It was nice to sleep in until around 8:00AM today. Unfortunately, my alarm this morning was the achiness of a large number of muscles that apparently are MUCH more affected by running than biking. Duly noted.
The only plans I have today are to keep checking in with the bike shop to see if a frame is going to be found. Can't contact the insurance company until tomorrow (that pesky time warp that puts me a day ahead of America can make things difficult sometimes).
I receive an early morning call from Sam at the bike store. Sure enough, they have found a frame for me. Even better, it is going to come in tomorrow, and they should have it all ready for me in 2 days (Wednesday)! Excellent.
I have decided to celebrate by testing out the MAXX bus system and head into downtown Auckland for some culture.
New Zealand bus station. The polar opposite of usual bus systems - clean, efficient, and, if you push this button, a disembodied voice tells you exactly when the next bus is coming in. VERY loudly.
I am also in search of a different wireless internet place, as for some reason I can't update this blog from the hotel.
The Northern Express (no, my busdriver did NOT sound like Tom Hanks) took me directly to Queen Street, the main downtown thoroughfare.
I have a pet theory that almost all cities look alike when you get down to it, from Cairo to Manhattan, at least in many areas. It is crowded, but not unnervingly so. It seems like most people walking down here put off the tourist vibe, and I count about 10 languages as I walk. Lots of stores and small malls.
Downtown Auckland, looking down Queen Street. This picture actually seems to SUPPORT my theory about all cities looking about the same.
I wander the stores looking for some pannier components (which I do not find). However, I do pick up toothpaste and bug repellant, and find internet access.
The Starbucks. I passed three of them over my wandering today, the next one just two blocks away from this one in unerring Starbucks form.
Found a movie theater, as well, but choices were some kiddy Adam Sandler movie or a cryfest about a button or something. No thanks.
I did score a gem in a New Zealand biking book that gives the elevations of hills over major roads. This is what cyclists REALLY want to know.
Super creepy Santa. His finger moves to complete something that looks like a NAMBLA "come hither" gesture.
The bus ride back. Rainy, but I am sitting down, so all is well.
Made it back to the hotel around 5PM. I may have run 7 miles yesterday, but I think I walked about 10 today. My dogs are barkin'.
Do some Skyping, then relax for the evening after a quick dinner. This is nice. Soon enough, I'll be biking for hours per day, but for now, I get to live the unemployed dream. Think I will check out New Zealand TV tonight.