I think no other title would be better to describe New Zealand, the most wonderful place I have been so far. After Australia I thought no place could be better and more beautiful but I was wrong. New Zealand is a true gem at the end of the world, it captured my whole heart. If someone said “you can move tomorrow” I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment. So this is how much I love and enjoyed this place :).
The flight was about 16 hours long on the B777-200 which means we only had the capacity of 220 passengers in economy class, there is no mid galley and there are only 8 doors. The crew number (in economy) is only 5 plus the cabin supervisor. 3 of the 5 crew were Hungarian, can you imagine? 😀 I was so happy when I saw it in the roster, specially because I knew one of the girls (Lilla) before. It is always a pleasure to fly with fellow Hungarians specially if I know them already. We only had like 130 passengers and they were the best ever. I thought no flights could be better than European ones but the people of New Zealand are the most polite ones I met. During the 16 hours we had maximum 10!!! call bell. If they need something they stretch their legs, come to the galley and ask.
We had lots of turbulence, I haven’t experienced more severe before. Everything, all the containers in the galley were shaking like crazy, even though they were latched safely. We had 4,5 hours long rest in the CRC (crew rest compartment) which is a hidden area above the cabin. There are separate bulks with IFE screen, blankets, headset, so we can enjoy everything. Unfortunately I couldn’t sleep, but at least I had good rest. We landed 10 am local time and I couldn’t wait to discover the city. Me, Lilla and a guy from economy went out to see the Mount Eden which was only half an hour walking from the hotel. The air was so fresh and clean, I could have ate it. It was not too cold, I had my hoodie but when the sun was shinning I didn’t need it. I was very tired but I still had a good time. I really like that there are several small coffee shops everywhere in the city, it was impossible to choose any of them.
I had a great latte back in the hotel and before I went to sleep I tried to figure out what to do on the following day. I wanted to go to the Manori village but the last bus departed quite early, I wouldn’t have had enough time to discover. Lilla decided to stay overnight in a hostel and come back on the next morning but I didn’t really like this option. I had my own comfortable room for free and I didn’t want to pay 260 dollars for a one day long trip. I mean if it was the dream of my life I would have done it, but I was not that much into it so it didn’t worth for me. I really wanted to visit Hobbiton but the concierge guy manage to dissuade me. He was a very annoying person, I asked for advice about where to go or what to do an he advertised the most expensive tours for me. He really wanted to tell me what to do and when he escorted me to the business center (I wanted to check more options on a computer) he basically didn’t leave me alone, so I couldn’t check anything. He even gave me his business card and insisted to go and talk to him on the next afternoon. When I requested an adapter, he was the one who brought it to my room, when I saw him in my door I got shocked. He even entered my room without asking for permission to check if the adapter works. I was in pajamas and everything, so it was more than awkward. I was so relieved when he left, I immediately looked my door after him.
Next morning I woke up at 8 am, washed my hair and went down for an amazing buffet breakfast. I decided to go to Waiheke Island. I didn’t mind being alone, actually it was a very great time to spend only with myself, I was very relaxed and somehow I feel I managed to “get closer to myself”, I don’t know if it makes sense or not. I had a pleasant walk to the ferry station then a ferry ride to the island took about 30 minutes.The return ticket was very expensive, 36 dollars. The ferry passed by many other small island, the landscape was amazing. I could literally saw the sheep on the emerald green fields. The contrast of the crystal clear sea and the fresh green grass was picturesque. When we arrived I didn’t really know where to go. Most people got on a bus or had pick up but I had no plan at all. I decided to walk to a nearby village which was about 2 kilometers away. I expected Waikehe to be more isolated and inhabitant but it was like an other suburban area. They had shops, restaurants, coffee shops, library, schools, everything. The only difference that it is located on an island :). I went down to see a beach which was breathtaking. The sand was covered with hundreds of shells, all are different and unique. I was walking around a bit and enjoyed the sunshine with the fresh breeze. I checked my offline map where to go next and I decided to check the other side of the island, an other sea shore. Everything was quiet and peaceful, this time of the year is not the peak season so there were not too many tourists which was an absolute joy.
The other shore was not that much spectacular, there were no sand, only a muddy cost, maybe it was a flow back of the sea. I saw the postman cycling around the houses, he even stopped to say hi to me, he asked my origin, what I was doing in New Zealand and stuff like this. People of New Zealand are not only polite but very friendly and open. So the shore was quite abandoned, the summer houses were empty, I was the only human being and a stranger wearing orange jumpsuit, coming closer to me. He had long dreadlocks and he was listening reggae songs. As I am a careful person, I stopped to wait for him to pass by me. I was looking at the sea when I heard a voice behind me.
