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Auckland, Parnell, New Zealand

World Trip Two

Thursday, April 3, 2009: Kona, Hawaii

I really need to lose a few pounds.

We visited an actual sandy beach. It was fantastic to swim in the blue, clear, Pacific Ocean and be pushed about by the surging waves.

The weather was warm, but not too humid, so it added to our experience of pleasure. We took a shuttle ride out to the beach and walked back to the hotel. I must say, I really enjoyed our last day in Kona.

Friday, April 4, 2009

A fantastic sunrise over the mid Pacific.

We spent the morning at the pool, and the rest of the day traveling from Kona to Honolulu then on to New Zealand. We met a group of army folks at the Kona airport and chatted to one for a while. She had noticed my Australian cap and wanted to know if I was from Australia, and for me to know how much she wanted to visit.

It turned out her group was not scheduled to be sent into harm's way any time soon. I was glad of this because they all seemed so very young.

The rest of our day and evening was spent, as so much time is when traveling, waiting to get on an airplane. Of course once on the airplane you end up waiting to get off it.

Saturday, April 5, 2009: Over the Pacific

Thank you Google Maps.

You can see from this photo that New Zealand sits right on top of a junction of two tectonic plates. This is why there are so many volcanoes, geysers, and tall mountains in New Zealand.

I really like Air New Zealand. Everything about this airline is friendly, professional, and good. Even flying in the cheap seats, as we were, we had personal video screens, good food, and drinks. It is my favorite airline.

Sunday, April 5, 2009: Auckland, New Zealand

I am a happy camper at lunch on Parnell street.

New Zealand has always been one of my favorite places to visit. Over the years I have been here five or six times, for business or skiing. In all of my visits I have never really come here just to see the place. I have fitted some sightseeing in between work and ski trips; but never a dedicated sightseeing visit.

Julia and I landed in Auckland, missing a day and many hours of sleep. But the sun was warm, the sky was blue, and the air was cool. We felt very tired, but at the same time compelled to take a look around.

Julia had found a terrific serviced apartment in Parnell for us to spend our first night. It was a great place equipped with a small kitchen and a washer-dryer. These two things are of high value when on extended travel as the kitchen enables you to make your own meals and clothes just keep on getting dirty. But, after a shower and brush up, we extracted ourselves from our comfortable abode and took a walk down Parnell Road. It reminded us of so many streets in San Francisco, filled with open restaurants and chichi shops. After a cappuccino we headed for Auckland Domain, a park containing the Auckland Natural History Museum. We soon found ourselves on a hiking path that meandered through a native forest. We could not have had a better experience. The path led to the museum which was fine, even though its collections were a bit of a hodgepodge. But the erupting volcano exhibit was worth the price of admission.

Parnell Walk Video
New Zealand Plan Video

Trip stats

Miles Flown: 7,111

Miles Hiked: 16


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