Touring New Zealand: First Stop Auckland

Kristin is that ridiculously cool chick we mentioned last week, she's spending the next 7 months traveling world. Check out her bloggy awesomeness here and send her a tweet here. You know you want to. My time in New Zealand is divided into two parts. I was in the Auckland region for the first week and am currently on a tour of the South Island for the second week.Everyday is full of activity it makes it feel as though I have been here longer.

Feeling at Home in New Zealand

I was welcomed to Auckland by my friend Jerome’s sister-in-law and her partner Himan. They were incredibly open, friendly, and generous, creating what felt like my new home in New Zealand.I had a bedroom to myself in their beautiful house; it was quite luxurious after sleeping on couches and sharing hostel rooms.Himan made amazing chai tea each morning from fresh ginger, and Hiral spent most of her time with me, showing me around Auckland and taking me on some beautiful day hikes.

Authentic Indian Food in Auckland

Being part of Hiral and Himan’s life for a few days also meant dinner with Himan’s family, an Indian family from Fiji. They welcomed me into their homes and cooked the best Indian meals I’ve had. I had the privilege to eat three delicious, spicy meals with them. I mean, spicy. But, I loved it and the family too.I came to New Zealand and got a taste of India, experiencing the unexpected, and felt like I was home.20120315-234918.jpgI did more than just eat amazing Indian food while hanging out in Auckland. Hiral took me out to some beaches on New Zealand’s west coast, Muriwai first and Piha toward the end of my stay. The west coast beaches are pretty wild and striking with their strong currents and dramatic landscapes. The water is also a beautiful, perfect sea green color.

Buzz and Woody

Over last weekend, Hiral and I went up to a town called Thames on the edge of the Coromandel Peninsula, and stayed at an adorable bed and breakfast. They had fresh eggs, scones made upon arrival, and two cows in the yard, future meat for BBQs, named Buzz and Woody.They were pretty friendly, but their mooing got slightly aggressive at times when they saw us eating. I found it hilarious and took a video of it.20120319-005551.jpgSee that view behind my cow friends? The back porch looked out on the whole town,the river, and beyond.That evening, as we ate fish and chips outside with our lovely B&B hosts, while Buzz and Woody complained of course, we got to witness this sunset.20120319-005846.jpgThe next day Hiral and I completed a 7 hour hike through the Coromandel forest park up to the Pinnacles. We got a perfect day and although the hike was long, it was fun most of the time.After the summit I was hurting a little bit, but this is preparing me for Nepal - where I want to do some long treks.Eventually my time with Hiral and Himan came to an end, and I wanted to stay with them longer, even joked about living there (I was half joking, half serious).Lead image source: New Zealand map

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