30 May 2007
Auckland, New Zealand
The flight to Auckland on an almost empty plane was one of the few less-than-full flights I have had on this entire trip. An hour long in a 777 filled with Japanese tourist on a connecting flight from Narita.
The Heritage Hotel is situated on a hill overlooking Auckland Harbor, Bridge and Waitemaita Harbour. There are many pleasure craft as well as working fishing vessels and replicas of Americas Cup boats as well. The hotel was retrofitted from a defunct department store and I am in a superior suite with kitchen, bedroom, living room, and balcony overlooking the harbor. Actually it is better than it sounds as it is quite nice, a nice way to finish the first portion of my Odyssey.
My original plan was to return to the U.S. tomorrow via Seattle. However, you now know that I have extended my trip one month to return to Bali, Indonesia and Thailand. People have asked Why? In Bali, I have a factory making a sample of a chair that Barry Mayer and I hope to market once we get the corrected sample to show to potential customers. We have sent pictures and specifications to a furniture manufacturer and they say they have a sample for me to inspect. My plan is to go to the factory and get the sample that we need finalized once and for all. I will stay there as long as it takes to get the job done. Secondly, I will return to Thailand and the Phuket /Patong Beach for some Rest and Relaxation.
My Odyssey is now into its sixth month and while it has been most enjoyable and unforgettable, travel does take a toll and I am looking forward to spending some time just chillin
Auckland is another very likeable city, lots of water, hills, open sky and scenery everywhere. It is not an old city, but with a population of 1.3 million people, it is the largest NZ city. In fact, there are more people in Auckland, on the North Island, than on the entire South Island. Christchurch has a population of 300 thousand so there are roughly a million people spread out over the rest of the south island. That explains the paucity of people!!! There are more Polynesians here than in Polynesia, because of the weather. As to Auckland, it is a horizontal, spread-out city and the homes for the most part are modest single-story structures, without a lot of character to them.
My itinerary called for 48 hours here and it is just amazing how quickly time flies. I walked the harbor, dined in a fine Italian restaurant, toured the city and walked another part of the harbor today. Actually, I was on a mission to find a restaurant for my last night in NZ. This is a place that I have grown to appreciate immensely. Q town is still one of my most favorite places on the entire trip and I am so very disappointed that I wont be able to ski here, but maybe some day?/?//
My itinerary is to fly Auckland to Bangkok ( a 12 hour flight) spend a few days and then fly to Bali via Kuala Lampur. Then back to Bangkok for a few days, fly to Phuket, spend some time there, return to Bangkok. Fly back to Auckland (By then-July 1, the ski season should be in full swing-so I would otherwise be tempted! But I have to be back in Boston on 9 July for a computer conference) From Auckland, I fly to Los Angeles, to Dallas to Vancouver where I am to see Jay, Rhonda, Franz and Sparkle for a few days before heading back to JFK on 7 July. I arrive late and will spend the night and head back to Great Barrington. Monday evening 9 July, I will drive over to Boston for the conference.
After the conference ends, I will return to GB for the balance of the summer.
In a way, this marks the end of my new explorations and new destinations as the next month will be repeats. Standing on the balcony on the suite here in Auckland, sipping some Pinot, there was that old familiar feeling that one gets when a vacation or a long trip
is nearing the end. This dream of mine to travel and visit the places Ive been, to climb, to see, to smell and to hear the sounds of these places has been nothing short of extraordinary. It has been one hell of a ride. There is a comfort in knowing a month remains, but my travels have a different purpose and calling.
I will continue to post my experiences until I get home and I hope you enjoy hearing about from me as I have, enjoying the travels. Firsthand travel is always better than the vicarious variety!! Journey well!!
posted Wednesday May 2007