First impressions. Things didn’t start out so well. I was waiting at the Gold Coast airport for the plane to Auckland. As they opened the gates and we went on to board it, the line of people suddenly stopped. Nobody was allowed to proceed. We waited anxiously outside for about an hour until we were told to go back to the terminal. There was something wrong with the plane.
A bit later the airline staff told us a second plane was being fueled up and we’d have to wait for another hour. At least they had free WiFi at the airport. So it wasn’t too bad.
All went well in the air and I landed in Auckland around 2 AM. I spent some quality time at the airport before I headed out towards my hostel. Check-in was after 2 PM, so I had plenty of time to kill.
I took the bus to the city center and decided to walk to the hostel. The CBD was virtually dead – I only saw homeless people with their red cups begging for money. Not a good first impression.
The weather was also bad – cold, rainy and miserable. Compared to sunny Brisbane this here was a shithole. I hated it.
I had a bunch of plans for New Zealand. My first task was to find a room to rent. Then find a job and then later do some travelling and touristy things.
The next day I rented a bike and inspected 6 rentals in various parts of Auckland. Biking was great exercise and it gave me a good idea what the neighborhoods were like near my potential new homes. I liked several ones, others were too dirty or I didn’t like the people living there.
One place had 5 beautiful girls as housemates and I thought that would be an awesome place to call home. So I told them I’d love to rent the room but they chose someone else. Same thing happened with another place which had 3 hot females. Looks like girls don’t like me in New Zealand. 😦 I guess I’ll have to try my luck with sheep. 😛
Once were warriors. I hopped from one hostel to another for a couple of days until I found a couchsurfing host – Anna. Her place wasn’t very clean but she was very friendly and also a somewhat weird person. A pic of my room:
For starters she was an acrobat who performs in a circus. She also used to teach martial arts and is generally a very artistic person. She took me to a circus show. I watched several acrobatics performances, dancing and a bit of burlesque (girls taking their clothes off to music). Not too bad of a night I must say…
She invited me and another CSer to the beach. I happily accepted. In the morning she gave us costumes and said we were going to play a game on the beach… something about Persians and Greeks.
We drove to a cliff near the beach and were given instructions. It turned out to be a live role playing game. We had about 15 people all in costumes – half were Persians and the other half Greeks. We were going to reenact a war scene where Greeks were chasing the Persians. The task was to catch them, enslave or kill them. The Persians had a minute or two head start and then we started chasing them down the hill. Some sword fighting later the Persians were killed or enslaved. Only one of them got away to the beach.
We climbed down the cliff – it took at least half an hour and then played another game. We were given a story about a treasure being hidden in a cave and were given roles and tasks. I felt a bit uncomfortable throughout the first game so this time I decided to take pictures instead. Anywho… some guys were ordered into a dangerous cave, they dug out a treasure, met a witch and spent some time sword fighting on the beach. It was all a bit confusing.
The place was awesome – beautiful beach and nature, the views were stunning and the cave was really cool. I suddenly discovered that NZ can be wonderful! Check out the videos of me in a cave.
Martal arts. The next day I did a martial arts class with Anna. I’ve never done any martial arts so I thought I’d give it a try. First the warmup – pushups and situps, Then we walked in a circle and did lunges. So far so good. We paired up and started to push each other so that our leg muscles would warm up a bit. It continued like that for a while as we introduced new elements to making the life of the attacker a bit more difficult. I didn’t like the class that much – too much big sweaty men rubbing each other. Plus being pushed around wasn’t that much fun. I won’t be going to a martial arts class any time soon. Not my thing. I’d rather do yoga.
The next day all my muscles were sore from the pushups, situps and climbing that 200m cliff at the beach.
Latin dancing. On my last night at Anna’s place I decided to go do some dancing. Viva Latino had a social dancing night that day. I went there and was positively surprised. For starters the average age of people was younger than in Brisbane’s dancing scene. Also I met five or so Russian girls who were all very beautiful. They reminded me of home and my favorite dancing instructor Jelena. I had a pretty good night dancing, meeting girls and people seemed to enjoy my never-seen-before moves from Brisbane. I loved the salsa performance they had that night too:
Several days later I thought it would be good to do some running. I found a track, the Coast to Coast walkway, which runs for 16 km from one coast to another in Auckland. It wasn’t great exercise because of the frequent stops at traffic lights and because I got lost so many times. I checked out the view from two hills – Mount Eden and One Tree Hill. The last one was the highlight of my day.
Everybody knows New Zealand is full of sheep but it took me about 10 days to see one. One Tree Hill had heaps of sheep and cows as well. I finally felt like I really was in New Zealand.
Now I’m staying with Jason – a new Couchsurfing host – in Albany (North Auckland).
Yesterday I went to Rangitoto island (it’s just a short ferry trip from Auckland). It’s New Zealand’s youngest volcanic island. Visiting Rangitoto was nice – beautiful nature, puhutekawa trees, birds and lots of black lava rocks.
So far I’ve been in New Zealand for a bit less than 2 weeks and I’ve been busy. I will be going on a road trip this Sunday. So next time I’ll tell you guys all about it!
Ivar the Sheeplover