February 12th 2012 – February 15th 2012
The day started with an emotional farewell with Nick who I had spent the first part of my journey with. We enjoyed our last couple beers together not knowing when we will next meet (turned out to be less then a year but more on that another time). We worked together during my first summer at Camp America and it was the first time we had met up since… about 4 ½ years. Nick then dropped me off at the I-site in Rotorua where I caught a NakedBus up to Auckland. It was strange being totally on my own again.
I got into Auckland at around 5pm. I was absolutely exhausted, slightly hungover, and had an extremely awkward bag to lug about. I managed to find my hostel relatively easy. I stayed at a Nomads Fat Camel, which is one of the large chain of hostels in New Zealand. They are really really good, they give you a free small meal in the evening and are dirt cheap. They also have a travel agents attached where you can book your tours and excursions as well as accommodation for your onward journey. Very useful and I highly recommended them. On my first night they held a pool killer tournament in the attached bar, which I did embarrassingly poor in!
On my first full day I went on a walk up Mt. Eden which was about a 2 or 3 mile walk and at the top I got a beautiful view of Auckland. On the way back the walk was a lot easier and I stopped off at the ‘famous’ Velvet Burger. The burgers were pretty awesome but I found them a tad expensive…. But I’m tight so in reality they were probably pretty fairly priced. In the evening I signed up for the beer pong tournament in the hostel bar and teamed up with a lad in my room called Rob. I did a lot better then I did in the pool tournament, we reached the semi-final and went out to the eventual winners. Those ended up being my last beers in Auckland!
On the 14th I spent the day chilling out, catching up with people back home and booking / planning the next legs of my journey. One of those being my first Bungee jump in New Zealand. I met the AJ Hackett people at the docks not far from the hostel and they took me to the staging area just under the Auckland Bridge. They kitted me up and then I had to walk underneath the bridge, which in itself was quite daunting (I am scared of heights, bridges and deep water). Luckily though I was first up to jump which was a relief, that way I could just get it done with. They sit you in this big chair and strap on the bungee chord and the weights to your feet and in the background they had Rudimental “Feel the Love” playing to get you pumped up. I needed this because when you shimmy along the board and begin to overlook the water below, I really did start to shit myself. I had to go through the painful posing for pictures, which I had no interest in buying, and then I got the three count. It wasn’t a slow 1….2….3 it was a quick 1,2,3 and I had no choice but to just go for it and throw myself off. All I can really remember was a huge gush of wind, which trapped most of my swearing and obscenities in my throat and then a huge wall of water that was rapidly approaching my face. And yes I got dunked. Absolutely amazing! Such a buzz, and I was pretty proud of myself considering I really do hate bridges and can’t swim. The craziest thing I had ever done in my life up to that point!!
You can see the video of the jump that I filmed on my GoPro below. Please be warned that the language is not appropriate for younger viewers.