Shark attack at Kelly Tarlton's
Today Michelle and I checked out Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium in Auckland. Kelly Tarlton was a kiwi adventurer who wanted to share his love of the ocean with others. He found a couple empty septic tanks near mission beach in Auckland in the 80’s and decided this would be the perfect spot for his aquarium. He imported acrylic sheets and made his own oven to bend them to shape – pretty ingenious and the cost saving. Basically made a couple tunnels through these tanks and then started to capture sea life to add to the tanks. This style of aquarium is now copied worldwide!
Free ride on the shark bus to Kelly Tarlton's
The aquarium was cool, but not worth the admission fee. Michelle and I did have a 2-for-1 coupon, which Im glad we used, as it wouldn’t have been worth $31 each! If you have kids, they will love it and I did enjoy it, but it’s quite small and we were in and out within an hour and half. They do offer free pick up downtown on their sharkbus, which is a nice feature! If you’ve been to Vancouver aquarium you wont be too impressed, but it does have penguins, sharks, fish, sting-rays, eels but not really large sea life since the aquarium is rather small. They have a swim with the shark’s option, where for $150 you can get into a separate tank and watch swim around – so not worth it. The sharks aren’t that big and if you ever wanted to do something like that, go to South Africa where you can see the great whites!
The Penguin's were definitely my favourite!
After the aquarium we got some Burgerfuel and watched some movies. My knee is slowly getting better but my mobility is pretty limited. I fucked it good! This will be the first weekend in the last 6 weeks that I wont be on my bike… sucks!
Friday night Michelle and I went to see Avenue Q at the Sky City Theatre in Auckland. I heard pretty good reviews about it and I wasn’t disappointed. Avenue Q is pretty much Muppets for adults. It’s about growing up and finding yourself in the world and does have some quite funny parts. I am not a musical guy at all, but I would definitely recommend checking it out. It is not pg rated as it can be racy at times, but that is what kept me interested hahaha.
Before the show I took Michelle out for dinner because she has been doing most of the work around the apt since my bike accident. Ive pretty much be laid-up. Ive been able to make it too work, but cant really stand or put too much pressure on my leg so she’s been making the dinners and cleaning up. I owe her big time so I took her to dinner at Wagamama, which is noodle house that she and her friend Julie rave about. I swear they took a trip to Boston just to eat there hehehe. Wagamama started back in the 90’s in the uk and has now expanded to over 90 locations all over the world. Unfortunately there are no locations in Canada, which is kind of surprising. Im sure it would be a hit if it were to open in Toronto or Vancouver, since they are such multicultural cities. If in Auckland or anywhere one is located go check it out! Great fresh food, reasonable pricing and good service!
Lastnight I went to the Banff Film Festival with michelle and some co-workers. It was pretty sick! Some people in this world are complete nutters! It started with Kranked a mountain bike movie from the coast of BC, amazing riding and some really creative trails. After watching it I cant wait for the knee to heal up to get back out to ride. Check out the trailer below.
One film was about the kayakers that were touring through South Africa, riding swollen rivers that were pretty ugly! The swells, current and rocks were crazy! At one point of of the kayakers was stuck under water and had to bail from the kayak, swim downstream and avoid two huge hippos. They were running some pretty crazy rivers that had never been run! Totally nuts!
There was a film about two Canadian ice climbers deep in the Alberta bush climbing a frozen waterfall. They were so Canadian.. everything ended with eh! So funny and totally took me home. The were crazy as well, climbing huge ice water falls with massive icicles dropping by them.
There was a legally-blind mountain biker who would ride behind a guide and the guide would shout; left, right; drop, stepup.. fuckn nuts! He started out by walking the trail to learn and then tossed his leg over a bike and rode it. Absolute craziness – see clip below.
The most extreme dude I watched was Alex Honnold who is a free rock climber, meaning he would scale 600 metre rock faces with no ropes and in a matter of 2 hours. You have to check out the video by National Geographic : Alone on the Wall - http://natgeoadventure.tv/Post.aspx?Id=24672 I couldnt beleive the shit he would climb and with how much ease he did. He is spiderman!
