I got outside into the Auckland night air, not too chilly, but coat needed and tried to find out where the Airport bus left from. I asked a very nice man from the airport shuttle and he offered to take me for the same price as the bus $16 rather than the $35 they actually charge and you get dropped off at where you’re staying – perfect!
But, as I put my bag down I realised I now only had 1 boot attached to my bag…… After customs you go through x-ray, it must have gone missing there….. So I thanked the lovely guy, he wished me luck and I headed back into the terminal. Obviously I couldn’t just go back and get it, so found the place to ask and a lovely man called Tom went to have a look for me, but returned empty handed. I filled out a lost property form, left my email and headed for the bus again…..
Found the stop and only had 10minutes to wait. It took about 30 minutes to get to my stop and after a 5 minute walk I was at my hostel Surf’n’snow or snow’n’surf!
It was 3am, the guy was v confused to see me, but there was room and eventually I climbed into it. It was a 12 bed dorm and by the light of my phone it was the most chaotic one I’d seen. I think a lot of longterm people staying there, stuff everywhere, but thankfully there was an obvious gap where the previous tennent of my bed had removed their stuff. The pillow stank of damp mustiness so I used the duvet as a pillow and my sheet sleeping as, well, a sleeping bag!!
I slept through until 10:30 which was great, woke to discover that the place was as untidy and chaotic as I’d thought, but I had my little corner and a locker for my stuff so couldn’t complain.
Had a shower and walked the 2 minutes to the main street and went for a wander. My new favourite shop Cotton On was right there, so I popped in and found some fab black trousers – slightly smarter than my baggy ones and a couple of tops, my vests are getting holes in….. dangerous place!
Next on the agenda was WiFi to let the bf know I was safe. Everyone has said go in McDonald’s, yes they had WiFi but it was terrible, couldn’t send an email or whatsapp, but the coffee was OK!
It was lunch time and I passed a nice looking place with WiFi and pasta for $7. Perfect.
I opened my email and they’d found my boot!!!!! I was so happy – 1 boot is no use to anyone, unless you’ve only got 1 leg…..
After lunch I sorted myself out with a NZ sim card, sent one of my unlimited texts to Sal, a friend from my Borneo who lives in Auckland!!
Further wandering revealed a cinema and Gravity was showing – my friend Heather from school was involved in the making of the film and it opened in the UK a few days after I left and despite checking everywhere I’ve been I’d not managed to see it yet, so I booked a ticket for the only showing – 11:15pm for Gravity 3D
It was then that Sal called, was lovely to hear her voice and we arranged to meet the next day over at Devonport where she lives.
My next discovery was an amazing Korean pancake place. Not pancakes as we know them, but still yummy. I went for a veggie and cheese one $4 and sat on a bench in the sunshine to eat it.
My final task of the day was to look for a tent. When my bf comes across the plan is to hire a car and camp as we travel around, cheaper and easier than a camper van, but does require a tent! So I headed for Kathmandu, not the country, but a shop! In the UK we have 1 on London, out here there are about 6 stores in Auckland alone. A very lovely guy helped me discussing tent weight vs ability to sit up, we had a measuring tape out and me sat on the floor! He recommended the tent I was already thinking about, so that was good! The shop always has discounts for members, sales, offers etc. So I asked how I could get the best price, he mentioned a 50% off sale coming up, but also a friends and family voucher. As they didn’t have a tent in stock, he put one on hold at another store, gave me directions and as he didn’t have an actual voucher to just mention it at the till.
Jobs for the day done I headed back to the hostel for a snooze before the cinema.
I headed out about 10:30 and stopped at the Starbucks for a quick coffee and to use the cinema’s WiFi.
As ever, despite taking the lid off to cool, the coffee was too hot to finish so I took it up with me. Stood outside waiting to go in, took a mouthful of coffee and poured it liberally down myself from boob to knee…. What a wally!
The film was amazing, the time went so quickly, had a little cry at the end and when Heather’s name appeared on the credits I cried even more – that was my friend!!! So proud
So, coffee stained and red eyed I headed back to the hostel for the worst sleep ever, in fact not sure I slept. It had been The Big Day Out and the hostel seemed to be full of drunk people playing guitars and singing, all night, at 5:30 they were still going. Was so glad this wasn’t my first hostel experience.