Traveling Auckland, New Zealand a Place Blessed by the Heavens

Auckland Travel Blog

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Saturday, July 23rd, 2005

8:02PM

Noah Patrick Torres

noahpatricktorres@yahoo.com

New Zealand, Auckland

Auckland's Central Backpackers Hostel Internet Cafe

 

Hello, how have you been? Well my trip here in Auckland keeps getting better and better and better.

It is a fascinating city with breathless natural allure mixed with modern amenities. I hope that you are doing well and I look forward to emails from you as they are things that brighten up my day as I am traveling alone here in New Zealand. But don't worry there are many international travelers in the Hostile that I have been staying in. I think maybe tonight I will be going out to see Latin types of restaurants here in Auckland. It will be great to contrast the style of Auckland's Latin Restaurant to the USA and to that of Mexico. Ok Well here we go.

 

 

 

 

Well let me tell you about my travels here in Auckland:

 

 

20050717

 

Took a flight from San Francisco to Auckland New Zealand on Air New Zealand.

The flight was 11 hours and 45 minutes. During the flight I met a great friend from England whose name was Adam from Baths, England. He is only 18 years old but was very mature and very well traveled. He is on his summer vacation and is on a six week travel experience through San Francisco, New Zealand, Malaysia (where his father lives and he is an international teacher there) and also I think he is going to Indonesia) We became good friends on the airplane because he was sitting right behind me. We began talking and we realized that we were going to be staying at the same Hostel, Auckland Central Backpackers Inn.

 

 

 20050718

 

I lost this day on the flight because New Zealand is actually one day ahead of San Francisco. But I will get it back when I travel back to San Francisco. So it all works out in the end. Also don't mention the nearly 12 hours of airplane travel that it took me to get to New Zealand.

 

 

 20050719

 

This was my first day in Auckland and I believe we arrived about 5:30AM in the morning.

It was really funny because Adam and I didn't know what time it was because it was still dark outside in Auckland so we thought it might be night time but it was actually morning time. It was raining when we took a bus from Auckland's International Airport to the Auckland Central Backpackers Hostel. When we arrived there at the Hostel we where greeted by the receptionist who booked Adam and I in a room together. The rooms are kind of like dormitory style from college with a total of 4 bunk beds. Adam and I took the two bottom bunks and then we decided to unpack and then grab some breakfast. We had a very cheap breakfast near the hostel with a western style coffee shop ran by a Korean family that made us eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and tea. It was a great breakfast. After we ate breakfast we decided to go for a jog around Auckland’s Downtown area and we took a lot of pictures. We ran through the downtown area of Queen Street which is the equivalent of Main Street and then we ran to the marina and then to a park that I believe are considered like the central park of New York or Golden Gate park of San Francisco. I believe the name of it was Queen Park because it was a park dedicated to late Queen Victoria. It had beautiful trees, a great assortment of flowers, grass and in the middle benches that circled a spectacular fountain that had monuments of angels that shot up water in the sky made of white marble. After we return from our run to the Hostel we decided to go to one of the main tourist attractions in Auckland called the Sky Tower. It is the largest structure in the Southern Hemisphere and the 12th largest tower in the world. It is 192 Meters tall. We took many pictures and the sights from the tower were so beautiful. We could walk 360 degrees around the tower and could see everything in the City of Auckland.  Also this is city is based around 44 volcanoes that could all be seen on a clear day, but usually only about 22 are able to be seen clearly. Also there is a base jump from the top of the Sky Tower that plummets to the bottom of the sky tower. No I didn't do it. I value my life a little too much to be a thrill seeker. I am having a fine time just traveling to New Zealand. Just a side note, New Zealand is the inventor of the bungee jump. It seems that this country is filled with thrill seekers that can't have enough fun jumping, sailing, surfing, flying in and out of near death scenarios. After that we returned to the Hostel we decided to sign up for a day trip tour experience for the next day that would last from 9AM to 5PM and then decided to take a nap around 6:30 PM but we didn't wake up until the next day.

 

 

 20050720

 

I woke up at 5 AM and Adam woke up at 8AM.

I guess we were both very tired and were suffering from jet lag. Once we woke up I did some Internetting and then I found Adam and then we went out to the tour bus stop at 8:50AM to catch the bus that would take us out for a day adventure to a variety of great sites found in and out of Auckland.

 

 

 1) We took a tour bus up to a Mountain called Mt. Eden. It is the tallest mountain or structure in all of Auckland at 194 meters. It is two meters taller than Auckland's Sky Tower. There was a Volcano Hole at the top of the Mountain with a stunning view of all of Auckland and surrounding areas. When we were on the top of the mountain we saw a beautiful bird called a Magpie. In Asia this bird is known as a bird that would swallow ones sorrows away by swallowing ones tears as they come out. If you read the book China Men by Maxine Hong Kingston it will explain about this connection of Magpie birds and sorrow. Here is some information about her:

 

 

Maxine Hong Kinston

 

China Men.

pa. Reissue ed. Vintage, 1989; 1st Vintage International ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1989; 1st ed. New York: Knopf, 1980.

The author chronicles the lives of three generations of Chinese men in America, woven from memory, myth and fact. Here's a storyteller's tale of what they endured in a strange new land. Reviews at Amazon

 

Hawai'i One Summer. pa. Reprint ed. Univ. of Hawaii Press, 1998; Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1998.

Collection of eleven essays on aspects of life in Hawai'i.

 

[Prose Reading] [sound recording] Introduced by Jane Stern.

New York: Academy of American Poets, 1984.

 

Two Foreign Women. By Maxine Hong Kingston and Luisa Valenzuela. Leichhardt, NSW: Pluto Press, 1990. [45p]

 

 Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.

