Sunday, January 14, 2007

Something to worry about...

It's Sunday morning.

I write from the living room of our suite in the Duxton Hotel, overlooking Myer's Park in downtown Auckland. Booking this hotel was indicative of the behavior of someone who no longer has to worry about things at the office! Instead, I now pour all of my 'worry energy' into such minor things as when to book a hotel, which booking

website to use, and whether to pay the premium for an 'ocean' rather than 'bush' view!

We started looking at Auckland hotels when we first arrived in Fiji. But there were too many choices, and so I put off making a decision. I assumed I would meet someone on the cruise from Auckland who could advise me. However, when I noticed all the men drinking beer for breakfast I realized they were Aussies, not New Zealanders. But not to worry, if necessary, I could always book something from the airport lounge, before catching our flight.

Well, of course it never occurred to me that they would not have wireless or cable internet service in the Air Pacific business lounge. But they didn't. However, I was picking up a signal from Rosies Travel Club lounge next door.

Desperate to have a hotel reservation before I left, I went over to Rosies. There I saw two empty terminals, and I begged the attendant to let me use one for a moment.

“”Not allowed” she said. “Against company policy.”

"Let’s go" said Sally. But I was determined to get a last minute reservation before boarding the plane.

Now, I must confess my behavior was somewhat influenced by Jim Rogers, the founder of Quantum Funds, and the author of the first book I am reading on this trip, (other than hundreds of travel guides). Entitled 'Investment Biker’, it’s an account of his 22 month 52 country motorcycle trip around the world.

(I shouldn't really be reading this book, because his adventures make ours seem quite mundane in comparison. But throughout his travels, he demonstrates a level of determination which I find most admirable. It's a good read, especially if you want to know what's happening in the middle of Siberia or Zaire. Or how to decide which foreign country is a good investment).

My new friend Jimmy would not have left Rosie’s lounge without making a reservation. So, eventually they let me use their computer, and I quickly booked a hotel on 'wotif', our favourite last minute hotel site. Sally thought it looked the best. And she was right. With over 400 square feet and in-suite washer and dryer, it’s a wonderful base for 5 days in the city.

Now as for Auckland, Sally and I are not entirely in accord. While I am disappointed with much of the architecture, I like the city. Sally needs to see more before making a pronouncement. What we do both enjoy are the lamb, and the green lip mussels.

More about Auckland in our next post. Now we are off to buy an apartment!

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