A Travellerspoint blog

Shouting for God in the garden of Eden

one extreme to the other

sunny 26 °C
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Day 4

After 3 days it was time to take a view of Auckland from a different perspective so the two numpties decided to take a bus out of the City to Mount Eden which is a volcanic cone out of the centre of Auckland to warm (get it) us up for all the Volcanoes later in the week at Rotorua. The views were great and I think the racket from all the crickets in the trees (you should have heard the din, we needed ear plugs) gave Julian some light relief from my rubbish banter on politics and the meaning of life!!

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Being prepared as ever we did fail to notice the rain shower and spent 20 minutes hiding behind a tree while a party of school kids which were up there as well took the mick while sitting on their dry School bus. I think it was fairly obvious we did not come from around here. After a nice stroll past the University, which had loads of freshers starting their first week of term (which made us old gits reminisce about the good old days), and a walk through the park and Museum, we got back to the apartment and maybe it was seeing all the young uns but it became obvious to Julian that something was playing on my mind.

Maybe it was me having a mid mid mid life crisis but I could not get out of my mind a young girl we had seen the day before up the Sky Tower. Not because she was very attractive, although she quite fit, but because we saw her falling on the outside off the tower on a bit of rope while we were having a cup of char. See photo.

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Thinking only a fool would throw themselves off the highest building in the southern hemisphere and seeing as I am the ultimate fool look what I did.

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All I can say is what a rush. They strap you in then make you look over the edge 192 metres up. The bloke with me started giving me all this speal about some painters on the roof of this skyscraper below us slacking off and how he saw a pop video being filmed on another roof the day before but all I could hear in my head was "oh god oh god oh god". Turning to religion was not enough to prevent me going, as all the people in the tower cafe had their cameras out. One minute I am chatting away the next I am swinging over Auckland having my photo taken. Next minute my stomach is where my nose is and the ground is approaching at a right spate of knots. It was brill and the best thing was it was quiet so they let me go again for nothing which was even better because I had done it once. I felt sorry for the other guy that came up with me though. He had applied to work there and was on his job interview and they sprung it on him that he would have to jump. Now we have all been nervous on job interviews but this was a whole new level. Poor lad. He went though so hopefully he got the job.

We have been in Auckland for four days now and although it is going fast, too fast, I did say I was glad to be heading off tomorrow to which Julian replied "why are you going to do something else stupid". I do not know what he was on about.

Right time to go and have a well earned glass of vino before Max and Paddy hit the road tomorrow down to Waitomo in the campervan.

See you next blog entry

I wonder if they are looking for a new James Bond!!!!!

Posted by karlg598 00:54 Archived in New Zealand Tagged air_travel Comments (4)

Big drop and the Americas Cup

Questions arise weather Julian is up for the bungy jump

sunny 22 °C
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Day 2 and 3

Day of chilling out yesterday treking around the harbour. Today and what a day.

Give Julian a mountain bike and it is like watching a 15 year old with no fear. No drop off too small, speed not an issue. Put him a lift with a glass bottom and watch him quake like a washing machine on a spin cycle. I thought I would test out the adrenalin junkies nerve so we went to the Auckland Sky tower for a gentle view of the city. Doors open on the lift, in we go, by the third floor I heard "f$%£ing Hell" and he is clinging on to the walls after realising that the floor was made of glass. It took us a whole 10 minutes to get him to look out of the window at the top.

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Not too sure if both of us will be bungy jumping. I have not got the heart to tell him we have a 100m abseil into the caves in Waitomo. I might just drop that one, quite literally, on him when we get there. I will have to tear that page out of the Rough Guide as well, just in case.

So this afternoon and what can I say. The only word that comes close is fantastic, as there is hardly a cloud in the sky and it is blowing a hula so one thing for it, lets take the Americas Cup Boat out to Sea.

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We get on board and talk about basic, my little Laser Dinghy has as much stuff on it as this beauty, although obviously not quite as big. The wind was gusting up to 30 knots so we only had 3/4 of the main sail up and we were still shifting. It was tricky holding on as we were healed right over and you could see the terror in the eyes on some of those on board who stayed firmly routed to the hand rails. Me and Julian being the hardened sailors that we are were on the winches, and steering the beast. He did ask us all who were sailors and a few of us put up our hands. Then he asked who of us had ever gone overboard, and strangely enough only me and Julian put up our hands.
It was so good that I now have creases in my face where I had a continual smile for 2 hours. This photo may accidentally get placed on my screen saver for the boys back at my local sailing club.

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At this point I had to complain to the captain that I wish we had not reefed the sail and asked him if we could go on full sail. To my surprise he said ok and up went the sail all the way. Talk about shift, brill.

Comedy moment of day: Sitting at bar eating our meal at the Harbour and watching a jogger bloke in all the gear go arse over tit down a ramp near by in front of everyone in the bar. He must have felt such a pratt (I knew how he must feel as I did the same back home on my mountain bike in all the gear and all the locals at the pub thought it hilarious).

