Sunday, January 27, 2008

byron bay > auckland

By Pauly
Queenstown, New Zealand

Just arrived on the South Island of New Zealand in popular ski area called Queenstown. It reminds me of Aspen. Anyway, the internet is super expensive here, so I'll be brief.

The last few days in Byron Bay were spectacular. Didn't do much. I spent less than twenty minutes a day at the internet cafe and that was mainly checking up emails and making reservations for the New Zealand leg of the trip.

We eventually got on an early schedule where we'd wake up early and head to breakfast. Then be on the beach before 11am. Lots of topless chicks on the beach. I read a lot and finially finished up a book called Hotel California which detailed the music scene in Laurel Canyon in the 1960s. I caught a few hours of sunshine everyday, then walk down to the Beach Motel. They have an outdoor bar and at night they have live music. They aired the Australian Open finals matches on various TV screens, so we watched and drank beer and played Chinese Poker. We'd do that all afternoon then we'd go to eat dinner somewhere. Followed up by some night beach time and some Chinese Poker in our room.

One afternoon we drove up to the lighthouse. I'll post pics eventually.

Heath Ledger died while we were in Oz and he's been all over the media. They love Heath and it's been Heath week. On MovieOne (think the Aussie version of Starz or Encore) they showed a Hetah Ledger flick every night and ran a marathon on Saturday. I caught 10 Things I Hate About You on two instances. MovieOne also showed some other random flicks like Godsford Park, Dogma, Magnolia, and Invincible.

I watched a lot of Aussie Rules football and some rugby. I also have been soaking up the Australia/India test matches in cricket as well as the NBL. Lucky for me, we had FoxSPorts in Byron Bay so I could watch the NHL and the NBA.

I'm usually up way before Nicky and I have been writing. Nothing serious, just free writing. I started outlining my writing project (and taking notes - but nothing serious). I want be be able to start within a few days of my return to Hollyweird.

Anyway, on Sunday, we woke up early and walked on the beach over to the main street for breakfast and croissants. We packed up the car and drove back to Coolongata Airport. We had an 11am flight into Sydney. We had a three hour layover in Sydney which turned into almost four because of our delayed flight to New Zealand. I kileld time by eating Hungry Jacks (Aussie's version of Burger King) and I moaned about having to spend up to $30 for a book in the airport bookstore. The one I really wanted was $35, which I could get for half of that price on Amazon.

Anyway, we arrived in Auckland very late closer to 11pm. The kid in front of me smelled bad and needed a shower and the old lady behind me was hacking up a lung. I'm positive that I caught tuberculosis from her. We managed to ease through immigration and customs. We booked a night at a cheap airport motel since we had a 10am flight to the South Island. Yeah, New Zealand is made up of two big islands... Auckland and Wellington are in the north and lots of cool and fun stuff happens in the South. That's where we are now. The flight from Auckland to Queenstown was one of the most amazing I had ever taken... with all the mountains, hills, and other scenery.

Anyway, it's just about lunch time and time to explore Queenstown. I wanted to jump off a bridge, but there are some cool helicopter rides which are pricey but the views are spectacular.

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