Below is a clip from one of the videos they showed lastnight. Ive seen it before but it’s still pretty damn cool.
On Sunday I headed back out west to Woodhill Bike Park to do some riding with the boyz. Kev picked me up downtown at 7:30 am and we loaded up my bike and hit the road. About a half hour later we were at Woodhill putting out bikes back together and getting ready to ride. It was a cool morning about +12, cloudy with a cool breeze, but perfect for riding. We met up with Mario and rodeto the trail head. Kev had to leave by noon, so we wanted to get in as many trails as possible. I was pretty happy with my riding and hitting pretty much everything in front of me and then it happened.. i crashed ahaha. It was a goodone! I was heading down the XXXXX trail X-Asile, a set of jumps down a steep section that I had up to now avoided. Being that I was having a good day on the bike i was feeling pretty confident in my riding I thought I would just giver! Mistake! I hit the first jump no problem as the second one approached I taped the breaks and that was my downfall. I didnt carry enough speed into the second jump, landed flat with my handle bars slightly angled to the right which sent me bouncing and towards two trees. I managed to steer the bike to avoid trees but I was going down. I ended up twisting my right knee in the wrong direction and landing about 10-15 feet from where I orginally landed the bike. I got up pretty quick but knew that I had tweaked my knee pretty good. I was able to move it in all directions, never heard a pop or snap so I figured it was a sprain. The bike was fine – no damage. Luckily enough this was last run of the day as we were heading in the direction of the carpark and Kev had to get back, so I just jumped back on the bike, rode to car, loaded up and headed back into Auckaland.
I went home, iced my knee and pretty much lazed around the rest of the day. Monday the knee was stiff as hell! I couldnt put a lot of pressure on it, so more ice and rest. It’s feeling better today, still cant put a lot of weight on it and it took me double the time to walk to work but it is on the mend. I hate injuries, but i guess it was just a matter of time and the nature of the game.
Michelle's first ride.. no falls, no blood.. total sucess!
Today I took Michelle out to Woodhill to do some mountain biking. We rented a van from Jucy and headed out west. Woodhill have some decent bikes for rent so Michelle picked one up. This was the first time Michelle ever mountain biked. I gave Michelle a run through of what to expect and the basics of riding and we were off. She did great. I know she was pretty nervous and at times a little scared but she pushed through and did awesome. We rode some trails for about an hour and half and then we breaked for lunch. After that I went off on my own to ride as she had enough for the day. I rode for another hour and half and then decided to pack it in.
Black sand on my pasty white legs!
We then wanted to check Muriwai Beach, which is a black sand beach about a half-hour from Woodhill. Ive never been to a beach with black sand and it was beautiful. Driving there was crazy – winding and sharp bends, tight roads, with a speed limit of 80km – wtf? I wasn’t driving 80km and couldn’t believe someone would actually drive those roads that fast. We walked the beach, watched some surfers carve it up, played in the sand and just chilled out.
No better way to end a great Saturday then with some fish and chips.
By now we were pretty hungry so we headed back to Auckland and down to mission bay to grab some fish and chips – you cant go to the beach with out having fish and chips! If you are ever down in mission bay definitely hit up the Fish Pot!
It was a great Satuday. Michelle got in her first ride and totally pushed herself outside of her comfort zone! You did great babe! Im heading back to Woodhill with the boyz tomorrow to hit some gaps and jumps!
I cant believe I am stuck in this city for another day. We have an info session at 5pm so we have all day to waste. We really should have organized the info session for lastnight, as we could have left last night, saved some coin on accommodation and wouldn’t have had to spent any more time in the Tron. Fuck me!
We had to check out of our shite hotel by 10am and then we decided we would go to the public library to do some work. At all of the fairs we’ve been attending we have run a promotion; Join our mailing and list and you have the chance to win a Work USA program and free flight to the USA through STA. There has been plenty of interest, as students love free, so we have a lot of data entry to do – names, emails and programs of interest. Hell day! Im not a fan of data entry and im not a fan of Hamilton – so long ass shite day!
