AUCKLAND: The big city ends the Kiwi Adventure

I arrived to Auckland late at night. My flight got delayed and I went straight to bed. Nothing else to happen. So, next day when I woke up I researched for something to do and as the weather was going to be good for couple of days, I decided to start with a nice big walk around. I didn’t head to the city centre. Instead, I went to the mounts and old volcanoes that were spread in the surroundings. I reckon I got to walk around 20 kilometres and I did enjoy it, as I was gifted a few nice sights of the city from the top of the volcanoes, including West and East Bays. I was quite satisfied with my first day although, I have to say it was weird to be back on my own. It is not that I felt alone, even though I was aware I was alone and I have not even missed it during the last days. It was more like I was back to be the only person responsible for every decision and I was a bit lost because I had no idea about what to do or see. I had no desire to see anything in special mainly because I didn’t do any prior research and I felt the lack of adventures. But the day was good and tiring.

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Volcano crater, views to the city and Rangitoto volcanic island in the picture. Not bad!

For the next day, I had thought of a visit to a close island just by taking a ferry and jumping on to it. For my surprise, I had company! Even better: Spanish company! A guy that I had met the previous night at the hostel and another guy that we came across the very morning and we instantly invited to join us. The three of us jumped in the ferry with not a clue of what the island had to offer or what to do in the surroundings, but with the spirit of doing something nice for a nice Sunday. The ferry was crowded and lots of people were on their way to the multiple winyards at the island. We were not in the mood or the budget for this activity and when asking in information for suggestions we were told to rent a car as the island is very big. It was nobody’s intentions to follow the suggestion and we got a map and decided to walk around a bit and enjoy the day between bushes and beaches. We walked a lot. After lunch, we realised we didn’t have much water left and for our surprise, there wasn’t any drinkable water available around. And I say for our surprise because you can find pretty much anywhere a tap with good water in this country. But not in this island… So, we tried to take shortcuts and made our way to the ferry terminal, but the map was crap, my phone wasn’t really working to get GPS signal and the tracks were not indicated very well. It took us a bit longer to get on our feet, but we got to see really nice landscapes and by the time we got to the terminal, it was a perfect time to get some water and get back to Auckland. I love to take ferries back to big cities. You can enjoy the sight of the entire skyline getting closer and closer until you just happen to be there. It’s a nice feeling.

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Beautiful landscape whereve you were looking at

And like that, day two was over and I had a full day to enjoy and nothing to do. I had looked into the obvious thing to do: Hobitton. And I got to book a tour for half a day, but the company contacted me to call it off as I was the only booking and they were subjected to numbers. Crap, I thought. Then, asking here and there, I found another bus to go there that was affordable and…there I go! Because I had already made up my mind about doing Hobitton despite the diversity of comments received and how super expensive it is and I was not giving up yet.

To spice things up, I had a crazy situation in the hostel. I had been changing my room as I had to book two more nights and they couldn’t keep me where I was. Everything was fine when I moved all my stuff and I had been hanging in the common area all the evening. When it was bed time, I was super tired and went to my bed. I was getting everything ready with the lights off, as there was someone already sleeping and to see what I was doing, I was holding a lantern. And then, I saw that the old man that was sleeping, besides being snoring like a bear, was naked. I mean, naked, naked. Awkward!!!! He was wearing a top and nothing at the bottom. WTF!!! I had been in many many hostels and have many many weird people in my dorms but this, this was too much. I felt really awkward, I thought it was really unrespectful of his and I got paranoid with the thought of going to sleep with this man besides me. What kind of twisty person was he?!?!? So, I made my way to reception to complain and ask to be changed wherever it was possible. The guy in reception couldn’t really believe the situation. And when he finally understood that the man was COMPLETELY naked (when I said to him that there were things I wasn’t supposed to see), he offered to get there and ask him to put some clothes and immediately realised that would make things even more awkward. He changed me, with the only but that I would have to check out next morning and change my room again next day. It didn’t really matter to me, as long I could sleep in a dorm with “normal” people in it, whoever they were.

Therefore, next morning I was waking up all excited to visit Hobitton. The bus journey took 2.5 hours and like that I embraced the Hobitton Bus to arrive to the private farm where The Lord of the Rings had been recorded. It is pretty amazing to see all the hard work that they have put into it. Every detail, the gardens and the orchards, even the maintenance of the place! Big shout out to the team that keep it so perfect, because it is perfect! I enjoyed it a lot. Although at the beginning I was quite disappointed because of all the crowds visiting the place, I had fun and took lots and lots of pictures. I also enjoyed the explanations of the tour guide and her comments on the movies and even the books. I am not a big fan, but the last two nights I had been re-watching the first movie to refresh my memory and now I was just there, with everything exactly recreated to endure! As a solo traveller, I had to be asking everybody to take pictures of me, but that didn’t stopped me to have fun and make a fool of myself from time to time!

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The tough part was to wait for the bus back to Auckland and the actual bus to the city. I had 3 hours to kill plus 2.5 hours more in the bus. It felt too much for a simply 1.5 hours tour but anyways, it was enjoyable and as I always say: Is there anything else I have to do? No, I have nothing to do at all. So I took a walk around Matamata, the town and enjoyed lovely gardens and little houses and took it easy. It wasn’t raining as it had been forecasted and that was good enough for me!

That would be my last full day in Auckland. The next day I only could pack and have a walk around the city centre, as I felt I should do that at least once and it hadn’t been done before. I was getting back to Kuala Lumpur and couldn’t wait to get back to the Indian food and the cheap stuff. Mainly because I am in those days were everything is getting useless. My phone broke and now somehow works, but for how much longer? My small day pack is broken. My second and spare daypack is also broken. I barely have any socks left without holes and my clothes need to be washed. As for my runners… they are getting destroyed. I suppose 6 months of travels have something to do with that J. And I say that truly happy, because I have given so many steps in so many different places that it seems to me that sometimes I could be living someone else’s life instead of mine, as I don’t believe my own to be so bloody cool.

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