Wed 25.01.12 – Fri 27.01.12:
Mand was supposed to be joining me on my FREE cruise back to Australia, but she couldn’t get the time off work (I would have resigned, but hey) and so she had to fly back to Oz and leave me on my own to enjoy the luxury five-star treatment that the good folk at Carnival and Princess Cruises had lined up for me.
And so, with a heavy heart, I drove Mand back to Auckland airport. We hugged. We kissed. We said goodbye, a word that we use far too often. I’m as amazed as you are that Mandy puts up with me gallivanting around the world, but the farewell was made moderately sweeter by the fact I would be seeing her again in just two weeks time.
I dropped the car off and headed back to the Queen Street Backpackers (warmly recommended). In the evening I met up with Craig and Linda who write the Lonely Planet award winning travel blog http://indietravelpodcast.com/. Yes I will meet you if you send me a tweet! And then I surrendered my sanity and ended up in the World Backpackers nightclub watching a wet T-shirt competition. Really.
The next morning, hungover and smelling of last night’s kebab, I rucked up for an interview with ‘Up Close’, a current affairs show here in NZ. Here’s what we came up with:
Best interview so far by a mile. They spent an entire day with me. I just wish I didn’t look so chubbtastic. I’m planning to lose a couple of stone before I return to Liverpool. Anaemic Dysentery here I come!!
In the evening I decided to do a spot of CouchSurfing and so I met with Anna, the local CouchSurf ambassador. We had a great evening, a quiet one, hanging out with her mates and talking shop about the world and all the joy and wonder to be found within. Anna is one of those people, perhaps like you, that travels vicariously through other people’s adventures. But, probably like you, she intends on doing it herself once those awkward badgers life throws at you are sorted out and/or grown up.
The next day I had a couple more interviews to conduct (shoehorning the words ‘Princess Cruises are the best!’ in any which way) and thought it best to stay in the city for my last night in Auckland. The English Pub of Auckland (yes there is one!) is called ‘Spitting Feathers’ and is warmly, warmly recommended. I ended up dancing the night away in some place that I barely remember, abandoning myself to the whim of Bacchus.