We finished that up and then hit up a food court for a late lunch/dinner. After that it was off to the venue for the info session to set-up. The info session was actually pretty good, had about 25 people attend so I would consider it a success. The session lasted about 2 hours and then we were on the road back to Auckland. Goodbye Tron.. I hope I never see you again.
I have taken Friday off as I have a lot of lieu time to use from this trip. The weather in Auckland is rainy. Sounds like winter is here – rain all day, all night! Reminds be of winter in Vancouver.
There is an industry party on Friday night.. sweet as! Trying to get some riding in on Sat and Sunday other than that, it’s time to relax and catch up with Michelle.
Today I was up at about 6:00am as Amy and I had to head off early to Hamilton for a career fair at the University of Waikato. Ive only heard negative things about Hamilton or as a lot of locals call it the Tron. Well it lived up to it. What a boring hole of a place. The career fair was brutal, very slow traffic and the uni kids really didn’t seem to interested. I guess they all want to stay in Hamilton. It kind of reminded me of being in Palmy – another place to skip if you are visiting NZ.
After the fair Amy and I checked into our accommodation, The Victoria Suites. What a shit hole. It was cold, drafty and all under construction. The room was huge, but that didn’t help when trying to warm it up with one little ass heater! So far the Tron has not impressed!
Back to the career fair scene today! Amy and I were at the Auckland University Career Fair. At first I thought it was going to be a long day, as a lot of the students at the beginning seemed too cool for school, but as the day progressed it got a little better. Yah, there were some total douches that were really into themselves and would never want to leave NZ… good because Canada doesn’t want them..tools!
We were giving away a free flight to the US and US program and some of the students didn’t even seem interested. At other universities it got a lot of attention and the students were more than willing to sign up, but in Auckland it was a little different. Ive heard about the Auckland Uni stereotype – spoiled kids, who were there on Mom and Dad’s bill, think they should be handed everything and well they lived up to it!
Tomorrow Amy and I are off to Hamilton for a career fair and an info session. From what ive heard.. don’t expect much –just like Hamilton back in Canada ahaha
First day back in the office since the start of the road trip. It was pretty much a catch-up day. Going through all the emails over the past two weeks, submitting expenses and time in lieu ect. I am looking forward to getting back into the office for a couple weeks to get something accomplished. It’s hard to get anything done when you are on the road and have limited access to your emails and files. Oh well, im sure after a week at the office Ill be thinking about hitting the road again. There maybe another road trip coming up where I will be hitting up Nelson – the sunniest place in NZ and back to Christchurch. Im hoping to be involved in this as free travel is the best and I would love to get back to Christchurch to do some riding with Dave and the boys!
Last day of the trip and then Im back to Auckland for 2 days! Wahoo. I worked the last day of the CSA Ski Sale and it was shite. Saturday was great with lots of traffic, but Sunday was a sleeper. It’s one thing when you are standing for 8 hours talking with people and it’s totally different when you are standing there for 8 hours and there’ is no one to talk too. The day drags! In the morning there was steady traffic but by 11am it was pretty slow… painfully slow. On Saturday I made a new friend, Joseph an eight-year-old kid whose dad was working one of the ski booths. He came over to our booth and really liked my nametag so I told him I would make him one. I found a sticker, wrote out his name and boom we were instantly best buddies. They were serving sausages on Sunday and he offered to go get me one and I took the offer. Good kid! I finally got through the day and then Bex dropped me off at the airport for my flight back to Auckland. I hit up the bar for a beer and a burger before getting on the plane. It was probably the messiest burger I have ever eaten. It had an egg, beats, lettuce, tomatoes, bbq sauce, pickles, tomato sauce and mustards on it. Tasty and messy – just the way I like it. I managed to keep it off my pants – pretty proud of that ahah. As soon as I got on the plane I was asleep. I sat down, slipped on the ipod and I was out. I don’t remember taking off at all ahaha. I woke up as we were descending to land. We landed no problem; I grabbed my luggage, found my bus and headed home.