Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Auckland – Day 1

LOTS accomplished today, and we’re excited about those accomplishments!!!

First – we did some online research of campervans, taking down numbers and addresses of the companies we liked.  Then we went back to our hotel and chatted with the tour booking lady there – she works with a consortium of different tourism providers, and she did a bit of research for us.  We met again in the afternoon, and we discussed the minimalist campervan versus a more posh campervan – the self-contained kind.  The minimalist campervan doesn’t have any bathroom or shower facility, so that one is required by law (new law) to camp at campsites, not “freedom” camping.  The more posh campervan has all facilities, so that if we choose to just stop by a river or something, we can do so.  We compared prices, and the posh version wasn’t all that much pricier – plus it would definitely be more comfortable.

So after some discussion, we opted for the posh one.

Tour Lady called her friends, and it turns out that the people who currently have that van decided to extend the rental at the same time we decided to take it.  So – no longer available.  But this was the great part about working with this lady – her friend with the camper company offered us a free upgrade to a larger camper van – a four-bed Mercedes camper van!!!!!  Same price as the two-bed, but more room, diesel engine, lock box (for our computers), and it’s an automatic which is better for me when we drive on these hills.  We are THRILLED!!!!!

We get the camper on Nov. 13, next Tuesday. 

Then Tour Lady tells us we need to see if we can extend our stay at this hotel, but it may be all booked up because Coldplay is playing on Saturday night.  COLDPLAY!  Here!  In Auckland!!!!!  From my reaction, she can tell I’m a fan.  So she does some calling around and finds ONE available ticket in the reserved seat section – and I snap it up!  Woohoooooo!!!!  Coldplay!!!!  I’m even more thrilled!!!!  Plus, when someone has a concert ticket, it seems that the train out to the stadium is free, so that makes life very easy!  (Richard is not a fan, so I’ll just go and enjoy the concert.) 

Exciting day all around!!!!!

Plus the sun came out, things warmed up, we walked a bit and discovered an old cemetery (including the Jewish section, AND a grave for someone named Phoebe in the non-Jewish section), a lovely park, and some interesting places to check out when we have more time – like maybe tomorrow.

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