We finally made it here!
Auckland Travel Blog› entry 1 of 25 › view all entries
We made it to Auckland after probably the worst ever check-in experience that we could have imagined at Santiago, thanks to the mind-boggling stupidity and dishonesty of the LAN Chile check-in staff that resulted in us getting to the airport before nearly any other passenger for the flight and being held at the front of the queue for nearly 2 hours while they tried to print a boarding pass for Erica (Jeremy's was done when we checked-in) . We are hoping to send a crack unit of business "troubleshooters" from a primary school or a zoo to try and help them understand how to run a business and deal with people! We did (admittedly) agree to stay in Santiago for an additional night for $550US each and a night in a hotel.
Still. We are here in Auckland and it feels fantastic to be here! We touched-down at around 4.30am and after going through a rigourous (but very helpful and courtious) customs and quarantine check we jumped on the shuttlebus and went into downtown Auckland to our hostel. To avoid being badly hit by jet-lag we went straight-out to have breakfast and have a wander around town. To get a bit of perspective of the City we took a boat trip around the harbour (nice and touristy!).
Our first impressions of Auckland and the people are that it is a really nice, clean, friendly and safe place to wander around. We haven't had anyone try to short-change us, present us with food that we didn't order, charge us double as to the written price of something we ordered or try and run us over on a pedestrian crossing as we would expect in Santiago! The air is very clean for a City and traffic even at rush-our is nothing like what you would see in either Exeter or Swansea, let alone Santiago.
Auckland is a very modern City that is dominated by the 352m "Sky Tower", which is the highest structure (according to our 5 year old guidebook, so has probably since been usurped by China or Korea or somewhere by now!) which gives it a very distinct skyline. We are going-off exploring a bit more today as we aren't quite as zombified by tiredness after a 13 hour flight and heading across the timezones and dateline in a disorientating fashion.
Over the 3 days we spent there, we viisted the sedate area of Devonport (which is thankfully not like the Plymouthian namesake) and we mooched around Parnell, Ponsonby and Newmarket, which probably give the City of Auckland the highest per capita rate of cafes in the world!
We quickly found a hire car and headed-up to somewhere very different indeed in the Northland.