In an effort to save money (and because I like walking), I went on the “Coast to Coast” walk in Auckland my second day to check out the city on foot and shake off jetlag. I had hoped to pick up breakfast and lunch items and bring them along with me, so I started my morning at Victoria Park Market. My guide book had touted it as a must-visit – one booth was open. As I wanted breakfast and not antiques (sorry Mum) I kept looking, and subsequently discovered that food is expensive EVERYWHERE. My initial belief that I would save money here due to the wicked exchange rate and low transportation prices has been dashed quickly. Breakfast cost me EIGHTEEN DOLLARS. Granted, I ended up eating at the Auckland Domain at a rather-nice café, but this was the price I kept finding everywhere. It is costing me the same amount for a hostel as eggs benny. MERCY. Moving on.
Full from breakfast (and of remorse over forking out a large percentage of my daily budget) I trudged on for the walk. The Coast to Coast walk was sold to me as a “lovely” (which I interpreted as “easy”) 16 km walk through neighbourhoods and parks, allowing you to see both harbours of Auckland.
This walk was not easy.
Granted, 16 km would be tiring anyway, but I climbed up and down huge hills, walked around an old volcanic crater, stumbled through a university and accidentally ended up in someone’s backyard. The trail was hard to find at times (hence the backyard adventure), but it did show different areas of the city I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. And I also saw just how lovely New Zealanders are as many people cheered me on for doing the walk (probably muttering “idiot” after I had passed by) and pointed me in the right direction.
At the end of the trail I discovered a grocery store and the one food item that is cheap here – chocolate.
Well that’s just fine now isn’t it? No complaints here!
I also discovered a free shuttle bus that went back downtown. Free ride and cheap Cadbury’s – all in all not a bad day.