“If you are lucky you can see killer whales” – this is what he said.
“No, you are kidding”- I told him and I realized he was a Maori person.
“No, I am not”. – he said and he passed by me, he didn’t even stop for a second. I looked back to the water when I saw them; long dark fins appeared at the surface, following by the top of their head and back. My heart jumped in my chest, I got thrilled, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I felt exactly the same what I felt during diving when I had an encounter with the baby whale shark in Thailand. Both happened totally unexpectedly. I didn’t have to “act like a tourist” and pay massive money to get on the boat and see them, it all happened by chance. I shout back to the guy “I see them” and he showed his thumb up. I remained there for few more minutes, even tried to make video but it was quite difficult. There is a very short on my instagram profile, if you wanna have a look :).
I continued my way on the walking path, noticed the whales time by time. Unfortunately they got farther and farther so I eventually lost them. I was very disappointed. I ended up to a beach but it was kind of “dead ended”, I had no more path to walk on. I decided to go back to the village, as I wanted to have a good cup of coffee. I chose a restaurant with balcony, I was drinking my latte when I saw the waitress escorted an elderly man to a table inside the restaurant. He looked at me, he had a kind face impression so I smiled at him – just like I would have smiled to any other human being. He smiled back and few minutes later he tried to initiate a conversation with me. As he was at the other side of the glass, I couldn’t hear him. He came out and asked me if I had lunch or not. I am not stupid, it was a hidden but obvious lunch offer and I didn’t want to get myself into an invitation so I quickly clarified that I was only there for a quick coffee then I need to go back to the ferry soon. He said he would take the ferry as well and showed me the timetable. He really insisted to invite me for a drink or something else so I had no choice but promising to join to his table as soon as I finished my coffee. My brain was working like crazy, I tried to figure out a solution to save myself and “escape” without being rude. One of my biggest problem is my ultimate politeness. It is very hard to say no to anyone who is friendly with me, I don’t really know how to be rejectable without offending or hurting someone. Suddenly the waitress approached my table and told me that he gentleman would like to know if I wanna have a glass of wine or anything else. I felt myself slightly embarrassed in front of the girl who was in the same age as me. I mean that old man could have been my grandad! I told the girl I would go inside and talk to him – I had no other choice, I couldn’t escape.
I don’t really remember how our conversation developed. I kindly denied any food or drink from him, I only accepted water which was free of charge. He talked a lot about himself; he has a boat named “Viking” where he basically lives, he was filming a documentary of plastic in the ocean and he also studies humpback whales in the ocean. He had many different businesses in his entire life which made him rich and let him live an adventurous, free life. He basically sailed through the whole planet and he has a house in Waiheke island, that’s why he was there. He tries to sell it as he doesn’t use it at all. He had a state of an art laptop where he showed me the trailer of the documentary and also videos of the whales. Although I constantly felt myself uncomfortable, I didn’t have a bad time with him. What he said was interesting, it is always a pleasure to meet interesting people with great stories. Finally we finished, I paid for my coffee and we headed to the ferry together. It was slightly raining, the sky became grey, but it was still okay. I couldn’t wait to be alone again, to do some shopping and to go back to the hotel and fortunately my new friend had a meeting before his flight to Honolulu. He gave me his business card and made me promise that I would watch the film and write to him. We will see. I still have mixed feelings about this whole time spent together.
So after I got alone again, I had some shopping on Queen street and had the best angus burger of my life in Carl’s JR. I went to the bed quite early and I had a nice, long sleep. I woke up around 9 am in the morning and went to have one last nice breakfast. I spent almost one hour with eating, I also met Erika, the other Hungarian girl, so she joined to my table. After breakfast we went together to a bigger supermarket to get some local goodies. I don’t know why but I didn’t take any wine with myself which I have already regretted. I really wanna have a nice bottle of wine from NZ :(. Anyway one of my friends has the flight soon so I might gonna ask her to take a bottle for me. I bought local grapes though and the taste was incredible.
We had the flight back to Dubai early evening, this time the cabin was full but the whole flight was still very nice. I had the second break again, it was more than 5 hours long. I didn’t even turn my screen on, I laid down immediately and I was sleeping like a baby. It was very relaxing, specially when it got a little bit bumpy. We landed early morning in Dubai and I spent my whole day in bed. I really hope I can get this flight again, there are lot of things to do in this beautiful country. Next time I would definitely go to Hobbiton and I also wanna try bungee jumping from the Harbor Bridge.
Have a great day everybody!
IMPORTANT NOTE: MY POSTS ARE MY PERSONAL VIEWS. THEY DO NOT REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF MY COMPANY.