 

Kingston, Maxine Hong--Interviews

 

"Interview: Reinventing Peace: Conversations with Tripmaster Maxine Hong Kingston.

" Weber Studies, Winter 1995, v12, n1, p7. By Maxine Hong Kingston and Neila C. Seshachari.

 

Maxine Hong Kingston Interview with Kay Bonetti. [sound recording] Columbia, MO: American Audio Prose Library, 1986?

 After an introduction to her life and work, author Kingston discusses the structures and manner of compositions in her works.

 

Conversations with Maxine Hong Kingston. Edited by Paul Skenazy and Tera Martin. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1998; pa. Univ. Pr. of Mississippi, 1998. Literary Conversations Series

 

The Stories of Maxine Hong Kingston.

[videorecording] Parts 1 & 2. With Bill Moyers; a production of Public Affairs Television, Inc. PBS Video, c1991; Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities, 1994. A World of Ideas Series.

 

Talking Story. [videocassette] Produced by Joan Saffa, Stephen Talbot, Gayle K. Yamada; directed by Joan Saffa; narrated by B. D. Wong. San Francisco: KQED, 1991.

 Kingston talks about her motivation, her family and her heritage which influence her writing.

 

Voices at the End of the Rainbow. [sound recording] Conceived and produced by Brad Rosenstein. San Francisco: B. Rosenstein, 1996.

 Radio program featuring commentary by Juvenal Acosta, Diane di Prima, Jack Foley, Don Herron, Malcolm Margolin, Matthew Clark Davison, Maxine Hong Kingston and others.

 

Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.

 

Biography

 

Maxine Hong Kingston Reads Excerpts from The Woman Warrior and China Men (with Earll Kingston).

[sound recording] Columbia, MO: American Audio Prose Library, 1986?

 After an introduction to her life and work, author Kingston reads excerpts from her work, The Woman Warrior. Her husband Earll Kingston reads from China Men.

 

Selected from China Men and The Woman Warrior.

pa. New Readers Press, 1990. Writers Voices Series

 

Through the Black Curtain. Berkeley: The Friends of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1987.

 Contains excerpts from the author's The Woman Warrior, China Men and Tripmaster Monkey.

 

The Woman Warrior.

South Yarmouth, MA: J. Curley, 1978, c1976

 

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. pa. Reissue ed. Vintage, 1989; New York: Vintage Books, 1977; New York: Knopf:distributed by Random House, 1976.A Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her California childhood that have shaped her identity.

 

 

 

 

 

 Back to my story.

So we saw this Magpie and it was so interesting because this magpie would just follow us for about 50 or 60 feet and I took video of him and I also took pictures of him the whole time. It is a beautiful bird. Also we saw a hill called Lonetree Hill because there use to be a single tree that stood on the mountain. But due to New Zealand politics between the local people called the Mauries and the Western Settlers betters known as the Pakies it was cut down and replaced with a monument. But it is still called Lonetree hill and U2 wrote a song about the hill called Lonetree hill written after one of their ex-band members that died and as a tribute to him they wrote that song before because it was one of his favorite places that he would go to when he was alive. It is also known as the lover lane of Auckland.

 

 

 2) Then we went to Arataki Visitor Center which is part of the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. Here we watched a movie about the Waitakere Ranges and also took some gorgeous pictures of the area. It is similar to the rain forests of Brazil to help you visualize the beauty that is captured here.

 

 

 3) Next we ventured into the Waitakere which is Auckland's Rainforest.

There we saw a tree that was 2000 years old tree called a Kauri Trees or better known as the Towering Forest. The trail that we were hiking on was called the Montana Heritage Trail. On the hike we ran into a tree that grew sideways because of so many vines that were growing on top of it. It was one of the most stunning trees I have ever seen. Trees that grow in a sideways direction are very unique and special. During the hike we also walked through a suspension bridge that took us over rivers that flew from the Lava Mountains. At the end of the hike I took a bottle of spring water which I made tea from later with Native plants from the Bush or the Heritage Trail that was selected for me by my tour guide. I had it with native New Zealand's honey. This water that was found in this stream is called Te Wai water or when translated means Water flowing towards the sea. It was pointed out by the tour guide that possums that were introduced by Australia were destroying the vegetation and animal life of the rain forest of New Zealand and there is presently a campaign to hunt down and poison all Possums in hopes to preserve the native vegetation of the rain forests of New Zealand. Also the tour guide whose name was Viviana Ramos who is 35 years old with two children a son who is 16 years old and a daughter who is 17 years old who married a Maury man, told us that the Kauri trees die from the inside out and she showed us such a tree and the outside of the tree was alive and growing but the inside was hollow. It was a fascinating site. Also at the Arataki Visitor Center and the Montana Heritage Trail there was totem poles that stood high that represented I think the Maury gods. I took a picture with one.

 

 

 4) After the hike we were really hungry so we went to a neighboring city and we had fast food New Zealand style which was lamb, chicken and beef fresh cut meat with pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and green beans all smothered with gravy. It was delicious. It is honestly the best fast food that I have ever tried. Simply yummy. The cost was 16 dollars New Zealand which is about 11 or 12 dollars American but the portions were huge and I was able to have dinner, breakfast and lunch with the same meal.

I was a happy man after that lunch.

 

 

 5) After the walk in the Rainforest hike and lunch we continued to go to the next tour site which was a look at a wine vineyard called “The House of Nobilo” which was great because they had all types of wines and they showed us how there wine was made and they had free samples of their wine. It was divine.

 

 

 6) Next was the Honey farm which basically is a bee/honey farm with a cafe that served various drinks and foods with honey and teas. It was great. They had a variety of honeys. Clover Honey, Chili Honey, Blueberry Honey, Manuku Honey (which is a native flavor of New Zealand) and much more. They also had a bee/honey harvesting unit that was enclosed in glass or plastic so that one can see clearly how honey is made. It was very interesting because they had a red dot on the queen honey bee which lives from 6 to 7 years where as the worker bees only live 6 to 8 weeks. What a life. The women are queen of thousands of men or tons of worker bees.

