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25th April 2017: Day 2 Auckland

25th April 2017
After missing out the sunrise at mount Eden promising to make up for the loss the next day, the two of us were up by 1030 and out by 11ish for the first attraction of the day-the Sky tower observatory. We checked in with our pre booked vouchers and also got ourselves an entrance for 8 nzd for night view of the Sky tower. Located on the 51st floor it offers a 360 degree view of Auckland. It was the day when new Zealand celebrates its independence day and also when the world masters games in new Zealand were in full swing so needless to say, it was packed by both locals and foreign athletes alike. Wouldn’t say that it took my breath away but it was still worth doing when it’s your first time in Auckland. Its also where they offer a proxy bungee called the sky jump-more of a controlled jump than a free fall so we gave it a miss since it was on the cards in queenstown. Once we were done with the view there, I went down to the 50th floor to the Sky cafe for a coffee and madhuri settles for an ice cream. Once done we headed off to raviz again for yet another round of desi veggie Khana and as usual we over ordered and struggled to finish. Sadly we ended up wasting quite a bit.
We then headed down to the viaduct and the harbour bridge on foot. The harbour bridge is a place where they have all these restaurants and cafes and the maritime museum together with the marina where people have their boats berthed. We wanted to take a ride on the sea plane but for some reason our amex card didn’t come through so the payment couldn’t be completed. Since we left our other card back in the room and I didn’t want to spend all the cash that we had just on our second day into new Zealand, we decided to come back the next morning to do it.
Feeling disappointed we headed to the maritime museum but sadly that too was closed for all tours for the day as it was already past 1600.
Feeling dejected again we started walking back to the rydges, stopping by at a convenience store to pick up a few fruits and then walked right into st. Patrick’s cathedral right next to the rydges. After spending a little time there we went to our room and to sleep it off for a bit.
We googled about almost everything that people could do in auckland at night but sadly apart from the pubs and night clubs everything else closes by 1900 tops.
So after freshening up, we were off again walking the streets of downtown Auckland (which I think is the best way to explore a city) and after controlling my shopaholic wife from splurging (he he) , I had myself a big fat chicken burger at the world famous mc Donalds 😉 . He he
While walking further along queens street, we heard some really loud desi music playing at one of the amphitheatres. So out of curiosity we dropped in check it out. Turns out it was a few new Zealand settled Indians having a gala time dancing to desi beats.
We headed off to sky tower once again for the night view stopping by @ Gloria jeans for a coffee. Once done we checked into the Sky tower and after spending a little time there, we came back down undecided whether or not to head back down to harbour street for a walk or back to the hotel. Finally better sense prevailed and we came back to our room.
Auckland sky planes first thing tomm and then drive down to whitianga to explore the coromandel and if up on time for sunrise, then mount Eden. 🙂

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24th April 2017 – day 1 auckland

24th April 2017
Day 1 auckland:
I got up just in time to catch a skyline view of Auckland when the flight was landing which not to mention was stunning. Me and my wife were both really very very tired after a 20 hour long flight so all that I could of was checking into the hotel and crashing into the cozy bed there.
We were given customs cards for arrival new Zealand during our transit through Singapore and thankfully we went through the entire card properly and ticked off the right boxes. My wife being vegan, we were carrying a few apples and ready to eat food packets. Turns out that new Zealand customs checks all the bags for any food brought in from outside as a way of minimising any biological hazards. Though as polite as the airport staff were they were equally thorough with their checks. We were also told that has we not ticked all the right boxes then we would have been handed an instant 400 nzd fine. So long story short they just confiscated the apples and let us pass with our ready to eat packets.

