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Published: March 15th 2013
We have gotten into a routine of having our continental breakfast in our room and then walking a short distance to catch the GREEN bus into the center of the city. Today we went on a City Highlights Tour (a lot of which we had seen on foot the day before). We went over the Harbor bridge which when it was built increased traffiic so much that there were not enough lanes. They needed to add 2 more lanes in each direction and a firm from Japan got the contract and manufactured the extra lanes in Japan and shipped then by barge to Sydney and then to Aukland and literally clipped them on the existing bridge. There was a lot of controversy about not building the bridge right the first time around. In the not too distant future something permanent will have to be done. That is just a little bit of trivia that I learned today. After stopping for a quick bite to eat, our bus driver dropped us back at the pier for the 2nd part of our tour which was the Auckland Harbor Cruise. We had excellent views of the harbor and stopped on Rangitoto Island which erupted
from the sea in a series of dramatic explosions about 600 years ago and is now dormant. We saw Bean Rock Lighthouse, the naval base in Devonport, the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
With our tickets for the Harbour Cruise we were told that we could use them for a round trip ticket to Devenport. Well, this created a dilemma. We had been talking all day about finding a way to Mt. Eden and now we had another option. Devenport would offer us a stress-freee afternoon with shopping and perhaps dinner on the island before returning in the evening, OR, we could try once again to see if we could find an easier way of getting to Mt. Eden. It seemed that whenever we asked the question, we got different answers. Take a taxi, don't take a taxi, that would be too expensive, take the RED bus and walk the rest of the way or as John wanted to do, take the GREEN bus which we were used to and get as close as we could. We mulled over our choices and decided that we had put so much time and effort into thinking about it and that we really needed
to try it, knowing full well we didn't know how much of a hike it would be. So we set off and once on the GREEN bus, we started asking questions, and FINALLY, we got someone who knew exactly what to do. Take the YELLOW bus. We had been taking the Innerlink bus and we needed to take the outerlink bus which dropped us off in Mt. Eden Village. Having reached the village, we asked several people where the trail was to the summit. Once there we started our climb which in actuality wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. There was a road that went around and that would have been the long way, and then there was a path that was more direct and although it was an incline, it probably took 20 minutes to get to the top. The first thing we noticed was a huge volcanic crater. We climbed to the summit and were rewarded with the most stunning 360 degree views of Auckland. We felt very proud of ourselves for not giving up. We took lots of pictures before making our descent. We caught another YELLOW bus and then a GREEN bus back
to the Ponsonby neighborhood where we found a nice place to eat before returning to our room exhausted but happy we made the right decision.
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