 

 

 7) After that we went onto the Muriwai Regional Park which was the highlight of the trip because they had a beach with black sands that we were able to see a stunning sunset off the ocean.

I also saw the forest and waterfall where Zena Warrior Princess and Hercules which are two very popular action series that are shown in America were made in. There was gorgeous lake, ducks, tall pine forest and cows and trails all through this area. The pine forest was introduced from outside of Australia by probably English settlers. We were doing this hike while we were Mountain Biking along the trails and the beach. When we got to the beach we saw one of the most stunning rainbows I have ever seen in my life. It was also high tide so the water was coming very deep into the beach. There was also Sky-surfing going on while we were biking on the beach. Basically it is surfers on buggy board type of surf boards connected to parachutes and they glide on top of the ocean along the beach surf.

 

 

 8) After the Day Tour Adam and I went out and enjoyed the night life that is offered here in Auckland. We had a fun time with both local people and also international travelers from all over the world.

 

 

 

 20050721

 

 

This day was a very simple day because my travel partner Adam left so I was very sad about his departure.

I basically returned to the Sky Tower to see the view again both during the day and night because it was a clear day and the first time I went it was raining. So I was able to get spectacular pictures because of the weather. Also I went to an Asian Cuisine Food Court where I had Korean Food. I had Fried Pork or better known as Pork Bulgogi and also dumblinings or better known in Korean as Fried Mandoo. I also had a fruit drink with bananas, apples and kiwis. After that I also had a Banana split with vanilla pecan, cookies and cream mango ice cream all covered with cherries, chocolate and nuts. It was also an ice cream shop that was owned by a Korean Family.

 

 

20050722

 

 

I woke up this morning about 6AM and I did some Internetting and also made breakfast which was simply milk with bread and honey with milk. I liked it very much because it was from the spring water from my hike. After that I decided to go for a walk to the Auckland's Marina to an area called the Viaduct which has an assortment of cafes, restaurants and bars. There I found a lovely restaurant that was a sea food supermarket that sold and cooked the fish that you buy. There I ate salmon, lemon fish, prawns, oysters and one other type of fish that I don'[t quite remember and it all only cost about 22 American dollars and it was all cooked for free.

I ended up also eating the leftovers for lunch the next day. After that I went to a cafe/bar to watch the sunset from the Auckland's Marina and I video tapped it all. It was a beautiful sunset which I also took a variety of pictures as well. After the sunset I went to some other bar/cafes one had an outdoor fireplace called Clic. The last place that I went to this night was a Bar called Minus which is a bar made of entirely of ice: the cups, the chairs, the floor, the pictures, the sculptures and everything in it was ice. It was a bit of a tourist trap but it was very unique. It cost 25 dollars New Zealand which was about 20 dollars US but was for only 25 minutes. After that I returned to the Hostel where shortly after went to bed about 9 or 10 PM.

 

 

 20050723

 

 

Is today. So far I have just been packing and repacking. Looking at all the pictures that I took, the video I took and also labeled everything. I also have been working on this letter for some time. The next place that I will probably be going to is a place called Rotorua which I hear is where the Maurys or local natives of New Zealand have there cultural center where I will be able to get traditional Maury meals, see traditional Maury Dance and meet traditional Maury people. I am looking forward to this.

 

 

 

Well thank you very much for reading my story thus far of my travels here in New Zealand.

I look forward to telling you more about my adventures. Please take care and may your heavenly angels always be protecting the paths that you travel.

 

 

With Everlasting Peace,

 

 

Noah

 

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Saturday, July 23rd, 2005

8:02PM

Noah Patrick Torres

noahpatricktorres@yahoo.com

New Zealand, Auckland

Auckland's Central Backpackers Hostel Internet Cafe

 

Hello, how have you been? Well my trip here in Auckland keeps getting better and better and better.

It is a fascinating city with breathless natural allure mixed with modern amenities. I hope that you are doing well and I look forward to emails from you as they are things that brighten up my day as I am traveling alone here in New Zealand. But don't worry there are many international travelers in the Hostile that I have been staying in. I think maybe tonight I will be going out to see Latin types of restaurants here in Auckland. It will be great to contrast the style of Auckland's Latin Restaurant to the USA and to that of Mexico. Ok Well here we go.

 

 

 

 

Well let me tell you about my travels here in Auckland:

 

 

20050717

 

Took a flight from San Francisco to Auckland New Zealand on Air New Zealand.

The flight was 11 hours and 45 minutes. During the flight I met a great friend from England whose name was Adam from Baths, England. He is only 18 years old but was very mature and very well traveled. He is on his summer vacation and is on a six week travel experience through San Francisco, New Zealand, Malaysia (where his father lives and he is an international teacher there) and also I think he is going to Indonesia) We became good friends on the airplane because he was sitting right behind me. We began talking and we realized that we were going to be staying at the same Hostel, Auckland Central Backpackers Inn.

 

 

 20050718

 

I lost this day on the flight because New Zealand is actually one day ahead of San Francisco. But I will get it back when I travel back to San Francisco. So it all works out in the end. Also don't mention the nearly 12 hours of airplane travel that it took me to get to New Zealand.

 

 

 20050719

 

This was my first day in Auckland and I believe we arrived about 5:30AM in the morning.

