It was an early wake up call this morning for the flight to Auckland. But I got to the airport early enough that I was able to have a light breakfast in the Air New Zealand lounge before boarding. We landed in Auckland on time, and with my bags coming off the flight fairly quickly (gee I love flying business class!), I was through customs with 30 minutes of landing. I had pre-purchased the airport shuttle to take me into the city but by the time it had done all its stops along the way it was about a one hour trip to the Heritage Hotel where I'm staying.
I decided on the flight that my ear was not showing any sign of getting better so it was time to check out the local walk-in clinic. There was a private clinic about four blocks from the hotel, and with no more than a 10-minute wait (and a NZ$55 fee) I was in to see a doctor. She confirmed my self-diagnosis of swimmer's ear, prescribed an antibiotic and drops and I was into the pharmacy next door in short order. The drugs were expensive, although probably not too out of line compared to Canada when the weaker NZ$ was taken into account.
I then spent the balance of the afternoon roaming around downtown, and wound up not far from where our ship had docked at the end of our Australia/New Zealand cruise last March. I even thought briefly of having an early dinner at the same Italian restaurant that Barb, Gary, Karen, and Jim and ate at, memorable because at the time there was a vicious rainstorm hitting Auckland and a howling wind blowing through our dinner. However, I opted for a more economic alternative and settled for a couple of cold beers at a waterside patio bar instead, followed by a pizza back near my hotel.
Our last visit to Auckland hadn't been all that nice because of the weather, but I can happily report Auckland is a much nicer city when the sun is shining. And there's obviously many sights to see outside the city as well. But this was only an overnighter, so if I'm back this way again in the future I'll plan on more time, but focus my touring on the surrounding area in a rental car.