Auckland, Day 1
Auckland Travel Blog› entry 5 of 23 › view all entries
We arrived in Auckland around 12:30pm local time. The skies were sunny and bright blue and the temperature and humidity were much more to my parents' liking! It took us a bit to get through customs and immigration, but we made it fine. Ed and I cleared easily, but they had more trouble with clearing Arlene. Not sure what was up, but might be something to do with a typographical error on her passport. At least the passport and tickets matched, so they let her through. Ed was walking real slow -- complained that his toe was hurting. I chalked it up to a bunion or a corn and we moved forward to get our bags and the rental car.
The rental car company gave us a Holden Astra at first and it was way too small to fit the three of us and our luggage for a tour of the North Island. There was no legroom at all. I was able to get them to change us to a Toyota Camry which fit us and our luggage much better. We made it to our hotel in downtown Auckland without even having to consult a map! I was pretty pleased to be able to do that having not been down here for a couple of years.
Our hotel was the Heritage on Hobson Street, very close to the Sky Tower. When we checked in, there were no clean rooms yet, so we went to lunch in the hotel's dining area to a place called Hector's Restaurant. Mom and I had Thai Beef Salad, which was excellent (but not quite as good as my favorite version back in Austin at Satay Restaurant).
When we finished with lunch, we were given a clean room that was real nice -- two queen sized beds in separate rooms in the suite and a kitchenette. It had a huge balcony, but no real view as we were only on the third floor. We freshened up, unpacked a few things and then I took them up the street to see the Sky Tower.
The Sky Tower is purportedly the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere. It is 1,900 feet tall. They have bungee jumps from the top, and just as we got there, there was a jumper who leaped off the top of the tower. It was very fun for Mom and Dad to be able to see right away! We went up to the top of the tower and went out on to the deck for viewing that has a partial glass floor allowing you to stand on the glass and look down at the ground below.
As we were walking back to the hotel, Dad announced that this was his last walk of the day. His foot was hurting him too badly to continue. He was walking very slowly and was obviously in pain, so we had to get him back and out of his shoes. We had ruled out the corn or bunion theory earlier, so Mom and I were concluding that it was probably a reoccurrence of his gout, particularly with all the rich food he had been eating on the trip so far and the wine.
That pretty much curtailed the rest of our first night in Auckland. We did not even go out for dinner, but didn't miss it either! We watched a couple of movies on the hotel system, I journaled a bit and it was lights out before 10pm. It had been a long day since we left Tahiti!