there and back again

after going through customs, where I was questioned about my motives of coming back to the country (because I had been here three months already), I finally got to the first backpackers that I ever stepped into in my life (and on this trip). it was Saturday at 1am when I got there. though people were socialising in the lobby, I just wanted to go to bed. I was not tired at all, but I was feeling very confused – not knowing why I hadn’t stayed longer in Melbourne.

the next day I texted Flavia, a girl from Uruguay I met back in march when I first arrived into this country. it turned out we were both staying in the same hostel, which that night was throwing a costume party (which I had no intention in going until then). so we met in the evening to go buy our drinks and costumes… she would be a weird female version of Chaplin and I would be a very feminine marine.


the party was nice, people actually dressed in costumes (something that doesn’t really happen in Mexico). we went to bed early because Flavia had to work next day, and I was not very much in the mood.


next morning I changed hostels, and went to the YHA. I had two prepaid nights there that I had to use. to be horribly honest, the other one is always filthy, the kitchen is too small, you don’t really meet a lot of people… and that last thing is what I needed, to meet someone with a car that may want a travel partner to share costs… so I moved.

I thought it would be very easy to find this person with a car in Auckland, but I was mistaking… seemed like everyone there had already travelled and was just waiting to take the plane back home.

but I did meet some very nice people, among them Giorgia from Italy, Fabian from Austria, and Chris from Germany. this last guy is a very extroverted person that just came to my table and asked if he could sit… he had a great attitude! so that day we talked about our plans and what we wanted to do the next few weeks.

another VERY interesting person I met in the hostel was Tuhoe “Bruno” Isaac. this Maori guy, with a full moko on his face, came on Sunday evening into the hostel… to stay here… it was awesome to see the looks on all the guests’ faces! no one knew what was happening… it’s SO weird to see a local (very local by the looks of it) staying in a hostel.
but he turned out to be a very nice person (when sober) with lots of stories to tell and advice to give.
he’s been travelling for six years in his own country to sell his book: TRUE RED, a sort of autobiography.
I liked Bruno, every time we met he would call me “bub”, like if I was his granddaughter, and we would talk (actually he was the one doing all the talking) for hours.

on Monday night I was going to have some drinks with Flavia, and Giorgia joined. I wished I would’ve met her before, because we bonded immediately and travelling with her would’ve been very fun.


Tuesday morning Chris came with a brilliant idea… since we both had a lot of time to kill (he was waiting for his girlfriend to arrive on August 17th, and I was waiting to serve at a vipassana course from August 21st to September 1st), he asked me to hitchhike with him to Northland, and it became our new plan… we were doing it next morning! that meant: pack again, get rid of food, throw away clothes that you are NOT using, get a cardboard and a marker…

that night I tried to have my picture taken with Bruno, but he answered “have you bought the ($45.00) book yet? when you buy the book we can take a picture together”… bugger…
later Chris and I went to have some farewell drinks with our friends from the hostel… another girl that came with us was Sophie, who was crying in the room because the bus had left with all her things except her… so we asked her to join us so she could cheer up a little bit.
after a couple of beers and watching some people make fool of themselves with karaoke, Flavia came with some of her Argentinian friends to say goodbye as well.



on Wednesday morning we got ready to start our hitchhiking adventure aiming to hit Whangarei, a two hour drive, in one day…



I came to New Zealand ten years ago… it moved me so much that I had a 20 year old life crisis… I tried for ten years to come back and start to live… but I was not able to do so… or maybe it wasn’t the time to do it… maybe I needed experience – both in life and work – maybe I was too young to really know what I wanted… I guess I’ll never truly know this… but I do know that I’M HERE! and I’m finally living the dream!

I arrived in Auckland on Thursday 7 of March… and since my host was working, and I really needed a shower, I had to pay for a night (though it was 9am) at a hostel downtown… this was good, because I met wonderful people from all around the world… some were just finishing their travels in NZ, some were just starting like me, so maybe I’ll meet them again somewhere this year.

my “new best friends” were Vivi from Uruguay, and Camila from Chile.
we met everyday in the city, until they left to start an adventure in India.

Chile, Uruguay and Mexico

Chile, Uruguay and Mexico

my hosts in Auckland were great! at first maybe a little distant, but I guess this is normal with anyone during workdays… but the weekend with them was awesome (“osom”)!

on Saturday I went with Jeremy to Devonport, snobby area with a lot of coffee shops, and a park called North Heads Historic Reserve next to the ocean where you can see Auckland centre from the distance (map with arrows showing where the camera was pointing)… really nice place to sit and chillax!

North Heads

Auckland Centre

Rangitoto Island
we walked a lot, and I think we got to know each other pretty well. he was born in South Africa but he arrived in New Zealand with his family when he was a kid. now he’s a doctor in some Auckland hospital. he speaks fluent Spanish, he’s been learning the past couple of years, and it’s funny because he’s got Spanish from Spain accent. we were saying bad words all day… those that have to do with “cojones” and “me cago en las cosas”…


next day was Gareth’s day to take me out.
he’s a really cool guy! funny, smart and a quick learner!
we went to the beach to spend the day, and then we went to eat at a night weekend market on a parking lot. heading back home we stopped at another park/volcano called One Tree Hill to see the city from above

from One Tree Hill


Monday was my last day in Auckland and I just stayed home to get everything ready for my departure the next morning… at night I went with Gareth to a food court and we both had Thai for dinner.
and the goodbye picture with both!

Auckland Hosts

my time in Auckland still doesn’t make me feel like I’m in New Zealand. I guess it’s all the “big city” thing… it’s a nice place, but not where I would stay for long.
the Auckland Museum and the Toi o Tāmaki Art Gallery are really worth visiting, they both have New Zealand historical paintings, sculptures and artifacts.
also the Viaduct is recommended to walk around and sit at a bar to have a beer or a glass of some New Zealand wine.

hotspots auckland

Auckland Museum

Toi o Tamaki

I personally skipped the Sky Tower because it is expensive and there are some other places where you can see the city from above, such as Mount Eden, One Tree Hill, and of course Devonport’s North Heads Park.

sightseeing auckland

From Mount Eden

next stop… Wellington…