It was really funny because Adam and I didn't know what time it was because it was still dark outside in Auckland so we thought it might be night time but it was actually morning time. It was raining when we took a bus from Auckland's International Airport to the Auckland Central Backpackers Hostel. When we arrived there at the Hostel we where greeted by the receptionist who booked Adam and I in a room together. The rooms are kind of like dormitory style from college with a total of 4 bunk beds. Adam and I took the two bottom bunks and then we decided to unpack and then grab some breakfast. We had a very cheap breakfast near the hostel with a western style coffee shop ran by a Korean family that made us eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and tea. It was a great breakfast. After we ate breakfast we decided to go for a jog around Auckland’s Downtown area and we took a lot of pictures. We ran through the downtown area of Queen Street which is the equivalent of Main Street and then we ran to the marina and then to a park that I believe are considered like the central park of New York or Golden Gate park of San Francisco. I believe the name of it was Queen Park because it was a park dedicated to late Queen Victoria. It had beautiful trees, a great assortment of flowers, grass and in the middle benches that circled a spectacular fountain that had monuments of angels that shot up water in the sky made of white marble. After we return from our run to the Hostel we decided to go to one of the main tourist attractions in Auckland called the Sky Tower. It is the largest structure in the Southern Hemisphere and the 12th largest tower in the world. It is 192 Meters tall. We took many pictures and the sights from the tower were so beautiful. We could walk 360 degrees around the tower and could see everything in the City of Auckland.  Also this is city is based around 44 volcanoes that could all be seen on a clear day, but usually only about 22 are able to be seen clearly. Also there is a base jump from the top of the Sky Tower that plummets to the bottom of the sky tower. No I didn't do it. I value my life a little too much to be a thrill seeker. I am having a fine time just traveling to New Zealand. Just a side note, New Zealand is the inventor of the bungee jump. It seems that this country is filled with thrill seekers that can't have enough fun jumping, sailing, surfing, flying in and out of near death scenarios. After that we returned to the Hostel we decided to sign up for a day trip tour experience for the next day that would last from 9AM to 5PM and then decided to take a nap around 6:30 PM but we didn't wake up until the next day.

 

 

 20050720

 

I woke up at 5 AM and Adam woke up at 8AM.

I guess we were both very tired and were suffering from jet lag. Once we woke up I did some Internetting and then I found Adam and then we went out to the tour bus stop at 8:50AM to catch the bus that would take us out for a day adventure to a variety of great sites found in and out of Auckland.

 

 

 1) We took a tour bus up to a Mountain called Mt. Eden. It is the tallest mountain or structure in all of Auckland at 194 meters. It is two meters taller than Auckland's Sky Tower. There was a Volcano Hole at the top of the Mountain with a stunning view of all of Auckland and surrounding areas. When we were on the top of the mountain we saw a beautiful bird called a Magpie. In Asia this bird is known as a bird that would swallow ones sorrows away by swallowing ones tears as they come out. If you read the book China Men by Maxine Hong Kingston it will explain about this connection of Magpie birds and sorrow. Here is some information about her:

 

 

Maxine Hong Kinston

 

China Men.

pa. Reissue ed. Vintage, 1989; 1st Vintage International ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1989; 1st ed. New York: Knopf, 1980.

The author chronicles the lives of three generations of Chinese men in America, woven from memory, myth and fact. Here's a storyteller's tale of what they endured in a strange new land. Reviews at Amazon

 

Hawai'i One Summer. pa. Reprint ed. Univ. of Hawaii Press, 1998; Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1998.

Collection of eleven essays on aspects of life in Hawai'i.

 

[Prose Reading] [sound recording] Introduced by Jane Stern.

New York: Academy of American Poets, 1984.

 

Two Foreign Women. By Maxine Hong Kingston and Luisa Valenzuela. Leichhardt, NSW: Pluto Press, 1990. [45p]

 

 Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.

 

Kingston, Maxine Hong--Interviews

 

"Interview: Reinventing Peace: Conversations with Tripmaster Maxine Hong Kingston.

" Weber Studies, Winter 1995, v12, n1, p7. By Maxine Hong Kingston and Neila C. Seshachari.

 

Maxine Hong Kingston Interview with Kay Bonetti. [sound recording] Columbia, MO: American Audio Prose Library, 1986?

 After an introduction to her life and work, author Kingston discusses the structures and manner of compositions in her works.

 

Conversations with Maxine Hong Kingston. Edited by Paul Skenazy and Tera Martin. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1998; pa. Univ. Pr. of Mississippi, 1998. Literary Conversations Series

 

The Stories of Maxine Hong Kingston.

[videorecording] Parts 1 & 2. With Bill Moyers; a production of Public Affairs Television, Inc. PBS Video, c1991; Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities, 1994. A World of Ideas Series.

 

Talking Story. [videocassette] Produced by Joan Saffa, Stephen Talbot, Gayle K. Yamada; directed by Joan Saffa; narrated by B. D. Wong. San Francisco: KQED, 1991.

 Kingston talks about her motivation, her family and her heritage which influence her writing.

 

Voices at the End of the Rainbow. [sound recording] Conceived and produced by Brad Rosenstein. San Francisco: B. Rosenstein, 1996.

 Radio program featuring commentary by Juvenal Acosta, Diane di Prima, Jack Foley, Don Herron, Malcolm Margolin, Matthew Clark Davison, Maxine Hong Kingston and others.

 

Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.

 

Biography

 

Maxine Hong Kingston Reads Excerpts from The Woman Warrior and China Men (with Earll Kingston).

[sound recording] Columbia, MO: American Audio Prose Library, 1986?

 After an introduction to her life and work, author Kingston reads excerpts from her work, The Woman Warrior. Her husband Earll Kingston reads from China Men.

 

Selected from China Men and The Woman Warrior.

pa. New Readers Press, 1990. Writers Voices Series

 

Through the Black Curtain. Berkeley: The Friends of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1987.

 Contains excerpts from the author's The Woman Warrior, China Men and Tripmaster Monkey.

 

The Woman Warrior.

