Sunday, August 9, 2009

travelogue

I had a fabulous flight to Auckland. There must have been an administrative error so because I was in some delux economy section. I could hold my legs out straight and just brush the seat ahead. The food was good and I had lots of space due to an empty seat next to me. Sweet.

Auckland airport and I had some shopping to do. Drive the economy a bit. Then I looked for an internet kiosk. I just wanted to let Boab know I was OK. There was a small kiosk with 3 computers provided by Samsung, and a line up. So I cued patiently, waiting for a go, got there after a long wait and fired up the mail. It wouldn't work, wrong browser (opera). I tried to find my blog, and got somebody else's. Rattled by the shuffling in the cue behind me I gave up. Sorry mate.

Then onto the plane for 12 hours of sitting around. I watched a bad movie and dozed. I was in the normal cheap seats where even I could get leg cramps from a lack of room, but Air NZ does have fantastic service, nice wine, good food and cozy blankets. I still had an empty seat next door and a friendly Newfie to talk to, so it wasn't too bad.

Vancouver at last and the usual customs shuffle. To the hotel eventually to find it a bit of a dump, but clean. I had to change rooms to get a working phone so I could finally call home. Then a hot shower and a pact to stay awake until at least 9pm.
My shuttle driver had pointed out the bus to the city near the hotel, so I went out and caught it. I was at the end of the Frasier 8 line (if anyone is from Vancouver) and I went til the end of the line into the city (Robson st?). Anyway, it was a big, gritty, run down city I saw, and I am from the country, so I vowed to stay on that street so I didn't get lost. I walked a fair way up it and found a nice Italian restaurant specialising in local wild caught seafood. Super. I went in with my jeans and sneakers on and they seated me like royalty.

I had a hard choice, but I went for the albacore tuna and a glass of BC pinot noir. I was served an excellent starter of warm, crusty and yeasty rolls (3 of them!- I ate one.) and a superb tapinade of olives and preserved lemon. A few sips of excellent wine and the main arrives. Perfect seared white tuna sliced and arranged on a rosti of potatoes and celeriac, topped with the tiniest green beans cooked to perfection, and the tuna smoky from the grill and still raw in the middle.

Absolute perfection. Finished with a great coffee. Why on earth can I never get great service, delicious food, fast delivery and a decent price all at once in Australia. We have a skills shortage in more than the spatial sciences.

Back on the bus for the long trip back to the dive and now it is after 9pm on Friday and isn’t it interesting the sort of people who ride buses. A real cultural experience.

I arrived safe and sound and had a restless night, sleeping through the day. Them I made my way to Vancouver Island on the ferry.

It was cold and windy but I had the gear for it and I enjoyed the top deck.
They tell me there are mountains around Vancouver, hope I get to see them later. Saw some seals but no Orcas, maybe on the way back.

My friend Di picked me up at the terminal and we had a fun afternoon of a pub lunch, shopping and tea drinking, a nice meal. I should go to bed but (unlike my usual form) I am wide awake at nearly 11pm.

update: I have caved and bought a EeePC so I can get some work done and blog.

1 comment:

Bluenoser said...

Man I'm tired. I've got half the 50k loop swept Dee. I'll sweep the other half tomorrow.

-B