Friday, January 25, 2008

January 20, 2008 - Auckland

For those of you how have been bored to tears by the details of our refit, this entry should be as much of a relief to you as it was for us to get away from the boat for a weekend. As a belated birthday present, I gave Sten tickets to the Police concert at Western Springs Stadium in Auckland. All week we've been looking forward to getting away from the boat yard and getting back down to Auckland. On Saturday morning, we got a very early start and headed over to the farmer's market to load up on yogurt, fruit and veggies for the coming week before heading south. The forecast was looking dodgy, so before heading down to Auckland, we folded up the bimini and put away the extraneous supplies from our projects that had collected in the cockpit this week.

We found our way to the stadium and picked up tickets at the will call window before heading over to Amitees on Ponsonby Road, Auckland's version of Newbury Street in Boston, to check in. Then it was off to find lunch. After spending a weekend on Ponsonby Road, all I can say is that it is a very good thing that we aren't hauled out in Auckland. In Whangarei we have no trouble not eating out - other than the local pizza joint, we just haven't been tempted. However, in Auckland, with its huge variety of places to eat and drink, we would be in deep trouble. At brunch this morning, Sten declared that the poached eggs served on a sweet corn fritter with a side of bacon at GPK was the best meal he had eaten in NZ so far. After brunch, we visited the Maritime Museum in Auckland before heading back North to Whangarei.

The scale of things here constantly amuses us. New Zealand is a big, beautiful country with very few people in it. Even so, there were about 30,000 people at the concert. Two nights before, the Police played before a similar sized crowd in Wellington. So that's about 60,000 people, or 1.5% of the population. To play before 1.5% of the US population, they would have had to perform in front of 4.5 million people.

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