Welcome to my personal travel journal! If you don't know me, that's OK! I hope you'll enjoy reading about some of my adventures and misadventures, and hopefully learn something new about a corner of the world.

Recent updates:
2015-10-06: Day 8 of Niue in 2011.
2015-10-05: Day 7 of Niue in 2011.
2015-09-29: Day 6 of Niue in 2011.

For list of trips, see TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My hostel, the YHA Wellington City, was very easy to get to by bus, especially with a very helpful bus driver. The hostel was in a pretty happening area and right across the street from a New World, where I got some food and beer. I was ecstatic being around things so modern and clean again! I was especially blissful when I had my first hot shower (in a clean and modern bathroom) in three weeks - it just felt so indescribably amazing! After lounging in the modern shared area and chatting with my roommates, I went to sleep in the warmest and most comfortable bed I've had in well over a month - one of the most amazing feelings ever. I love New Zealand hostels.
Wow, this sub-$100 one-hour Air New Zealand flight comes with either a cheese platter or a hummus plate, and free drinks too! I enjoyed a lovely red wine with my cheese. I love Air New Zealand!
See you later Auckland! I already miss you being away for a few weeks!
Glad to have boarded the plane. Hopefully the eruption won't get worse. I suppose I can always find places to go in New Zealand if my upcoming flights get cancelled...
Here's a view of the JetStar flight board - what a difference compared to the Air New Zealand flight board! Things aren't looking good for JetStar travellers...
I used my long stopover in Auckland to book my hostel, have a "modern meal" of KFC, and catch up on e-mails is I haven't had access to the Internet in two weeks. My parents were apparently very worried about me since in my previous message, I told them next contact would be in a bit over a week. Guess I'll need to give better estimates in the future.

Apparently, nearly all domestic flights are cancelled with the exception of Air New Zealand, who kept their flights operating at a lower altitude below the ash clouds, even when they have to shoulder the increased costs. I am glad I booked with them - this is one of the many reasons Air New Zealand is my favourite airline.
The sea of islands and areas near the shore were lined with a squiggly wall of reefs. Beyond the wall, vast unbroken ocean spread out ahead of us. Next stop: back to New Zealand! I'm on my way to Wellington, with a long stopover in Auckland.
The sea below is peppered with islands and reefs. I can see why Fiji is famous as a stereotypical tropical island destination. I wonder if the lights I saw in the dim glow of dawn when arriving were actually tiny islands rather than boats.
Yes, that does appear to be Wayasewa. Some of the other islands the boat passes are also visible, such as the distinctive Vomo island.
View of Denarau Port on take-off, with the plethora of islands on the ocean beyond. Is that Wayasewa in the distance?
Bye Fiji! I had a fun and relaxing time here with some unforgettable experiences, but looking froward to more exciting adventures coming up! I suppose it's a sign of a good trip if the most boring thing I did in four and a half months is island-hopping in Fiji!
My obligatory picture of my flight.
The airport was very modern, with plenty of shops in the waiting areas. There was also some nice live pre-boarding entertainment. The vast majority of the people I saw here were tourists, although maybe more local-heavy flights depart at other times of the day.
One more beer before the flight. I'm actually getting really tired and buzzed in my state, and really didn't want a beer, but I can't leave a beer untried while I have the chance!
Having breakfast after picking up something for Logan and a postcard for my mom. Even though I really didn't want a beer this early in the morning, especially when I'm this tired, I figure it was the last chance for me to try some of the smaller Fijian breweries.
I got up at 7am after a night of disrupted sleep due to the surprising cold. As I was leaving walking to the road, the nice old lady from last night cheerfully shouted "bye" to me from her house. At the airport, there were signs for some Pacific-based airlines I read about but didn't realize they were still around, like Air Kiribati and Our Airline, which had a very interesting history as Air Nauru.