South Yarmouth, MA: J. Curley, 1978, c1976

 

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. pa. Reissue ed. Vintage, 1989; New York: Vintage Books, 1977; New York: Knopf:distributed by Random House, 1976.A Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her California childhood that have shaped her identity.

 

 

 

 

 

 Back to my story.

So we saw this Magpie and it was so interesting because this magpie would just follow us for about 50 or 60 feet and I took video of him and I also took pictures of him the whole time. It is a beautiful bird. Also we saw a hill called Lonetree Hill because there use to be a single tree that stood on the mountain. But due to New Zealand politics between the local people called the Mauries and the Western Settlers betters known as the Pakies it was cut down and replaced with a monument. But it is still called Lonetree hill and U2 wrote a song about the hill called Lonetree hill written after one of their ex-band members that died and as a tribute to him they wrote that song before because it was one of his favorite places that he would go to when he was alive. It is also known as the lover lane of Auckland.

 

 

 2) Then we went to Arataki Visitor Center which is part of the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. Here we watched a movie about the Waitakere Ranges and also took some gorgeous pictures of the area. It is similar to the rain forests of Brazil to help you visualize the beauty that is captured here.

 

 

 3) Next we ventured into the Waitakere which is Auckland's Rainforest.

There we saw a tree that was 2000 years old tree called a Kauri Trees or better known as the Towering Forest. The trail that we were hiking on was called the Montana Heritage Trail. On the hike we ran into a tree that grew sideways because of so many vines that were growing on top of it. It was one of the most stunning trees I have ever seen. Trees that grow in a sideways direction are very unique and special. During the hike we also walked through a suspension bridge that took us over rivers that flew from the Lava Mountains. At the end of the hike I took a bottle of spring water which I made tea from later with Native plants from the Bush or the Heritage Trail that was selected for me by my tour guide. I had it with native New Zealand's honey. This water that was found in this stream is called Te Wai water or when translated means Water flowing towards the sea. It was pointed out by the tour guide that possums that were introduced by Australia were destroying the vegetation and animal life of the rain forest of New Zealand and there is presently a campaign to hunt down and poison all Possums in hopes to preserve the native vegetation of the rain forests of New Zealand. Also the tour guide whose name was Viviana Ramos who is 35 years old with two children a son who is 16 years old and a daughter who is 17 years old who married a Maury man, told us that the Kauri trees die from the inside out and she showed us such a tree and the outside of the tree was alive and growing but the inside was hollow. It was a fascinating site. Also at the Arataki Visitor Center and the Montana Heritage Trail there was totem poles that stood high that represented I think the Maury gods. I took a picture with one.

 

 

 4) After the hike we were really hungry so we went to a neighboring city and we had fast food New Zealand style which was lamb, chicken and beef fresh cut meat with pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and green beans all smothered with gravy. It was delicious. It is honestly the best fast food that I have ever tried. Simply yummy. The cost was 16 dollars New Zealand which is about 11 or 12 dollars American but the portions were huge and I was able to have dinner, breakfast and lunch with the same meal.

I was a happy man after that lunch.

 

 

 5) After the walk in the Rainforest hike and lunch we continued to go to the next tour site which was a look at a wine vineyard called “The House of Nobilo” which was great because they had all types of wines and they showed us how there wine was made and they had free samples of their wine. It was divine.

 

 

 6) Next was the Honey farm which basically is a bee/honey farm with a cafe that served various drinks and foods with honey and teas. It was great. They had a variety of honeys. Clover Honey, Chili Honey, Blueberry Honey, Manuku Honey (which is a native flavor of New Zealand) and much more. They also had a bee/honey harvesting unit that was enclosed in glass or plastic so that one can see clearly how honey is made. It was very interesting because they had a red dot on the queen honey bee which lives from 6 to 7 years where as the worker bees only live 6 to 8 weeks. What a life. The women are queen of thousands of men or tons of worker bees.

 

 

 7) After that we went onto the Muriwai Regional Park which was the highlight of the trip because they had a beach with black sands that we were able to see a stunning sunset off the ocean.

I also saw the forest and waterfall where Zena Warrior Princess and Hercules which are two very popular action series that are shown in America were made in. There was gorgeous lake, ducks, tall pine forest and cows and trails all through this area. The pine forest was introduced from outside of Australia by probably English settlers. We were doing this hike while we were Mountain Biking along the trails and the beach. When we got to the beach we saw one of the most stunning rainbows I have ever seen in my life. It was also high tide so the water was coming very deep into the beach. There was also Sky-surfing going on while we were biking on the beach. Basically it is surfers on buggy board type of surf boards connected to parachutes and they glide on top of the ocean along the beach surf.

 

 

 8) After the Day Tour Adam and I went out and enjoyed the night life that is offered here in Auckland. We had a fun time with both local people and also international travelers from all over the world.

 

 

 

 20050721

 

 

This day was a very simple day because my travel partner Adam left so I was very sad about his departure.

I basically returned to the Sky Tower to see the view again both during the day and night because it was a clear day and the first time I went it was raining. So I was able to get spectacular pictures because of the weather. Also I went to an Asian Cuisine Food Court where I had Korean Food. I had Fried Pork or better known as Pork Bulgogi and also dumblinings or better known in Korean as Fried Mandoo. I also had a fruit drink with bananas, apples and kiwis. After that I also had a Banana split with vanilla pecan, cookies and cream mango ice cream all covered with cherries, chocolate and nuts. It was also an ice cream shop that was owned by a Korean Family.

 

 

20050722

 

 

I woke up this morning about 6AM and I did some Internetting and also made breakfast which was simply milk with bread and honey with milk. I liked it very much because it was from the spring water from my hike. After that I decided to go for a walk to the Auckland's Marina to an area called the Viaduct which has an assortment of cafes, restaurants and bars. There I found a lovely restaurant that was a sea food supermarket that sold and cooked the fish that you buy. There I ate salmon, lemon fish, prawns, oysters and one other type of fish that I don'[t quite remember and it all only cost about 22 American dollars and it was all cooked for free.

