Auckland to Hamilton 66 miles
Transfer to the Hotel Tainui by Supershuttle- the only method of transfer available.
Just a short flight from Auckland and as I commented in my last post, the pilot did look very young. It was a tiny 20 seater plane. Full. We all sat in single seats each side of the fuselage. Goodness knows where they put the luggage.
But then, we still only had one bag!
Flew through some lovely cloud formations and it was easy to see why the Maoris called NZ Aotearea, the long white cloud!
Hamilton airport tiny and when we went out to look for some means to get to town, the place was totally deserted. But after a few minutes the Supershuttle arrived, and informed us it meets every flight.
Hotel Tainui luxurious! Bedroom standard but roomy and the bed was huge and comfortable. Had an interesting headboard that I might try and copy at home. No wifi to speak of but this proved not a problem as Hamilton has excellent free wifi covering the town centre, including just across the road from the hotel.
Both cricket teams staying in the hotel which was rather fun so we spent some time, identifying who each one was over breakfast the next morning. Saw more of the Zimbabweans than the South Africans.
Still no bag so sent Ian off for a walk along the river whilst I shopped for more essential items. Needed a change of clothes! Everybody we met was so friendly. Nobody passed without saying hello and asking how you are were, and evidently interested in your answer. Got our vote for the friendliest place we visited on the whole holiday.
The Game – South Africa v Zimbabwe
Headed off to Seddon Park at lunch time. Tiny little ground with mostly grassed areas. Great seats in the one seated area next to very noisy supporters from both sides. Lots of children, many barefoot – commonly seen in NZ. Autograph hunting as well and messing about. And the cricketers very happy to oblige. One fielder gathered books and bats in a pile on the boundary, signing them between balls. Kept us entertained all day! And night. A day night game, starting at 2pm and likely to finish about ten.
A very hot day! Thought it was going to beat me for a while. No shade! Cooled off when clouds came over about 5. Phew!!
Highly impressed with the promotion of health and well being at all their matches, and to a lesser extent in Australia. A Red team going round the ground encouraging people to use free sun screen to cover up. And reminders to keep hydrated with free water.
As for the game, Zimbabwe did well. I was rooting for them both as the underdogs and because some South African supporters near us stayed sitting during the Zimbabwe National Anthem but stood for their own! But South Africa won in the end.
Next day – my bag!! Arrived in the hotel at 02.41hrs! Just in time for a quick unpack,and repacking with clothes for us both in both cases! Leisurely breakfast with some rather despondent Zimbabweans. And then off to our next stop, Dunedin!