Saturday 8 November 2014

Whingeing Poms

I don't know. You wake up to a view like this, the clear sky lasts all day, it's warm enough for a tshirt and sandals finally, and it's a Saturday with nothing to do but enjoy the delights of Waiheke Island. What could there possibly be to complain about? From my point of view, nothing at all: it was a day spent visiting gardens, marvelling at what other people can do with sites as steep as ours, at hard work and clever ideas, at stunning views, and nosing through the windows of cottages and multi-million dollar mansions alike. Plus a creamy mushroom crepe from Ostend Market. Excellent.
With half an hour to spare before the ferry left, we called in at Malone's Irish pub, simply because it was handy, and there in the garden were two English tourists, men around 70, sitting in the sun in their shirtsleeves on a padded bench with a couple of beers in front of them. Were they happy? No.

With only five (five!) days in New Zealand, they'd decided to spend one of them on Waiheke. Good move. But what was their sole mission? To go to the Irish pub and then have a pizza. True. No tour of the island, no lunch at a vineyard, no walk on a beach, not even a stroll around the little town of Oneroa. No, all they wanted was a proper Irish pub and a pizza. And even that modest desire hadn't been met as they'd wanted because, not knowing where to get off, they'd ended up at Onetangi, and had had to wait there until the bus came back again, because it was the driver's lunch break. "That would never happen in England," one said indignantly. "Two hours we were stuck there!"

This is Onetangi:
They did admit, the bus stop was at a beachside bar with a sunny veranda. Sigh. But it gets worse: their next complaint was about the cost of domestic airfares in NZ because they were flying from Auckland to Queenstown: "I could fly to Tenerife for less!" And how long are they spending in Queenstown? One night. ONE. NIGHT.

This is Queenstown:
But, you know, it's all right, because they're also spending five days in Cairns, and four in Darwin! Not that there's anything wrong with either of those places, I've written enthusiastically about them both and won't complain if I'm sent there again - but really, who advised them to divvy up their time like that? It's such a wasted opportunity. Though, as they were also spirited on the topic of the impossibility of finding a decent pub outside England, I think as travellers they're lost causes anyway. Pft.

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