Upon examination this morning, I have cuts and scrapes on my right arm and knee, a pulled muscle in my back, right shoulder and either a very sore or slightly sprained left knee after yesterday’s unscheduled swim in Lake Taupo.
But, we were staying in Rotorua, the home of the geothermal pools. I try to refrain from criticizing towns that I am currently staying in, so I saved this one for today: that town smells. I mean bad…a horrible sulfur smell which ostensibly comes off the pools pervades every nook and cranny of that town. Though we enjoyed the Maori Hangi last night (which was far enough outside to avoid said smell), we were anxious to leave.
Nothing like a wonderful odor to get you motivated in the morning.
After a short three hour drive through some nondescript but still pretty Kiwi farmland, we arrived in Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city by far. Home to just under a third of the country’s population (1.3 million to 4.4m for the country), Auckland certainly has all the hallmarks of a thriving metropolis: big corporate buildings, busy streets and a lot of things to do.
Though I’ll cover Auckland in a later post, I’ll focus today’s on a much more satisfactory water activity than yesterdays: a ride on an actual America’s Cup yacht.
Our ride for today was the Japanese boat which lost in the semifinals in 1995 to (who else?) New Zealand.
They even let some randos drive the boat. I was lucky enough to be included in this, and drove the boat for something like 10 minutes. Unlike yesterday’s kayaking experience, I didn’t end up in the water (always a positive). I’m pretty proud of myself that I set a course to split two buoys and hit that dead on over several minutes. The boat handles like a dream; I don’t think my Mustang has that kind of response.
But…enough education about the boats. You want to see the scenery right?
My first impression of Auckland: one of the most beautiful major cities in the world. Take a look.
August 12, 6:26pm
Auckland, New Zealand