Hobitometer: 1 out of 5 today because there was no reference to the Lord of the Rings but the woman in the restaurant below the apartment looks like Liv Tyler.

Right Julian has fell asleep so I need to find the camera, see you on the next update.

Posted by karlg598 00:54 Archived in New Zealand Tagged air_travel Comments (1)

Sweeny Todd

arrival

storm 15 °C
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Just before I move onto my arrival in Auckland I need to add one comedy moment prior to leaving Qatar. Being at work for 5 weeks usually means a very dodgy hairstyle, bit like side show bob from the Simpson’s, so just before I flew from Qatar I thought I would pop into the local Indian barber near our staff house. I think this was the first time Sweeney Todd had had a white guy in his shop and he realised I would pay top notch for a quality cut. What I did not realise was a quality cut involved a neck, face, back and eyebrow massage. I am sure he was taking the p$£sh and just fancied beating me up in front of his usual paying customers. Most of it was fine but when he moved on to my eyebrows I could not help myself and burst out laughing. I mean has anybody ever felt tense around the eye carpet area.

DAY 1
Right the good news is I have arrived safe and well. What a flight, although it was not too difficult seeing as I was in business class. For all my pre booking troubles it has to be said Emirates really know what they are doing when it comes to long haul, in business class. The flight from Dubai to Bankbook was only 5 1/2 hours and I got met off the plane and sent to the Emirates lounge in Bankbook for the plane to refuel. Me and about 15 others with the whole lounge to ourselves. 8 1/2 hours later the same happens in Sydney, talk about stress free.
Arrival in Auckland was a bit of a pain as there was about 5 passport control officers to 5 million people, but getting through was painless. Quick check of my walking boots to make sure I was not carrying the plague with me then away to meet Brian the Emirates chauffer who give me a very interesting drive to the apartment. What a nice guy and you could tell he was trying to gauge to where the conversation should go as his swearing was mild coming out the airport. By the time I reached the apartment he had realised I was no business man and he was "f"ing and blinding like a good un, like I say hilarious. At this point I will introduce my new New Zealand grading points system called Lord of the Rings hobitometer. Brain scores a whopping 4 hawks on a scale of 1 to 5, seeing as he said he came from the place where they filmed the Shire within the first 10 minutes of the taxi journey. I will keep you updated as this journey goes.
So got here about 4:30 pm and had a bit of a power nap before heading out into Auckland. I was intending to have a long trek but the weather is awful, pretty much the same as Scotland which is odd as they have had a great summer, Brian said. The apartment on Princes wharf is right where all the Bars and Restaurants are so very livley. I walked past one and England and New Zealand were playing the last OD match at cricket on TV so decided to head on into and order myself a beer. Next thing I know two guys have come across the bar and sat next, well in fact they were a bit drunk so it was more like on, me. Turns out they were on a stag do, although I can not see them lasting long as it was 7:30pm and they could hardly walk then. Still very friendly and we had a good blether. Ended up having all the boys from the stag around me, I think I was a bit of a novelty. They were desperately trying to get me to join them but they could hardly walk so I thought this to be a bad idea.
So I am currently back in the apartment and waiting for Julian who should arrive about 1 am this morning. The staying on night shift seams to have worked as I do not feel any jet lag and am ready for bed at the right time so I score a 5 on the lagometer. I hope Julian is the same.
The apartment is fantastic. See photo. It looks out across the harbour bridge and is a perfect location. It is fairly posh as well.

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Right day of slobbing tomorrow before our big sail on the Americas Cup boats on Monday. I hope we get as much wind as today as we will be flying.

Right signing out for now.

Posted by karlg598 10:44 Archived in New Zealand Tagged air_travel Comments (1)

Pre Match Blog

It is 03:00 am on Feburary 20th 2008, and I am sitting on an oil rig in the gulf in Qatar . What has this got to do with a holiday in New Zealand, well I have in front of me my tickets for my short 22 hour hop to Auckland via Bangkok and Sydney from Dubai, I have got my travel underpants in the wash, I hope they are ready in time, and I think I have organised everything to perfection, what can possibly go wrong (tempting fate there). My chopper is in a few hours and I feel like a four year old who believes in Santa on the eve of Chrimbo.

The crazy plan

North Island
Sat 23rd Feb Arrive Auckland
Wed 27th Feb Pick up campervan: auckland to waitomo
waitomo to Rotorua
Rotorua to Taupo
Taupo to Wellington

South Island
Wellington to Picton
Picton to Greymouth via Punakaiki
Greymouth to Franz Josef
Frans Josef to Wanaka
Wanaka to Queenstown
Thur 13th March 08 Queenstown
Thur 20th March 08 Christchurch
Sun 23rd March 08 Fly home

Hopefully this will be a epic tale to rival the Lord of the Rings, which I watched last night by the way just to get me in the mood, although I hope the locals are better looking. Next blog should be in Auckland and hopefully I have my travel numptie Julian with me by then.

Posted by karlg598 12:57 Archived in New Zealand Tagged preparation Comments (2)

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