Two nights turned into three as we found ourselves loving the five star camping experience. By now I must have rode the waterslide about 20 times and we´ve probably spent about 6 hours in the jacuzzi but we feel pretty good for it. On our last day here we hired bodyboards and took to the waves, still amazed that the autumn weather is holding out for us. Anyway, after being assaulted by the freezing waves of the Pacific Ocean (a first for both of us) we retreated to our tent to organise our bags. Its been a real luxury over the last month not having to carry all of our belongings on our back but it was time to get used to it again. We managed to fill a couple of bags with souvenirs/clothes that we wanted to post home in a desperate attempt to get our weight down to a comfortable level. As we did this it really struck us that we were very close to a new part of our trip and one that would be a lot more challenging than anything we´d done so far. Still, we had 5 days in Auckland first.
5 days in Auckland is 4 days too many. For New Zealand´s biggest city there are surprisingly few things to do. After returning Maggie Mae to the rental centre (holding back the tears) we took a taxi to the city and set about finding our first proper night out in New Zealand. That was a task in itself and it really hit home what Mick has told us about a girl he met and asked ´Wheres good to go out?´, she said ´Melbourne´. Hmmmm. Eventually we did find something and it rather resembled a night out back home. After a bottle of wine in our hostel´s kitchen (as classy as ever) we set off to the local Belgian Beer Cafe (I´m constantly amazed by the number of great beers we can get here). After a few too many Leffe´s and Hoegarrden´s we set off to a club on Auckland´s main night life stretch, Karanghape Road. I can´t remember what it was called but it was pretty cool although the combination of camping fatigue and a few too many beers meant that we didn´t last too long.
We were staying at Base hostel in Auckland, a big chain throughout Australia and New Zealand with a good reputation, we´re not sure why! This hostel sucked, dirty unisex toilets/showers, I really pitied the girls that had to use them, add that to the unfriendliest staff ever and the fact thgat we were paying twice as much as on luxury campsites and you can see why we weren´t too pleased. Our roommates redeemed it though, an 8 bed dorm with never more than 4 people and roommates including Mark from Holland, Wolfgang from Austria and a nice Brazillian guy. We managed to be drinking every day, a bit of a novelty for us. The highlight has to be Belgian beer and waffles for breakfast one morning. The waiter gave us the oddest looks. We did the obvious tourist things aswell like a trip up the Skytower and a visit to the Auckland Museum. We even managed to get to the cinema again (Gone Baby Gone is great, if a little uncomfortable in parts!). By now we were ready for a culture change, Auckland isn´t the best place to finish a trip to New Zealand but it didn´t overshadow a really fantastic month