I apologize for the mundane nature of this entry, but part of the purpose of this blog is to act as a repository for my memories of the trip.
I found that the bus ride to Auckland reminded me a lot of the landscape of the high plateau of the Pacific Northwest, Eastern Washington and Oregon, maybe even as far east as Montana. Here’s a picture, so that you can see what I mean.
Approaching Auckland felt a little like taking the bus into the Bay Area from the Sierras. I arrived back at the hostel in the late afternoon. There was no sign of the mail containing my ticket from Hong Kong to Amsterdam. The friendly fellow behind the desk was a really big guy who looked like he was at least part Maori, but didn’t find anything for me. He said he’d have a look around, and told me to check in later. So I headed out into the streets of Auckland, with no particular goal in mind. I thought maybe I’d find a gift or two while I was at it.
I returned later in the evening, and still no luck. The big guy behind the desk suggested I come back in the morning to see if anything had turned up.
In the morning I returned, and there was a woman behind the desk. I asked her to have a look. She rummaged around for a bit, and said that she didn’t see anything, and suggested I come back in a while because she was really busy, and there were a couple of other places she could look when she had a moment.
So things didn’t look that promising. Where was the ticket? I had to come up with an alternative.
With my plane for Hong Kong leaving at 1:30, I still had no ticket from there to Amsterdam. Trouble is, Hong Kong won’t let you in without a ticket out. I had a lot of things to do.
My first task was to find the KLM office since they were handling the flight from Hong Kong to Amsterdam. Luckily it was within walking distance. (Of course, having walked roughly 45km in one day on a previous visit to Aukland, by that standard, most of Aukland is within walking distance.) I went to the KLM office and explained that it didn’t look like my ticket had ever been delivered. The clerk was helpful, but told me that since a paper ticket was printed, I would have to cancel it and reissue a ticket if I couldn’t find it. If it had been an electronic ticket it wouldn’t have been an issue. So, back to the hostel I went. Lo and behold they had found my ticket, wahoo! Beginning to feel a little like a human yo-yo, I went back to KLM to tell them the good news. In the meantime, the clerk had been helpful, and canceled the ticket that I had just recovered, and had issued me another.
Ah, first problem solved, and it was only noon, so I still had time to make my flight. Figured I’d double check that I had everything… bags: yep; ticket: yep, er wait, what’s this? My flight left at 11:00?
Ok, well, next problem: Can I get a reissued ticket for a missed flight?
I guess there could be worse places to be stuck than Aukland, New Zealand
First, track down the Cathay Pacific office… again, luckily, it was within walking distance.
The Cathay Pacific office was located in a swanky looking hotel, and the clerk was dressed very formally in a dark maroon-purple collarless jacket.
Lucky for me there was another flight later that day, and I walked out with another reissued ticket.
Back at the hostel, the shuttles to the airport ran every hour, and cost something on the order of $15.
Another traveler was also headed to the airport, and we split a $20 cab fare to get there instead of waiting around.
Each airport I visited I would notice network jacks in the walls. Like all of the other airports, Auckland’s had them too. Unfortunately, the only ones I found to be working at any point during my trip, were the ones in New York’s airport.
The flight to Hong Kong wasn’t very eventful, but one doesn’t want flights to be eventful, really. I managed to call ahead, and find a small single room to stay in. I rode a bus, and walked a couple of blocks, checked in, then went to bed.