|Arrived Auckland last evening following a splendidly beautiful 12-hour train ride from Wellington. Took the ferry (10 minutes) to Northshore/Devonport, then the bus to Takapuna, and arrived at the Takapuna International Motor Lodge (where I had stayed one night previously) about 8pm. Then the ground began shaking...not my first time to experience a quake in NZ (and also a small Tsunami). A seismic website reports almost immediately and keeps one informed almost by the minute. The ground-swaying got up as high as 3.5 at the site perhaps 2-300 miles away), went on for perhaps one hour, and originated at the North-Eastern part of the South Island, site of the November 7.8 quake.
Traumatized, I slept in my clothes and shoes until almost midnight, when it felt safe to finally crawl into bed as usual. Locals I spoke with this morning, however, did not even recognize it was happening. Quakes are just a part of life in NZ.
I did go online to view the tsunami evacuation maps, noting my motel at Anzac and Lake Pepuke Road is at the outer reaches of the anticipated tsunami zone. Should it become necessary, at this location I would merely walk a mile or so up Lake Pepuke Road.
This well may be my favorite spot on the planet; the geographical mental image I associate with most-everything pleasant. It is a wonder to me, however, that my initial bonding with this spot occurred as a newly-minted Mormon missionary; not a pleasant task, I must say. People-wise, however, I loved NZ from Day One. This is a spectacular place to meet and chat. For instance, this morning at breakfast, I was in dialog with a couple about my age. Pleasant folks. She was slightly on the outrageous side...Christmasy electronic tear-drop earrings flashing red and green sparkles.
If you want to see some visuals, Google Takapuna, Takapuna Beach, Devonport or Auckland north shore. Also, you may find some quite good home made video travelogs of the immediate area on You Tube.