I ended up also eating the leftovers for lunch the next day. After that I went to a cafe/bar to watch the sunset from the Auckland's Marina and I video tapped it all. It was a beautiful sunset which I also took a variety of pictures as well. After the sunset I went to some other bar/cafes one had an outdoor fireplace called Clic. The last place that I went to this night was a Bar called Minus which is a bar made of entirely of ice: the cups, the chairs, the floor, the pictures, the sculptures and everything in it was ice. It was a bit of a tourist trap but it was very unique. It cost 25 dollars New Zealand which was about 20 dollars US but was for only 25 minutes. After that I returned to the Hostel where shortly after went to bed about 9 or 10 PM.

 

 

 20050723

 

 

Is today. So far I have just been packing and repacking. Looking at all the pictures that I took, the video I took and also labeled everything. I also have been working on this letter for some time. The next place that I will probably be going to is a place called Rotorua which I hear is where the Maurys or local natives of New Zealand have there cultural center where I will be able to get traditional Maury meals, see traditional Maury Dance and meet traditional Maury people. I am looking forward to this.

 

 

 

Well thank you very much for reading my story thus far of my travels here in New Zealand.

I look forward to telling you more about my adventures. Please take care and may your heavenly angels always be protecting the paths that you travel.

 

 

With Everlasting Peace,

 

 

Noah

 

Saturday, July 23rd, 2005

8:02PM

Noah Patrick Torres

noahpatricktorres@yahoo.com

New Zealand, Auckland

Auckland's Central Backpackers Hostel Internet Cafe

 

Hello, how have you been? Well my trip here in Auckland keeps getting better and better and better.

It is a fascinating city with breathless natural allure mixed with modern amenities. I hope that you are doing well and I look forward to emails from you as they are things that brighten up my day as I am traveling alone here in New Zealand. But don't worry there are many international travelers in the Hostile that I have been staying in. I think maybe tonight I will be going out to see Latin types of restaurants here in Auckland. It will be great to contrast the style of Auckland's Latin Restaurant to the USA and to that of Mexico. Ok Well here we go.

 

 

 

 

Well let me tell you about my travels here in Auckland:

 

 

20050717

 

Took a flight from San Francisco to Auckland New Zealand on Air New Zealand.

The flight was 11 hours and 45 minutes. During the flight I met a great friend from England whose name was Adam from Baths, England. He is only 18 years old but was very mature and very well traveled. He is on his summer vacation and is on a six week travel experience through San Francisco, New Zealand, Malaysia (where his father lives and he is an international teacher there) and also I think he is going to Indonesia) We became good friends on the airplane because he was sitting right behind me. We began talking and we realized that we were going to be staying at the same Hostel, Auckland Central Backpackers Inn.

 

 

 20050718

 

I lost this day on the flight because New Zealand is actually one day ahead of San Francisco. But I will get it back when I travel back to San Francisco. So it all works out in the end. Also don't mention the nearly 12 hours of airplane travel that it took me to get to New Zealand.

 

 

 20050719

 

This was my first day in Auckland and I believe we arrived about 5:30AM in the morning.

It was really funny because Adam and I didn't know what time it was because it was still dark outside in Auckland so we thought it might be night time but it was actually morning time. It was raining when we took a bus from Auckland's International Airport to the Auckland Central Backpackers Hostel. When we arrived there at the Hostel we where greeted by the receptionist who booked Adam and I in a room together. The rooms are kind of like dormitory style from college with a total of 4 bunk beds. Adam and I took the two bottom bunks and then we decided to unpack and then grab some breakfast. We had a very cheap breakfast near the hostel with a western style coffee shop ran by a Korean family that made us eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes and tea. It was a great breakfast. After we ate breakfast we decided to go for a jog around Auckland’s Downtown area and we took a lot of pictures. We ran through the downtown area of Queen Street which is the equivalent of Main Street and then we ran to the marina and then to a park that I believe are considered like the central park of New York or Golden Gate park of San Francisco. I believe the name of it was Queen Park because it was a park dedicated to late Queen Victoria. It had beautiful trees, a great assortment of flowers, grass and in the middle benches that circled a spectacular fountain that had monuments of angels that shot up water in the sky made of white marble. After we return from our run to the Hostel we decided to go to one of the main tourist attractions in Auckland called the Sky Tower. It is the largest structure in the Southern Hemisphere and the 12th largest tower in the world. It is 192 Meters tall. We took many pictures and the sights from the tower were so beautiful. We could walk 360 degrees around the tower and could see everything in the City of Auckland.  Also this is city is based around 44 volcanoes that could all be seen on a clear day, but usually only about 22 are able to be seen clearly. Also there is a base jump from the top of the Sky Tower that plummets to the bottom of the sky tower. No I didn't do it. I value my life a little too much to be a thrill seeker. I am having a fine time just traveling to New Zealand. Just a side note, New Zealand is the inventor of the bungee jump. It seems that this country is filled with thrill seekers that can't have enough fun jumping, sailing, surfing, flying in and out of near death scenarios. After that we returned to the Hostel we decided to sign up for a day trip tour experience for the next day that would last from 9AM to 5PM and then decided to take a nap around 6:30 PM but we didn't wake up until the next day.

 

 

 20050720

 

I woke up at 5 AM and Adam woke up at 8AM.

I guess we were both very tired and were suffering from jet lag. Once we woke up I did some Internetting and then I found Adam and then we went out to the tour bus stop at 8:50AM to catch the bus that would take us out for a day adventure to a variety of great sites found in and out of Auckland.

