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March 12th 2009
Published: June 13th 2017
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Geo: -36.8474, 174.766

Tuesday 10/03/09 Auckland - New Zealand (Still) Temps Air 24°C

I left the cyb@study at 01:00 and when I passed the Crow's Nest bar next door, which is usually quite reserved, with the only noise to be heard being the sound of the either the resident or guest band, but tonight it was in full swing, so I decided not to go for a late tipple, free or not.

Today we decided to visit Parnell & Newmarket as well as go back to the Domain to visit the museum, Fernery, and tropical gardens.

As we left the ship we were accosted by numerous people wanting to know what was happening, but there was little to tell and so we set off. The museum was an absolute wonder with so many rooms and topics, from Maori heritage featuring copious artefacts and models of meeting houses, war canoes, as well as Maori presentations and dancing, and so it went on, right the way through to World War 2 exhibits. It's a fantastic collection and a valuable insight into the history of New Zealand, it's also an absolute must for school children to visit, it's so so interesting, there's something for everyone.

After a stroll around the gardens we set off for Parnell & Newmarket, which we were told were really good for shopping for presents and locally produced goods, well that proved to be debatable but one thing they certainly were was expensive. I found an unusual fruit bowl which was a real talking piece, it was an ceramic aardvark on its back, smiling face, legs a kimbo, with the centre hollowed out to hold the fruit or whatever, perfect for our Michelle I thought and Linda agreed, on checking the price it was just over £1080 so sorry Shell the Aardvark's out. The local merchants hadn't missed the opportunity of a captive audience and there were signs outside the shops "welcome to Aurora passengers, why not linger longer with us" and "Aurora passengers, to make up for your disappointment were offering you all and extra 10% discount" " special offers for Aurora passengers" absolutely brilliant, I really love that creative, entrepreneurial streak. The word has spread locally about the problems with the ship and we're now known as the people stranded on the broken boat, and everyone wants to stop and talk to you and ask how we are, eventually having bought nothing of any consequence we returned to the ship.

On our arrival at the dock gates the media were there interviewing passengers both entering and leaving the port. As always some people can't miss the opportunity of either being filmed or giving their opinions to the press, so there was no shortage of takers waiting to be interviewed, let me pass I need a drink!!

After dinner we went to the theatre to watch the resident group perform their number, which as usual was an absolutely brilliant performance. Free wine with dinner and drinks at the theatre all made for an enjoyable evening so we retired up to the Crow's Nest bar for late drinks. Unfortunately as expected gluttony prevails, the waiters were telling us of the excess's of the previous night, with passengers who they'd never seen at the bars before now suddenly appearing and demanding double and triple malts along with brandies and choice liqueurs. As a result in one night they've drunk the ship dry of certain lines, two of which are my favourite tipples, so I'm hoping they'll restock before we sail tomorrow!

Wednesday 11/03/09 Auckland - New Zealand (Still) Temps Air 25°C

Decided to take up the offer of the free excursion which took us over the Auckland Harbour Bridge to the small township of Orewa, there's a very pleasant beach but little else, and after a short stay we left to visit Lake Pupuke, a deep fresh water lake which is actually the formed in the crater of an old volcano and is connected to the volcano on the Island opposite some mile or so away. Once again after a short stay we set off for Devonport where having been dropped off we visited the last of our volcanoes Mt Cambria it's so small we missed it before I suspect it's really a vent hole from Mt Victoria as it's situated just off to one side of it, but never mind we completed the climb, after which we caught the ferry back to Auckland.

The ships plight has made it to the local papers with a half page account as well as being on the local radio. (I dread to think of the comments that some of the passengers may have made) A final bit of retail therapy and full of expectation we returned to the ship full of anticipation for tonight, will we, won't we, do we want to, how far will we get. You'll have to read the next instalment. (I'm slowly getting the hang of this suspender suspense thing)

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