Once done with all the checks we headed to the I site at the airport and called ‘go rentals from the free pay phones there. They arranged their pink and blue shuttle to pick us up from the airport and on to their office so we could pick up our rental ( all of which arranged by ‘pick your trail’ ).
The shuttle picked us up in ten mins from the airport as they said they would. We finished all the paperwork at the rental office and the entire process went very smoothly. We also got friendly advice on how to get around the country from the shuttle driver and the lady behind the counter. They were more than happy sharing their tips with the newly married couple on their honeymoon.
Turns out that 25th April is when new Zealand celebrates its independence and it was also the time when the masters games in Auckland were on in full swing so the country had a lot of foreign athletes and all the hotels were over booked. Good thing we had everything planned and booked before hand.
After taking out blue Toyota Mazda 2 rental, pretty soon we were driving down to downtown Auckland to the rydges hotel where out first booking was. GPS is a life saver and new Zealand being a commonwealth country, the right hand drives made me feel comfy with the drive, though it took me than a while to get used to the organised traffic here as compared to the chaotic road rage in Delhi.
Nonetheless the drive to the hotel was about 30 odd kms which we covered in less than 30 mins and that was after I missed a few exits and had to turn back around.
We reached rydges auckland before our check in time so we had to wait a little bit in the lobby before we were given keys to our rooms.
I was really tired but since my wife madhuri hadn’t eaten anything on the flight in, we freshened up and headed out to hog like kings and queens. We found this nice little Indian restaurant called raviz where we could stuff ourselves up.
Auckland has quite a few Indian restaurants so it wouldn’t be too difficult for a shakahari desi( I mean madhuri) to feel at ease with the food.
Afterwards we walked around the streets of downtown Auckland and to do a quick recce of what could be done in the 2 days that we had in Auckland but pretty soon we realised that we were too tired and headed back to our room instead.
We crashed at about 1930 and then I got up by 2230. Not being able to sleep, I went down to the reception to check up on things that could be done for the next day. He advised me to go to this place called mount Eden to watch the sunrise which is surrounded by an extinct volcano where you can a get a 360 degree view of the crater.
I stepped out from the hotel after that to see how the weather was and surprisingly it wasn’t that cold or windy and was quite pleasant.
I went back up, planning to be up early for the sunrise but then getting up early was never in my genes and turns out I was right about my genetics. He he he

THE SOLO TRAVELLER

There are a lot of things left to do and a lot of places left to see before I’d be able to say that I lived the good life.Not that I think that my life is lacking in anyway whatsoever (except for the more than occasional bout of procrastination when I am at home, it’s more or less perfect).

I met a dear friend the other day who told me just how much she’d love to travel solo.To just pack her bags and hit the road.As it happens the thought of travelling solo has been on my mind for a while.Call it a state of inertia or getting stuck with something or the other at home, the thought has just somehow not been able to materialize.

As I type this, I find myself making plans for the weekend to bike it out and meet my brother in Jaipur. The thought of stuffing my dust covered back pack and riding away to an easy 300 km ride from Delhi. It would also give my bike the much needed mileage it’s been aching to get for the better part of the last two yrs.

The best part about travelling solo is the ease with which you can plan the entire itinerary based on your convenience.No need to wait for somebody to catch up and no fear of being left behind.The freedom to stop and to start at will.

And the added advantage of clicking a bunch of photographs and having enough material for my next post. Yayy.

So here is to the coming weekend,my bike and the road to Jaipur.

 

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT EVERYTHING-BLOGGING 101-SAY YOUR NAME

I did not change my title. I am pretty content with it as I spent a pretty long time contemplating on the right title.I did change my tagline though, as there was none before.So let this post be about the thought process that went into choosing this title.

Why did I choose this title???? Cos at present I have no idea as to how this blog will look a couple of months down the line. The kind of content I publish on it, I will decide on that as time takes its course. At present I am very happy writing about whatever it is that I feel like writing.Anything that catches my eye comes out in the form of a post on this blog.

For me this is my ‘little space on the internet'(I saw this line in somebody’s comment somewhere, can’t remember who though).My space where I live whichever way I see fit.

I have so many interests, so many hobbies that it is just next to impossible to write about anything in particular. I am a die hard fan of anything that moves on 2 wheels, I love travelling- glad to say my profession has compensated me on that front quite well, reading,running,swimming. Though trying to cut down on excess fat, I love eating.The adventurist within is always aching to try anything new.

The fact is I get bored very easily with the monotony of life. The monotony of doing the same thing over and over again drives me nuts.I like having an opinion about everything and if I don’t then I find out and make an opinion then.

I work for about 8 months every year in batches,7 days a weeks,being on call 24 hrs a day and the close to 4 months that I do get to spend at home, I spend them doing just about anything that pops into my head.

I like being ‘the jack of all trades’, throwing in a little bit of my hard earned wisdom into any conversation that I see myself fit to be a part of.

And hence the title -A LITTLE BIT ABOUT EVERYTHING.

