Saturday, April 28, 2012

24 hour stopover in NZ

Landing 4.30 in the morning in NZ, for a stopover, I somehow had to stop up, and with very tired eyes study my flight ticket one more time. At the customs declaration it finally dawned to me, and I told the lady that instead of 3 hours in Auckland, I apparently had 25 hours. I guess traveling has disconnected my brain, and dates are unreadable to me, forme to have missed this. I always wanted to go to New Zealand, but not for 24 hours, and certainly not unprepared! I was supposed to be in Japan that day, not Aukland!
Well, there was nothing to do about it, but to drag my tired butt to a bus, and on the way grab a free guide of Auckland, to get into city. Note, is was 6 o'clock in the morning, on a Sunday... Getting into city was easy enough, but finding a place to stay, a hostel, was just that much more of a challenge. Auckland's hostels were fully booked due to some concert AND a cricket game that weekend. Wondering around 6 in the morning wasn't part of my plan, but somehow I managed to get into a closed hostel, and sleep on their cough until the receptionist woke me up around 9, to tell me good news. So I went back to bed, this time in the top bunk, in a room that seemed to be full of 15 smelling sleeping guys. But I did NOT care. Problem number two in Aukland was my phone. My bellowed iPhone had stopped cooperating with me, already back in Fiji, so I was pretty much alarm lock-less. This is quite bad when you are traveling by yourself, are not a morning person, and have a flight to catch in the morning.
With disaster lurking around the corner, I took the day to explore Auckland, and do some shopping...hehe. NZ was cold, and Japan was going to be even more so, so my shoppings for hoodies and stuff turned out great. I had a pretty nice day in Auckland, I went down to the harbor and treated my self to some deliciously expensive gelato. And then to some Jelly Snakes. (A moment of appreciation for Jelly Snake;, they are the best candy I've ever tasted! If you ever stumble across Jelly Snakes from 'Natural', get them, they are seriously yummy! To think I'd have to travel across the globe to find my favorite craving...what will I do from now on? Almost two months without Jelly Snakes and I'm already trembling...must.have.more!)
The next morning was where the fiasco of not having an alarm clock took place. Two staff members from Cozy Kiwi hostel was supposed to wake me up, and I even asked a fellow traveller in my room to spare me some alarm on his phone. None of them succeeded in remembering that I had a flight to catch, to Japan, and when I panicking woke up at 7(yes, by my self!?) I was very late. A tearful bus drive later, I was at the airport, 45 minutes before my international flight. But I made it. And only because the flight was delayed! But the other fiasco of the day was, that I had to spend 3000 nzdollars on a flight ticket back to NZ, because I didn't have my out of japan ticket with me. Great. Air New Zealand policies. Screw you.
But with all odds against me, I made it, 11 hours later, safe and sound to Narita airport, where nobody wanted to see my 3000 dollar onward ticket.

Here, a glimpse of Auckland.

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