Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Auckland - end of Leg 5

Mark cycled into Auckland today after an eventful Christmas Day.

Poured with rain all day and head wind, so rain straight in the face all day. Made it to Huntly and in hostle 5km out of town - the only one between here and Auckland, 90km away. Everything shut en route, including office of hostel. Went around the back and found kind lady who gave a room. No food available, but lady produced leftovers from their Christmas lunch including pudding - so had Christmas lunch after all!

En route from Huntly he passed through Bombay, before following the route into the suburbs of Auckland.All pictures of Auckland by Simon Hathaway

Auckland is also known as the 'city of sails'. It is the largest urban area in New Zealand and has a population of over 1.3 million. It size has attracted the attention of local cartoonists, such as GOOD EVANS.The most prominent landmark is the SKY TOWER. This is the largest free-standing tower in the Southern Hemisphere.
There is also a rather good view from the top, as can be seen from the panorama image below (click for biggery...)
Panorama made available by Wikimedia user Antilived.

Another landmark is the volcanic bulk of Rangitoto Island.
Ferry services run out to the island, which offers the chance to walk through lava caves, which were formed by earlier lava flows.

There is a famous pre-Christmas parade in Auckland (see below), which this year featured the mascots from the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Mark now has an extra long Boxing Day because his flight will cross the International Date Line.This means that as he travels to the west, he goes back to the start of Boxing Day, and lands in San Francisco on the same day that he took off from Auckland, around 13 hours flying later.
On arrival in San Francisco, Mark's route will take him across to Miami as he completes Leg 6.
Image of Golden Gate by Flickr user disneymike

Earlier in the journey, Mark put in some extra miles, which means that he will not now need to make his way to Seattle and down the West coast. Given the recent weather in the USA, particularly the ice storms which hit the mid-west (but also WINTER STORMS in some of the southern states), this is is perhaps just as well...Ice Storm detail by Flickr user Allie's.Dad

Let's hope that the weather calms down for the next week to allow Mark to make progress through the United States.
I'll be back once Mark gets under way from San Francisco. Safe journey !
And in Aotearoa, it's already the 27th...

Alan Parkinson
AKA "Mrs V"

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