New Zealand 2006: Day 13


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New Zealand 2006: [Day 1: Auckland] [Day 2: Matamata/Waitomo] [Day 3: Waiheke Island] [Day 4: Bungy] [Day 5: Rotorua] [Day 6: Napier] [Day 7: At Sea] [Day 8: Cruising] [Day 9: Dunedin] [Day 10: Christchurch] [Day 11: Wellington] [Day 12: At Sea] [Day 13: Auckland]

Saturday, March 25, 2006: After nine days at sea, Orchy and we returned safely to Auckland.
Sally was out of town on business, so Pete picked us up at the terminal and took us sightseeing. We headed to St. Helier's and walked along the beach and Tamaki Drive. We passed these tiny sailboats which will be relevant later in our story.
This bird is a Molly Hawk. He was larger than a seagull and we were quite taken with his friendly ways.
Lucky Debbie got to pose for a scenic photo with Pete ...
... and with Tom. That's Mt. Rangitoto in the background.
We walked to Mission Bay and had some ice cream while we watched the tiny sailboats out on the water.
Pete took a call from Sally's brother as we obliviously passed him by. He and Sally's mum were on the beach watching his son participating in a tiny sailboat race. All of the boats look pretty much alike, but we were able to spot the only one that had a red hull and red writing on the sail.
Our next stop was lunch at the revolving Orbit restaurant at the top of the SkyTower in downtown Auckland. Please ignore the annoying blue window tint on these photos.
The nice young gentleman who rode up in the elevator next to us was about to jump from the landing above us just as our table revolved to the perfect viewing location below.
From our seats, we could lean over and look at the bullseye at street level below.
And there he goes! Actually, the reason we got such a good action shot is because he actually wasn't descending at this point. He jumped, then stopped for 10 - 15 seconds, before completing his descent. Why? We don't know, but perhaps it's to check the brakes on the equipment. In this photo you can see the two cables on either side of him. He is connected to a cable that connects horizontally to each of the two vertical cables.
The excitement over, we turned our attention to the great views of Auckland all around us.
The adobe-colored building just left of center in this photo is the oddly shaped Carlton Hotel, our home-away-from-home just nine days earlier. (Tom Dillon asks: "What's that color again?" It's a-do-be.)
Here's a cricket field. Pete tried valiantly but unsuccessfully to explain the rules of cricket to us.
We circled around to a wonderful view of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, notorious location of our previous bungy jumping experience.
Down at the ferry terminal, we caught one last glimpse of MV Discovery, as she reloaded with passengers and supplies for her trip to Tahiti.
We love the SkyTower!
We went down to the Observation Deck to look around. It features several terrifying places where the floor is made of glass. Signs explain that the glass is just as strong as the rest of the floor, but reading and believing are two different things. "Just take the picture already and let me get off the glass!"
This is one of the views looking straight down. While scenic and interesting, it's very disconcerting.
The ultimate glass floor was found in the elevator. You can watch the base of the elevator rushing away from you or toward you, depending on your direction. It's great fun either way.

At the base of the tower, we stopped to watch another jumper before heading to the airport and bidding farewell to New Zealand.

** THE END **


New Zealand 2006: [Day 1: Auckland] [Day 2: Matamata/Waitomo] [Day 3: Waiheke Island] [Day 4: Bungy] [Day 5: Rotorua] [Day 6: Napier] [Day 7: At Sea] [Day 8: Cruising] [Day 9: Dunedin] [Day 10: Christchurch] [Day 11: Wellington] [Day 12: At Sea] [Day 13: Auckland]

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