2-7-2013 Day 33 Auckland, New Zealand

Last night I was starting to feel a little under the weather again and the cough medicine I had was no longer working.  I spent half the night coughing and so neither Doug nor I got much sleep.  He insisted I see the doctor this morning to get something stronger to get rid of the cough, etc.  So, instead of our planned excursion, I went to the ship’s medical center.  And to be honest, I could not have gone out on the water for 3 hours this morning.

But we were both really disappointed not to be able to participate in this ship’s tour because it was so unique.  We were to go out on one of the America’s Cup yachts and sail around the “city of sails.” We could have sat back and enjoyed the ride or help the crew sail the ship!  It used to be that these yachts were only available to racing crews, but recently the NZL  68 and NZL 41 opened their doors to guests.  It would have been such a great experience.  Doug was a good sport and didn’t complain once about not being able to do it.  That’s when you know who your best friend is! 

After a long morning nap/rest, we headed out for some lunch.  I didn’t want to leave without trying the green lipped mussels that were also highly recommended by the ship’s travel guide. We went to the Waterfront restaurant which was along the Viaduct area and on the water.  IP1030186 had heard this was a great place for these mussels that NZ is noted for.  And sure enough, they were “green lipped!”  You can get them with different sauces, but I chose the more traditional way in a broth of garlic and wine.  And while they were good, I’d probably not order them again – but was glad to have tried a local favorite (I’ll stick with the hokey pokey ice cream and pineapple lumps!) 

After lunch we walked up Queen Street in the City Centre.  It is a very busy street with lots and lots of stores and restaurants, etc.  We were looking for a local grocery store to buy some water and soda for the room, as well as Manuka honey.  This honey is found in NZ and is said to be medicinal as well as delicious.  We have learned that it comes from the Manuka tree which has small white flowers.  The bees take this back to the hive and it makes the honey a darker color and gives it a special flavor as well as its medicinal benefit.  While I have not yet tried it,  I bought a couple of jars to bring home.  It is very expensive – $35-45 for a small jar.  That is why I wanted to find it in the grocery store instead of the tourist shops.  I’ll have it for anyone who wants to sample it! 

The grocery store was called the New World Metro, and you had to go down an escalator to enter.  It was small and clean with good looking P1030195produce.  The check out counter was much different from ours.  There was one row of check out registers and you just brought your basket up to one of the ladies.  No one had huge carts of groceries.  I think they go to the market every day or so to get their food here – at least in the center of the city. 

We went up briefly for the “sail away” party to get our last view of this P1030223city’s spectacular and unique skyline.  It was windy coming in and windy going out, but here we are with the Auckland bridge barely visible in the background. 

We enjoyed a nice dinner with our table of 6 with great exchanging of information about how everyone spent their time in Auckland.  It was fun because we all did different things and it was interesting to hear about what everyone did.  It’s a big city, so there was a lot to see and do. 

We once again skipped the show to get a good night’s rest because tomorrow is a long day in Tauranga.


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