MP3 track of the day: Hold me, Kill me, Kiss me, Thrill me - U2
Weather: Nadi = Hot / Auckland = warm but with a strong breeze that made you feel cold if stood around for too long (and about time too).
My final morning in Fiji was a pretty typical one; I got up early and it was hot. I left for the airport at 7:45am for my 10:00am plane, thinking I had loads of time. However when I arrived at the airport, and I saw the check-in queue, I started to panic; there was one huge queue that was then filtered into smaller queues when you got nearer the check-in desks. I joined the queue almost at the other end of the airport and waited. Getting through check-in didn't take as long as I thought it would; however the Fijian authorities kept changing the lanes by replacing those stretchy cord things you have at airports. It reminded me of that game you play at cubs called cat and mouse; one person is the cat and the other the mouse and the rest of the group form a square holding there arms out to form either rows or columns. The object of the game is for the cat to catch the mouse within the square of people; to add a little spice, every once in a while the game leader would call change, in which the people in the square rotate 90 degrees. This would mean that, if they were forming columns previously they would now be forming rows or vice-versa.
Anyway it was all very weird, but funny at the same time; at one point the line was just heading around, what seemed like, a labyrinth of lines to a dead end (never to leave Fiji).
Before boarding the plane I spent my last cash on some chocolate and a drink; I knew a lot of people on the flight as I had seen them island hopping the week previously. It was quite funny to be on a flight full of people you know but nice at the same time. I watched ' Prince of Persia: Sands of Time' on the on-flight entertainment system. Sadly the plane is quite old and the screen was fuzzy; what I did see of the film made me want to see it again as it looked quite good.
Once I arrived in New Zealand I went through customs declaring my food and my wooden cannibal fork; to my amazement it was all pretty easy and it was a breeze getting to the arrivals area. In Auckland I was meeting my Brother-in-law's brother (what relation is that?) however, due to me flying though New Zealand immigration, I had arrived at the arrival lounge a lot sooner than I expected. I was just preparing myself for a 40 minute wait when Alex (my brother-in-laws brother) and his wife, Sarah, came in. It was lovely to see them again and Alex carried my small bag for me and escorted me to his car. Alex was wearing shorts, which rang alarm bells in my head of there being a heat wave in New Zealand ... fortunately it was pretty cool and it wasn't long before my coat came out (I hadn't seen my coat since Los Angeles).
Before he dropped me off at my hostel we went to Mount Eden, Auckland's highest natural point. Auckland is built on top of around 40 dormant volcanoes (a bit bad planning I thought) and you can really see the small, hill shaped, volcanoes from up here. The view was brilliant and I had a good look at the skyline of Auckland. Next Alex and Sarah took me for a drink around Mission bay, which was a lovely spot with a beach and lots of New Zealanders chilling out, playing rugby (which was a little weird; I'm used to seeing football being played). After this we went up another dormant volcano (some memorial gardens) which again gave a great view of the city before Alex and Sarah took me for a drive around downtown on our way to my hostel.
We found my hostel with ease, however we couldn't get there due to there being a 'no right turn' sign infront of us. No problem, we will just go to the next junction and turn right there...
... I kid you not. For the next ten minutes of driving, each junction we came to didn't allow Alex to turn right. It was getting infuriating and we ended up going miles out of our way to perform a big loop to get on the right side of the road.
Once at my hostel Alex and Sarah dropped me off and we arranged to meet up tomorrow for a hike. I went into the hostel and dropped my bags off and then did a full load of washing. It was all going swimmingly until I got my washing out to find I must have left a tissue in one of the pockets and everything was covered in small white bits.
Lots of brushing later my clothes went into the dryer. The hostel was having free pizza tonight and, whilst my washing was drying, I headed to the bar to retrieve me fair share. Unfortunately it hadn't arrived and so I waited around until I couldn't wait around any longer as my washing was due to finish.
I got my washing and packed it away; it's only since this trip that I've realised how much I value nice clean clothes. It's something that I take for granted at home but here, I just hate not having anything clean to wear.
Finally I went to Nandos or some tea before getting back to my dorm; my dorm mates seem nice (there are two Scottish lads, a South American chick, a German and a Belgian) and I reckon I'll enjoy it here.
Tomorrow I'll meet Alex and Sarah for a hike, but I also need to sort out where I'm going to travel to on Monday; currently I'm thinking of moving onto a place called Raglan.