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Published: November 10th 2013
We disembarked from our home for the last 41 days - the good old ms Oosterdam and I still feel the roll of the sea beneath my feet although I'm on very solid (well, as solid as things can be in this highly seismically active country!). We're spending the night at the Novotel at the airport because of our very early Qantas flight out tomorrow to take us back to Alice Springs, Australia and our camping trip to Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (the Olgas) and Kings Canyon and then two days exploring the outback around Alice Springs.
But today we were in Auckland after our disembarkation and spent the day at an underwater aquarium which had lots of penguins - King and Gentoo - some on eggs which are just about ready to hatch out. Then we went to the top of Skytower and had fantastic views of Auckland from way up high. We stopped in a cute little revitalized section of the city called Parnell for lunch. We plan on going back to explore it some more when we come back and spend a couple of days in Auckland before our flight back to Colorado. Then the bus driver took us on an impromptu tour of various parts of the city before we headed to the airport where just about everyone else was headed to their flights and we went to the hotel. The driver told us that until the recession of '08, Auckland had 0% unemployment and that now it stands at 2%. You can feel that while it's very expensive here, it also feels very prosperous. Of course, the rest of the country isn't doing quite that well, but he said unemployment is about 6%, so not too bad. Anyway, while small, it has the vibrant feel of a bigger city.
Well, on to the Outback. And back to G'day, mate!
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