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I’ll fill this blog out later, but here’s a start on describing our first day here in Auckland. It’s been an interesting experience for a whole host of reasons. Firstly, we almost never made it into town. Why? Because some nutter in a car cut up our airport minibus so badly he nearly took the front off! The language from our Roratongan driver was colourful to say the least!

We arrived in town around 9am and headed straight to the harbour area so we could put our suitcases in store and explore without them. I have to say, I don’t recognise most of the Central Business District anymore, so much has (or is being) rebuilt. It’s the same with the harbour area and the railway station. The harbour was home to this floating block of flats – and this is the small one. Wait till you see the size of the other!

The CBD was sleepy when we arrived, it’s now abuzz with shoppers and the harbour packed with folk eating and drinking or promenading in the sunshine.

One thing puzzles me though. Where the hell do central Aucklanders buy fresh fruit and veg? We spent a fruitless (literally) couple of hours looking for a local version of the Indian corner store or even a decent supermarket.

18:01 (NZ). 05:02 (UK).

Bliss! I’m laid on a bed, my first chance to be horizontal since leaving Heathrow on Friday lunchtime! After our abortive shopping trip we decided to go and slake our thirsts before picking up the suitcases and heading to where we’re staying, which is a first for us: an AirBnB. It’s a very pleasant and comfortable house owned by a Malaysian Chinese family in an area call Mt Roskill, to the South of the centre. We’ve not actually met them yet as they’re out, but we’ve settled and and done a shopping run to a large supermarket called One World. It’s been very interesting comparing costs to UK prices – and seeing lots of Kiwi wines that we’ve never even heard of in the UK, some of which seem very good value. Even one of the UKs more expensive UK wines (Villa Maria) is half the price.

Now I’ve had the luxury of a shower, shave and change of clothing I’m going to relax for a bit.

06:34 (NZ). Day 2.

Bugger! A virus we picked up in the UK before we left laid us low and that hour long NAO turned into 13! I blame the festive season and all that kissing strangers under the mistletoe!