As for the updated tagline-well that’s something I’d like to leave for a post later down the line.

HOME ALONE

I am your shadow,

Wherever you go I always follow.

When you are away,

There is nothing else for me to do.

I cannot go out alone.

For I am too small, the others,too big.

They laugh!!

I bark at them,

Furious I tell them-wait till my brother gets back.

Attached is a picture of Oren. He is a brave little thing but only when me or my father are around.Otherwise you can very well call him a mouse.He’s been with us for more than 2 years now and it’s been nothing but a pleasure to have him.WP_20140411_15_49_57_Pro

 

The fifty shows how gets scared by anything even slightly bigger than him (yes, plants included) and the brother being referred t is offcourse ME.

This also happens to be my first ‘fifty’.It might be shit but I do hope atleast the pic is worth your time spent reading this.

 

 

 

WHO AM I AND WHY AM I HERE???

Hey guys!!!My name is Vikas Reddy. I started blogging about a month and a half back. I used to blog under a pseudonym before but after having mustered enough courage and on the back of some constant bickering by a friend, I finally started blogging under my name.

By trade I am a marine engineer.At present am at home on my well deserved leave for the next few months and hence I decided to use this time to do something constructive and build my blog.I started blogging with the sole purpose of trying to become a better writer and storyteller. I do hope to get published someday.God knows what the content of that book might be though but then that’s what wordpress is for-to experiment with your writing and storytelling abilities till you attain perfection.

Everything in this world takes it’s own sweet time to grow.And the same thing is applicable to my blog.Just like parents raise their kids and hope to be proud of them someday, I hope that sometime down the line, my blog has enough creative content to fill me with the same pride. That’s precisely the reason why I blog. Maintaining a journal offcourse gets you into the habit of writing on a regular basis but it is hard to get the kind of inputs that you can expect from the blogging world.

Blogging not only gives me the opportunity to read pieces published by somebody sitting in the other corner of the world but also the tools to connect to with like minded people. I am yet to receive some criticism about my writing abilities though but would love to receive them as I start connecting and bonding with the enormous blogging community of wordpress.

If I can think about where I would a year hence with my blog,then I would like to look at myself with some really fascinating and creative pieces that any publisher would give his right arm to publish but more importantly having developed the skill set to tell an ordinary story into extraordinary tale.

As I recently read on the blog of the ‘Bookgirl’-so much to read and so little time. I do hope to read as much as possible and no better place than a blogging community and guess what- It’s free!!!!

A STORY TELLER OR A WRITER??? FINDING MY NICHE

I was going through this post the other day on http://adoptingjames.wordpress.com/ which highlighted the difference between a story teller and a writer and how difficult it is for people to master both.People more often than not settle for the one they can find their niche in. It made me think about which one of the two I would like to find my niche in, if i can’t do so in both.

When I think about writers, the images that come to my mind are of people at par with William Shakespeare, sitting at a river bank somewhere composing ballads or poems. People with above average intelligence are most likely the ones who end up understanding and then enjoying them.The ability to exercise expertise on your chosen language and making it into a craft is probably best left to scholars.

Storytelling on the other hand is the lesser qualified and more glorified cousin of writing. A craft that needs no education and no experience.With only imagination and the creativity of your mind, a story not worth telling becomes a story worth sharing.In contrast to writing, a story can be told in whichever way the author sees fit and in whichever language he feels like sharing.There are no binding rules.A decent command over the language in which the story is written together with a well thought out plot is all that the author needs to make sure his audience finds him instead of him looking for them.

But then for some,the select few, both the eloquence of the language they write in together with their storytelling abilities, go hand in hand. A trade mastered after years and years of practice( and of failing) and patience.

So which one of the two would I like to be????If I can’t master both(though I try), then I will any day settle to be a story teller instead of a writer. Like everything else in the world, practice and patience are key elements in this art as well.

Stories can be found in anything people do.One doesn’t have to be an actor or a sport star to make their stories connect with people. But what they do need is a well though out plot which again requires experience. The same experience which comes out of churning really bad (and at times pathetic) posts which are masterpieces to nobody else but you.

So here is to some really pathetic posts, pieces of fiction and the infinite number of brain rants which I hope to use as my launchpad in my endeavour to find my niche in storytelling. And if good enough, to becoming a better writer as well.