 

 

 1) We took a tour bus up to a Mountain called Mt. Eden. It is the tallest mountain or structure in all of Auckland at 194 meters. It is two meters taller than Auckland's Sky Tower. There was a Volcano Hole at the top of the Mountain with a stunning view of all of Auckland and surrounding areas. When we were on the top of the mountain we saw a beautiful bird called a Magpie. In Asia this bird is known as a bird that would swallow ones sorrows away by swallowing ones tears as they come out. If you read the book China Men by Maxine Hong Kingston it will explain about this connection of Magpie birds and sorrow. Here is some information about her:

 

 

Maxine Hong Kinston

 

China Men.

pa. Reissue ed. Vintage, 1989; 1st Vintage International ed. New York: Vintage Books, 1989; 1st ed. New York: Knopf, 1980.

The author chronicles the lives of three generations of Chinese men in America, woven from memory, myth and fact. Here's a storyteller's tale of what they endured in a strange new land. Reviews at Amazon

 

Hawai'i One Summer. pa. Reprint ed. Univ. of Hawaii Press, 1998; Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1998.

Collection of eleven essays on aspects of life in Hawai'i.

 

[Prose Reading] [sound recording] Introduced by Jane Stern.

New York: Academy of American Poets, 1984.

 

Two Foreign Women. By Maxine Hong Kingston and Luisa Valenzuela. Leichhardt, NSW: Pluto Press, 1990. [45p]

 

 Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.

 

Kingston, Maxine Hong--Interviews

 

"Interview: Reinventing Peace: Conversations with Tripmaster Maxine Hong Kingston.

" Weber Studies, Winter 1995, v12, n1, p7. By Maxine Hong Kingston and Neila C. Seshachari.

 

Maxine Hong Kingston Interview with Kay Bonetti. [sound recording] Columbia, MO: American Audio Prose Library, 1986?

 After an introduction to her life and work, author Kingston discusses the structures and manner of compositions in her works.

 

Conversations with Maxine Hong Kingston. Edited by Paul Skenazy and Tera Martin. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1998; pa. Univ. Pr. of Mississippi, 1998. Literary Conversations Series

 

The Stories of Maxine Hong Kingston.

[videorecording] Parts 1 & 2. With Bill Moyers; a production of Public Affairs Television, Inc. PBS Video, c1991; Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities, 1994. A World of Ideas Series.

 

Talking Story. [videocassette] Produced by Joan Saffa, Stephen Talbot, Gayle K. Yamada; directed by Joan Saffa; narrated by B. D. Wong. San Francisco: KQED, 1991.

 Kingston talks about her motivation, her family and her heritage which influence her writing.

 

Voices at the End of the Rainbow. [sound recording] Conceived and produced by Brad Rosenstein. San Francisco: B. Rosenstein, 1996.

 Radio program featuring commentary by Juvenal Acosta, Diane di Prima, Jack Foley, Don Herron, Malcolm Margolin, Matthew Clark Davison, Maxine Hong Kingston and others.

 

Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.

 

Biography

 

Maxine Hong Kingston Reads Excerpts from The Woman Warrior and China Men (with Earll Kingston).

[sound recording] Columbia, MO: American Audio Prose Library, 1986?

 After an introduction to her life and work, author Kingston reads excerpts from her work, The Woman Warrior. Her husband Earll Kingston reads from China Men.

 

Selected from China Men and The Woman Warrior.

pa. New Readers Press, 1990. Writers Voices Series

 

Through the Black Curtain. Berkeley: The Friends of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1987.

 Contains excerpts from the author's The Woman Warrior, China Men and Tripmaster Monkey.

 

The Woman Warrior.

South Yarmouth, MA: J. Curley, 1978, c1976

 

The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts. pa. Reissue ed. Vintage, 1989; New York: Vintage Books, 1977; New York: Knopf:distributed by Random House, 1976.A Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her California childhood that have shaped her identity.

 

 

 

 

 

 Back to my story.

So we saw this Magpie and it was so interesting because this magpie would just follow us for about 50 or 60 feet and I took video of him and I also took pictures of him the whole time. It is a beautiful bird. Also we saw a hill called Lonetree Hill because there use to be a single tree that stood on the mountain. But due to New Zealand politics between the local people called the Mauries and the Western Settlers betters known as the Pakies it was cut down and replaced with a monument. But it is still called Lonetree hill and U2 wrote a song about the hill called Lonetree hill written after one of their ex-band members that died and as a tribute to him they wrote that song before because it was one of his favorite places that he would go to when he was alive. It is also known as the lover lane of Auckland.

 

 

 2) Then we went to Arataki Visitor Center which is part of the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. Here we watched a movie about the Waitakere Ranges and also took some gorgeous pictures of the area. It is similar to the rain forests of Brazil to help you visualize the beauty that is captured here.

 

 

 3) Next we ventured into the Waitakere which is Auckland's Rainforest.

There we saw a tree that was 2000 years old tree called a Kauri Trees or better known as the Towering Forest. The trail that we were hiking on was called the Montana Heritage Trail. On the hike we ran into a tree that grew sideways because of so many vines that were growing on top of it. It was one of the most stunning trees I have ever seen. Trees that grow in a sideways direction are very unique and special. During the hike we also walked through a suspension bridge that took us over rivers that flew from the Lava Mountains. At the end of the hike I took a bottle of spring water which I made tea from later with Native plants from the Bush or the Heritage Trail that was selected for me by my tour guide. I had it with native New Zealand's honey. This water that was found in this stream is called Te Wai water or when translated means Water flowing towards the sea. It was pointed out by the tour guide that possums that were introduced by Australia were destroying the vegetation and animal life of the rain forest of New Zealand and there is presently a campaign to hunt down and poison all Possums in hopes to preserve the native vegetation of the rain forests of New Zealand. Also the tour guide whose name was Viviana Ramos who is 35 years old with two children a son who is 16 years old and a daughter who is 17 years old who married a Maury man, told us that the Kauri trees die from the inside out and she showed us such a tree and the outside of the tree was alive and growing but the inside was hollow. It was a fascinating site. Also at the Arataki Visitor Center and the Montana Heritage Trail there was totem poles that stood high that represented I think the Maury gods. I took a picture with one.

