We left a rather wet and gloomy Northland Tuesday (my birthday) morning and headed South. Even on the weekends the driving on our lovely Northland roads has its challenges but during the week the added traffic of trucks (and in particular logging trucks) makes it a rather slow trip. When I tell people back in Germany that we only live around 230km from Auckland but it can take up to 4 hours driving to get there they look at me like I am telling an urban myth…
For a start there are no motorways north of Auckland, they are in the process of building an extension but that is still years away, and even if there where any – the maximum speed on NZ motorways (and the open road for that matter) is 100km/h. Put a truck or tourist in a campervan into the mix and you can see why it can take that long to get from A to B.
Anyway – I have written I think 2 posts already on driving in NZ and my views on that have not changed…
So Auckland for one night before the long flight today. What can I say – I love the Pullman Hotel. We tend to stay here if we can (depending on their rates on the day we want to stay) because it is central but also the breakfast is amazing. They do know we are repeat guests so make us extra welcome – they also knew that it was my birthday (of course they do) and so left me a little present of chocolates – which the other half had his eyes on straight away.
As it was my birthday we did go out with some friends to our favorite Hong Kong Chinese on Dominion Road – Love a Duck. Its basic but yummy food and every time we go there in my head I have this rather famos Kiwi song “Domion Road” … can’t help it…. Its a New Zealand Classic indeed. We finished our day at the “Elbow Room” a rather small but lovely corner bar in the Auckland subburb of Herne Bay, that our friend recommended. Getting into the mood I tried their mulled wine. It is winter after all and it does remind me of the Christmasmarkets in Germany and how me and my friends one year tried to visit each mulled wine stall – did not manage it.. they do get to your head quite quickly.
I am disgressing though… So today (Wednesday) the long flight starts. I am flying again with Qatar Airways via Doha. I did fly with them last year and back then it was the longest Non Stop Flight one could take, Auckland to Doha in 17.4 hours. Of course now there is the Perth to London one that is 18 hours with Qantas.
If any of you have ever traveled long haul – half way around the globe – you know that even a 8hour flight can have its challenges but 17+ hours…. bring on the Compression Socks I say:-)
I think my next update will be from Doha where I have a 8 hour lay over – watch this space:-)