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The Journey to Auckland – Day 2
Tuesday 29th March 2005
Today I would eventually arrive in New Zealand, after more than a day from when I set out from the UK. After a day in the air I was ready for some rest and relaxation.
At the halfway point of the journey I had to change planes at Hong Kong airport. It was a huge airport, and a little daunting for me I must admit. I was feeling the strain on my tired legs as I travelled the immaculate corridors of this very clean airport. I sat down at one point and was almost afraid to as the whole place was so clean. I thought I might be told I was in the wrong.
The whole process went without any glitches, and it wasn’t long before I got onto the next plane, destined for New Zealand. I was not particularly filled with joy at the prospect of another ten to twelve hours in the air, but I just wanted to get on board so I could get some sleep, or at least try and sleep.
This plane was a little smaller than the last, and had more legroom. I was amazed at how few people there were on board on this flight, and as such, I had a row of three seats all to myself, and against the window as well, so I was very happy indeed. This would be a great chance for me to get some sleep. It felt like luxury, as if I was in first class. I was able to stretch out, sleep, fart, or do whatever I wanted, without worrying about anybody else.
I arrived at the airport, and I must have had a sign on my face saying ‘Suspicious Person’, as I was stopped at every point I could have been stopped at. I was even pulled over in the busy airport for a security guard to rummage through my backpack. It was a little strange though, as his eyes were still wandering around the airport as his hands were going through my things. I wondered how he managed to see what was in my bag, or whether he was going by touch rather than sight. Either way I was let go, and continued on my way.
I found my luggage – much to my relief – and made my way to the main entrance of Auckland Airport, where I was looking out for a shuttle-bus that I hoped would take me to my destination. I only had to ask the first shuttle-bus driver, and he said he was going in my direction, so on I hopped using my plane ticket, result!
In the bus were a few others, but we were all too tired to make any decent conversation. I actually avoided eye contact in case I triggered off any verbal diarrhoea from any of them. My head wasn’t in the right place, and I may have ended up killing them, or worse.
The bus finally rolled up outside ‘The Aspen Hotel’ where I would be staying for a couple of nights. It isn’t a hotel, but more like a hostel. Everyone was very friendly and helpful as I checked in. I was unaware of the time at this point, but was very aware how quite it was about the hotel. Everyone was tucked up in bed, and I longed for my bed to banish some of my fatigue.
With key in hand and bag on my back I trudged up the hallway to the stairs to take me to my single room. I wasn’t brave enough to try a shared room just yet, and especially not a dorm, and most certainly not on my first night when I was in a robotic state, unsure of where I was or what I was doing. So I paused outside my room, looking up at the number nailed to the door to verify I was where I needed to be, and used the key to reveal my temporary accommodation. Basic just isn’t the word, but at least it was functional, and I honestly didn’t care at this point as I was ready to just pass out on the mattress. It seemed like the Ritz to me.
I literally threw my belongings onto the floor, jumped into my bed shorts, then flopped onto the bed where I lay motionless. I had a quick look around the small room, glancing briefly at the chair, towels, bedside table and lamp, then closed my eyes thankfully. Up until now I have been blissfully unaware of how hot it is, but now as I try to sleep, the heat is overwhelming. But it wasn’t enough to prevent the inevitable slumber that I gratefully fell into. Finally, I was asleep, journey complete.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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