a bit of a blur, all 25 hours of it. Instead of picking somewhere as a stop over, I opted for heading straight there. Big mistake. Two hours in Hong Kong was not enough and as I headed through the beast that is Hong Kong airport, I was so dejected with the thought of having to get on another 11 hour flight. I’ve booked 4 days in Hong Kong on the return journey to break it up a bit.
So I’ve been here in very sunny Auckland for three days and, honestly, it’s enough. Despite being quite pretty to look at (the water is such a pure blue and the trees are so green) and the hostel I chose to stay at being full of lovely people, I’m ready to get going.
I’m over the jet lag now – sort of – it took a while with one night in a hotel (I fell asleep at 2 pm) and a hilarious night out with an Israeli guy, a Canadian guy and an American guy, plus a few sightseeing walks in between. I feel more alive and rested now and it seems to me that’s what Auckland is: a stopover place with people just arriving, or leaving or just waiting for something.
My hostel is great. A really relaxed, clean and picturesque place (I walked from the CBT and over the fly-pass to get to the place and was wondering the entire time – backpacked up to the eyeballs – where on earth I was going) full of mix of people from all over the world. We don’t do much here. Just sit out on the Veranda (the hostel is aptly named Verhandas) and drink tea or wine or beer, and talk, play cards and, like last night, get hideously hideously drunk. I can see how easy it would be to take a job at the hostel and get sucked into this chilled out way of living, but I’m ready to move on. Feet already a bit itchy. If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand, two nights is more than enough in Auckland. I’ve done three.
Tomorrow I embark upon a hop on, hop off backpacking ‘tour’ of the North Island starting in Auckland and ending up on Wellington – where I’m hoping to pick up a few weeks work to fund my flights to other places.
The thing about New Zealand is it’s expensive. Super expensive!!
But more of this later, I’ve already chewed your ear off!