Sat., Jan. 16th

Remember that bird Bill saw on the golf course?  I’m pretty sure it was a Pukeko.  Actually, I’ve seen quite a few of them here and there.  My bird book doesn’t have a photo of them in it, since I mistakenly picked up volume 2 of Common Birds in New Zealand. Pukekos are probably in volume 1.

We rode around on the Hop On Hop Off bus for a little while today.  The tour guy told us a few facts about Auckland.  Auckland has a population of about 1.4 million people, while all of New Zealand has about 4 million.  Also, Auckland means The City of Sails, and it’s also called Skycity.

Auckland is a really pretty city–it reminds me of San Francisco, since it has lots of hills & steep streets.  It also has lots of hideaway alleyways with little cool shops along them.  Anyway, I liked it a lot.

The Kiwis (New Zealanders) pronounce their e’s like i’s, such as in the word seven: they pronounce it like sivinTen is tin, etc.  Also, they pronounce their a’s like e’s, such as in the word hat: they pronounce it like het. Once you get the hang of it, you can almost understand what they’re saying.  Actually, I like their accents.

They call elevators lifts.  The brand of the elevator in our hotel was Schindler, so I guess you could say it was Schindler’s Lift. Ha ha!

Today we rode the lift up to the top of the Sky Tower.  We could see all over the city & the surrounding area.  (I forgot I was afraid of  heights until we started riding up in the elevator.  I quickly remembered…)  We got plenty of pics.  I also got some pics of Bill bungee jumping off the tower.  Check them out!

Now we’re on the Diamond Princess ship & have just left the port.  I gotta go look around now, so I’ll write more later!  Bon voyage!