After a restless night of sleep because I was too tired from my flight getting here, I took a lazy day today. I took the bus into downtown Auckland and booked a lunch cruise around the bay. While I waited for the cruise I ate a nice breakfast and had some coffee while I sat and watched the city stroll by my cafe. I sat there about 90 minutes enjoying the parade of people walking by along the waterfront of Auckland on Quay Street. There was a large cruise ship and a smaller one docked and they created a lot of foot traffic pouring off the boats. When it came time for my cruise I slowly walked across the street to the dock where my boat was leaving from. They were setting up for the big Volvo sailing races along the waterfront. Those races start next week on the 27th and go for more than 2 weeks. Auckland is called the City of Sails for good reason. There are boats everywhere.
On my cruise I met some nice people that shared my table at the safety talk as we departed the dock. There were people from the states, Japan, Australia, Korea, India, Indonesia and other places. The boat was smooth on the water with rain clouds building as we left the pier. I had a beer while I watched the city skyline shrinking and all the islands in the bay growing ahead of us. The Captain was giving us the historical and geological background for the area as we slowly cruised the bay surrounded by sail boats and power boats. There were a lot of people fishing for snapper because there was a big bite going on with lots of action even though most of the fish were undersized. I did see a few decent snappers though. My meal was good, not great but the company was fun to talk to and I enjoyed their company. The people sitting next to me were from Pasadena and were on an around the world cruise. On the other side were four people from the UK two of which now resided in Auckland. I took a few pics but the drizzling rain and dark overcast did not inspire me to take any great pics, sorry about that.
After the cruise around the bay, I rode around town in the rain with a couple guys from Denmark. We tried to see the major sights and views around town but it was a dark dismal day not very conducive to good pics. We had good fun and conversation though and saw enough of the city to get a basic feel for the place. My impression was positive for the most part. getting around is a pain in the butt because the very narrow roads go every which way twisting and turning in odd ways and learning the way around is difficult. Parking was not easy either. There was a Foo Fighters concert coming up that night and two cruise ships in port so the sidewalks were crowded. We stopped and watched the many fishermen landing lots of snappers with long surf rods along the shore.
So in general it was a good relaxing day for me. I took the bus back to my hotel to get an early night. I had a beer in the hotel bar and met a woman from the US that now lives in Bali for the last seven years. We had a great time talking about her travels around the world and here in New Zealand. My early night was getting later and later as we chatted and laughed while watching a rugby game on tv. We finally both got tired and called it a night. It was a fun way to end a good day on the road.
Tomorrow I need to pack my bike up and get a few last minute items before my ride starts on Monday morning. Now I need to learn how to post pics from my new computer...Well it took me way too long to do this photo upload due to data limits on my wifi. I hope this is not the future of my posting here in New Zealand. I do not want to spend hours a day doing this. Good fast wifi is crucial. I hope it is just my hotel's wifi slowing this process down.