October 18th, 2017
Today, we woke up at around noon, Canadian time that is. After we showered, got ourselves fed, organized and we started our journey to town. The train ride to Auckland put us off to a good start. Leeann and her two kids came with us, which was quite nice, since we didn’t know where anything was. Annika and I (Kisa) marched hand-in-hand off the train and raced up the stairs against Sara. We won! We then, waltzed down the street, looked in all the shop windows and noticed a McDonald’s. I instantly thought of my brother Jai and I sent him a photo via text.
Our first mission was to open a bank account at ‘ASB Bank’. As it turns out, this bank has stopped providing new accounts to out of country visitors, a while back. Next, we tried the ‘Kiwi Bank’ and it didn’t work out for us either. Lastly, we optimistically headed to ‘ANZ Bank’. The teller, working there, said “Yes,” but she needed documentation from our host. So, we headed back to the first bank we visited, got the docs and returned to ‘ANZ’. After patiently waiting in line, we were once again in front of the teller. She then denied us harder than when my brother Jai tries to ask a girl out. Ugh, such a waste of our time!
After that nonsense, Leeann showed us the Sky Tower. It reminded Kisa and I (Sara) of the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada. The Sky Tower looked cool. You can SkyJump (bungee) from the top or you may also do the ‘SkyWalk the Edge’ at 192 metres above the city. We didn’t. I don’t know if I could ever do that. Just the thought of it makes me feel queasy and so does the price.
At lunchtime, we walked towards the waterfront where we ate at a little restaurant called Tank. It was a smoothie, wrap and salad bar kind of place. I (Sara) ordered the avocado green wrap. It was delicious. We finished up with lunch and walked towards the i-SITE, New Zealand’s official visitor information centres, where we purchased DOC hut passes, booked beds at a hostel, bought bus tickets to Kaitaia and a ride with a tour bus to Cape Reinga. Once we had crossed everything off our to-do-list, we rode the train back to the house, played with Annika and watched ‘Despicable Me 3’. After dinner, our host Justin, took us to the grocery store (Kiwis prefer to use the term ’supermarket’) so we could stock up for the trek. The supermarket was called Countdown, which is open 24/7. Grocery shopping made us feel like true grown-ups, what an excitement! Back at the house we organized our gear and packed our bags. The food, I (Sara) just had acquired, wouldn’t fit in my pack and I was getting mucho annoyed. I spent an hour trying to get everything to fit in and it finally did… barely.
- Best thing today: Walking in Auckland
- Worst thing today: Playing puzzle with the pack.
– Kisa + Sara