Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Enter Extreme Edge: thick sweat lingering in still air. 
When Tim asked if I wanted to go with him to the climbing gym, I said yes. Yes, I want to ride the train and see my new city. Right before the Panmure stop, I could tell we were entering into an industrial neighborhood and my eagerness to explore was suddenly dampened by my obsession with safety. 

The streets were lined with garbage. Not garbage-bag-trash but everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-[literally]-trash, as if someone had taken a house, lifted it off its foundation, turned it upside down, and shook it. Then, they put the house back down and swept the contents to the curb.  It was not just one house that was moated with household crap, there were many. 

The backdrop to the gym is the Mt Wellington Domain, a small, bright green eruption in a metallic landscape. Although its accessibility is alluring, I put in about 12+ miles of walking/running yesterday. Today, I am trying to store up some energy to put towards my chronic deficit. 

The gym has a lot of neat things for kids to climb: a skyscraper, a train, a rocketship, a clock, the ocean.  I'm not sure how great it is for adults, I will leave that for Tim to decide.  I found a place to sit, next to a pool table and airhockey [I love airhockey!], surrounded by folded walls covered with oddly shaped 3D confetti. What do you call those things?

The craziest thing happened today:
I had my usual 1hour internet pass from the coffee shop and looked at reservations* for hiking the Milford Track, knowing they would be booked until their spring, but curious anyway.  I checked the availability on my birthday, April 6. Wanderlust. No availability, no surprise.  Then a prompt came up that said the next available date to begin the hike was April 7.  Wow!!! The calendar showed that this was the one and only reservation left of the season. ONE. Just one. REALLY.  I would have to hike by myself, but, uh, ... so I booked it.  I am grateful that I can celebrate my life with one of the most life affirming gifts in the universe: to live my dream while fending off blood thirsty sandflies.

Also, Tim and I registered for an 8.4K run here in Auckland on March 13! Round the Bays, here we come. Or, here I come because Tim doesn't ever run! [should be interesting, ha!]

*The NZ Department of Conversation regulates the number of hikers on the track per day/per season.  The Milford Sound is one of the most popular -- most beautiful -- hikes in the world. I have wanted to do this forever.  I was unable to do this hike the last time I was here because the season had not yet started. I was certain I would not be able to do it this trip either because I delayed, having prioritized some other things for the last few months.  Yep!  FYI: I have never been camping [almost true].

Delicious vegan sandwiches at Raw Power, Vulcan Lane.
Auckland, NZ

 Church. Auckland, NZ

 Thai punny. Auckland, NZ

Auckland City vs Waitakere. Auckland, NZ

Auckland City vs Waitakere. Auckland, NZ

 Carrot. Symonds Street Cemetery, Auckland, NZ.
 Be Done. Symonds Street Cemetery, Auckland, NZ.