 

 

 4) After the hike we were really hungry so we went to a neighboring city and we had fast food New Zealand style which was lamb, chicken and beef fresh cut meat with pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and green beans all smothered with gravy. It was delicious. It is honestly the best fast food that I have ever tried. Simply yummy. The cost was 16 dollars New Zealand which is about 11 or 12 dollars American but the portions were huge and I was able to have dinner, breakfast and lunch with the same meal.

I was a happy man after that lunch.

 

 

 5) After the walk in the Rainforest hike and lunch we continued to go to the next tour site which was a look at a wine vineyard called “The House of Nobilo” which was great because they had all types of wines and they showed us how there wine was made and they had free samples of their wine. It was divine.

 

 

 6) Next was the Honey farm which basically is a bee/honey farm with a cafe that served various drinks and foods with honey and teas. It was great. They had a variety of honeys. Clover Honey, Chili Honey, Blueberry Honey, Manuku Honey (which is a native flavor of New Zealand) and much more. They also had a bee/honey harvesting unit that was enclosed in glass or plastic so that one can see clearly how honey is made. It was very interesting because they had a red dot on the queen honey bee which lives from 6 to 7 years where as the worker bees only live 6 to 8 weeks. What a life. The women are queen of thousands of men or tons of worker bees.

 

 

 7) After that we went onto the Muriwai Regional Park which was the highlight of the trip because they had a beach with black sands that we were able to see a stunning sunset off the ocean.

I also saw the forest and waterfall where Zena Warrior Princess and Hercules which are two very popular action series that are shown in America were made in. There was gorgeous lake, ducks, tall pine forest and cows and trails all through this area. The pine forest was introduced from outside of Australia by probably English settlers. We were doing this hike while we were Mountain Biking along the trails and the beach. When we got to the beach we saw one of the most stunning rainbows I have ever seen in my life. It was also high tide so the water was coming very deep into the beach. There was also Sky-surfing going on while we were biking on the beach. Basically it is surfers on buggy board type of surf boards connected to parachutes and they glide on top of the ocean along the beach surf.

 

 

 8) After the Day Tour Adam and I went out and enjoyed the night life that is offered here in Auckland. We had a fun time with both local people and also international travelers from all over the world.

 

 

 

 20050721

 

 

This day was a very simple day because my travel partner Adam left so I was very sad about his departure.

I basically returned to the Sky Tower to see the view again both during the day and night because it was a clear day and the first time I went it was raining. So I was able to get spectacular pictures because of the weather. Also I went to an Asian Cuisine Food Court where I had Korean Food. I had Fried Pork or better known as Pork Bulgogi and also dumblinings or better known in Korean as Fried Mandoo. I also had a fruit drink with bananas, apples and kiwis. After that I also had a Banana split with vanilla pecan, cookies and cream mango ice cream all covered with cherries, chocolate and nuts. It was also an ice cream shop that was owned by a Korean Family.

 

 

20050722

 

 

I woke up this morning about 6AM and I did some Internetting and also made breakfast which was simply milk with bread and honey with milk. I liked it very much because it was from the spring water from my hike. After that I decided to go for a walk to the Auckland's Marina to an area called the Viaduct which has an assortment of cafes, restaurants and bars. There I found a lovely restaurant that was a sea food supermarket that sold and cooked the fish that you buy. There I ate salmon, lemon fish, prawns, oysters and one other type of fish that I don'[t quite remember and it all only cost about 22 American dollars and it was all cooked for free.

I ended up also eating the leftovers for lunch the next day. After that I went to a cafe/bar to watch the sunset from the Auckland's Marina and I video tapped it all. It was a beautiful sunset which I also took a variety of pictures as well. After the sunset I went to some other bar/cafes one had an outdoor fireplace called Clic. The last place that I went to this night was a Bar called Minus which is a bar made of entirely of ice: the cups, the chairs, the floor, the pictures, the sculptures and everything in it was ice. It was a bit of a tourist trap but it was very unique. It cost 25 dollars New Zealand which was about 20 dollars US but was for only 25 minutes. After that I returned to the Hostel where shortly after went to bed about 9 or 10 PM.

 

 

 20050723

 

 

Is today. So far I have just been packing and repacking. Looking at all the pictures that I took, the video I took and also labeled everything. I also have been working on this letter for some time. The next place that I will probably be going to is a place called Rotorua which I hear is where the Maurys or local natives of New Zealand have there cultural center where I will be able to get traditional Maury meals, see traditional Maury Dance and meet traditional Maury people. I am looking forward to this.

 

 

 

Well thank you very much for reading my story thus far of my travels here in New Zealand.

I look forward to telling you more about my adventures. Please take care and may your heavenly angels always be protecting the paths that you travel.

 

 

With Everlasting Peace,

 

 

Noah

 

arlene0725 says:
Noah,

Hey from Brooklyn (NYC). I've been facinated with New Zealand since my Xena Warrior Princess tv days. Then the Lord of the Rings happened which peaked more of my interest. Anyway, I'm aiming to get in kiwi land hopefully in 4 to 5 years. I'll definately backpack the whole trip. Can't wait to meet new trav mates along the way. A friend from the Philippines might get a job abroard. I told her to 'hands down' pick NZ. no worries, Arlene
Posted on: Dec 17, 2007
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