BootsnAll Travel Network


The last couple of days have been really good. I got pretty tired of the Fat Camel pretty fast and moved up to a little place near Mt. Eden called Bamber House. I’m booked here for three nights before catching the bus up north to Paihia. The Fat Camel was your typical downtown hostel, full of twenty-somethings who wanted to party. It was really loud, and not nearly as nice as where I’m at now. The Bamber house is great, with probably only 30-40 beds total. The grounds are nice with a yard and decks, and also a swimming pool. It’s been a nice relaxing stay so far.

I checked in at Bamber around noon on Friday, and then went for a walk around the neighborhood and picked up some groceries at the market. When I got back I grabbed a shower and relaxed outside with a couple of beers. The weather was quite warm yesterday and the cold beer felt good. I spent some time relaxing, then changed and went for a walk towards downtown to see what was happening on a Friday evening. Up here at Mt Eden things are much quieter than downtown, but it’s only about a 20 minute walk to the University district and not much farther to downtown. I passed one couple sitting outside a building and asked them if they knew of anything happening on a Friday night. As it turned out they were attending an Alcoholic’s Anonymous meeting, so they really didn’t have any good advice for me. 🙂

I happened a cross a little corner bar that seemed pretty busy, but it was only about 7:30 so I assume it was the after-work crowd. It reminded me a lot of Café Soriah back home, small and full of beautiful people. I had one drink there and kept going down the road. I then walked down to Karangahape Road, more commonly know as K-Road. It’s full of alternative shops, restaurants, adult shops, etc, but it was also surprisingly quiet for a Friday night. I passed a gathering of drag queens on the sidewalk, and stopped at an Asian market for some Satay chicken and rice. (It turns out that Auckland has a fairly large Asian population, and there are lots of little pockets of Asian restaurants and shops.) After walking both sides of K-Road, I headed back up toward my hostel, and one of the bars I had passed earlier now had a crowd outside on the sidewalk. At this point it was about 9:45 and there were a couple of local musicians getting ready to perform inside. I decided to go on in and watched part of the show. The music was pretty good, kind of mellow and even a little bit folky. After sitting through 4 or 5 songs, I went outside to chill and started talking to a couple of guys out front. Turns out they were both engineering students at the University of Auckland, and we had quite a good conversation about my work with Habitat and about New Zealand in general. After that I headed back up to the hostel, passing the same crowded bar I had stopped at earlier, only now it only had two people in the place and it was only 11:15 on a Friday night.

That’s one of the things that strikes me about New Zealand. Everything is much slower paced here. Even though Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, it was still really quiet for a Friday night. I imagine if I had been downtown or near the waterfront it would have been different, but I was actually glad to get away from the crowds for once. And today for example, on a Saturday afternoon, I went walking around a couple of different neighborhoods looking to do a couple of errands and see some cool shops, but most of the businesses around here close up around 3:00 or 4:00 on Saturdays and are closed on Sundays.

I got up this morning around 9:30, and went for a run up Mt. Eden. This was the same place we visited on my first day here when the group’s van was broken into. The road up to the summit is only two blocks from my hostel, so I decided to go for a jog up to the top. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would have been, taking only about 10 minutes to get to the top. I came back from my run, and after showering and doing some laundry I decided to walk around and stumbled across a “rave” that was happening in the park at the bottom of Mt. Eden. Apparently, Auckland has a thriving, albeit small, underground scene. It was just what you’d expect from almost any rave in the U.S., with dj’s spinning loud house music and people dancing, only it just happened to be taking place in a public park at 2:00 in the afternoon. After checking it out I decided to go walk around a bit more, and then after returning to my hostel to pick up some beer I walked back to the park and caught the last hour of the show. The music was great, and after talking with one of the locals over a beer I got up and danced for the last set. It was a pretty cool feeling, enjoying a couple of cold ones outside in the park while listening and dancing to house music at the same time. It was definitely not something you’d see in the U.S. too often.

I’ll spend tonight and tomorrow here in the Bamber House, then catch the Magic Bus up to Paihia on Monday morning. The bus will take us to Paihia on Monday, then on Tuesday take us up 90 Mile Beach to see Cape Reinga. I’ll grab a hostel in Paihia for a few nights, then probably return to Auckland on Thursday. After that I’ll start making plans to go down to New Plymouth and Opunake. These last couple of days have been great, but I can’t wait to get up north and see some of the sights up there. The beaches are supposed to be great, and I’m looking forward to lounging around some more.

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2 Responses to “Aaaahhh…”

  1. laura Says:

    hey, be careful when you head for Bahrain…

  2. Posted from United States United States
  3. admin Says:

    Yikes! Guess I won’t book that dinner cruise after all. 🙂

  4. Posted from New Zealand New Zealand
  5. laura Says:

    not without a lifejacket anyway!!!

  6. Posted from United States United States