I spent my last night in Tahiti couchsurfing with Sam, though he actually gave me a spare bedroom to myself. With the open windows all the time, rather large roaches are not uncommon. Sam managed to squash two, and I surely injured a third before going to sleep. I didn’t sleep much though being that it was hot, there were big bugs (at least in my mind) running free, and I had to get up at 4:45am for the flight to New Zealand.
We got to the airport at 5:45am, about 2 hours early, though Air Tahiti Nui recommends 3 hours. I was the 6th to last person in line – a line I waited in for 1.5 hours. I barely made my flight, so going forward, I’ll always ensure I get to the airport as early as recommended, even if it means waking up at ungodly hours (while still being respectful of my host if I have a free ride). I ran into Lucy again – her initial flight had been canceled and delayed 2 days. The flight was rather uneventful. If I haven’t mentioned it, Air Tahiti Nui’s service has been great, and I’ve enjoyed the food too.
I got myself to the Auckland Central Backpackers (hostel) quite easily via Airbus, and was immediately overwhelmed by the signs and ads. It’s a hostel on steroids – big Internet cafe, travel booking service, lounges, several stories of dorms and rooms, backpackers everywhere. I didn’t expect to feel overwhelmed entering an English-speaking country, and found myself in bed during the afternoon. I remembered doing this in Tahiti – it took me about 48 hours to get past the jetlag. I felt a bit off not going out on a Friday night in New Zealand’s biggest city, however I quickly succumbed to sleep.
Saturday was marked by a short walk to the Sky Tower, and little walks broken up by naps. I also decided on the backpacker bus trip I was going to take – STRAY from Auckland to Christchurch. It’s secondary to the bigger one – The Kiwi Experience – however the latter is supposedly more party-oriented, and I wasn’t especially interested in that type of atmosphere. STRAY seemed to get off the beaten track a bit more too. I honestly didn’t account for the cost of transport around this fine country. The bus trip I booked is about the cheapest for both islands, between the two big companies, and ran me about $500 USD.