OK last 2 days in Aukland before I board the Magic bus for what one can only summise are "Magical Places"!
Yesterday I caught the ferry out to Devonport which is accross the bay from Aukland central. It is considered the north coast of Aukland. The sun was out in force. Devonport was founded by the Mauris but later an egnlish garrison was posted here and there still remains the remenants of huge anti aircraft cannons and barrack housings in the volcannos.
The town itself is delightful. Think Kansas 1950s meets Maine. All the houses especially along the waterfront are the original 1860's style in lovely gay colours. I was told this is the most expensive real estate in all of New Zealand with some of the authentic cottages going for $2.6 mill.
We headed up the two volcanos on this peninsula for some terrific views of Auklands skyline. Then was dropped off in town. Found a great ice cream parlour and also the worlds most unfriendly cat. It just sat there and glared at me when I tried to stroke it. I was going to take a picture but it gave me "that look"
After Devonport I decided to walk up to a district called Parnell Village. It is off from Aukland centraland seemed real close on the map. 45mins later and after a very steep hill I am panting and cursing my descision. However when I did get there it was well worth it. the place was so nice. All art galleries and chick furniture shops!
Came back to town and went down to the harbour again to the minus 5 bar. It is a bar made entirely from Ice. Everything is made from ice. Even the drinks. I tried this before but decided not to go in as I would have been the only one so turning up just shy of 8pm I figured there would be a few more people. I got in at 7.10 and was told the next session was 7.30 but was givenm a 2 for one drink for the next door bar. Great 2 drinks in 20 mins! Ha ha - was easy act with vodka! Got back and you have to wear a special fur coat and 2 gloves. Went in and it was just me and this russian blond bartender. Some may think this a great scene but I felt just aukward. It is basically a large freezer and after taking 10 sec to look at the various ice sculptures felt obliged to chat to the bar tender. She was not a great talker. Very cringeworthy. But on the plus side saw more col. smirnoff than ever before. There is smirnoff green (apple), Red (blackcurrant), Yellow (Vanilla), Red (triple distilled), Black (pot stilled)and some others i think.
After this I headed back to the hostel and grabbed another 2 for 1 drink in the bar there. Sat and watched the world pass by. After grabbed a nice kabab then crashed out.
Today Headed out to a volcano island called Ragatoto. We took the 10.30 ferry out. As I started climbing up to the summit started chatting to a guy called Craig who had just landed yesterday from near newcastle. Then as we were walking met a girl called Michelle from Brisbane and together we climbed up and checked out some cool lava caves. While there also met a Canadian guy called Alex. We all climbed up to the summit and checked the place out. Basically it is an uninhabited island so we were pretty much stuck there til 3.30pm but all in all was a really nice climb and great weather. When we got down again and back to mainland headed out to a pub and all grabbed a beer.