My body is still, unfortunately, running on my leisurely home wake-up schedule, which means that a lovely 11 am wake-up at home is 4 am here. Oh well! It means I get to see the city wake up and play lots of games on my iPod, so we're all good.
I've had an absolutely wonderful time in the city--I am really not a city girl, but this is a good 'un. We lucked out on timing somewhat, since this weekend is the Diwali festival on the harbor here. Last night after dinner we walked down there and people-watched for a couple hours, cheering on the Bollywood dance competition and drooling over all the amazing food. Auckland has a much more diverse and much more populous Asian community, both East and South Asian, than I expected. All the little alleyways are crammed with some seriously amazing little shops and restaurants, and I am proud to say that I managed to secure myself a bubble tea on my first night in town! It's like I've got bubble tea radar!
I'm headed out in about an hour with a friend to catch a bus down to Wellington, where she'll stick around and where I'll hop on another ferry and two more buses tomorrow to get to my first farm in Upper Moutere, near Nelson on the South Island. I'm really looking forward to the drive: Auckland is the population center of the country, with over a million people in the metropolitan area. The entire country, on the other hand, only has *four* million people. So once I hit those city limits, I'm looking forward to farmland! And once I hit the South Island, it should be even better--they only have a million people total! Total isolation in a beautiful landscape, here I come.
Well, I'm off to make sure I've packed everything up and to see if I can't rustle up something interesting to eat for breakfast. See you on the South Island!