The next day Colin and me went for breakfast and wandered about Auckland. We went back to the shop we saw the night before and got chatting to a guy there who turned out to go to uni with Alex and had come down to Raglan a few times. After a while we ran out of things to do and the weather was still awful and raining so we went to a Starbucks and met Nash. Colin introduced me to a Chai Tea Latte which was really good! Anyway, once about 2 o clock came around we headed out into the rain; Colin went to get the car and I went to get my bag out of baggage storage at the hostel. Nash and me waited under an overhang outside a shop while the rain really chucked it down before we piled into Colins car. We then had to try and find the motorway, which every other time has been perfectly simple but this time was impossible. I was turning the map every which way and the window wipers were flicking side to side at full speed trying to clear the rain and failing. Eventually we got on the '1' which was the right road, just the wrong direction, so we turned around and eventually got going the right way. I kept seeing signs for Auckland airport, 10km, 5km, 2km... the closer we got the harder it was for me to not get upset and teary, it was awful. After no time at all Colin pulled in at the drop off point and Nash got out and gave me a hug, I just sobbed like an idiot, haha, and then Colin put my bag on my back and gave me a kiss and then I walked off into the airport. Once standing in the check-in que, still with tears rolling down my cheeks, I realised I left my phone in Colins car. That just made me even more sad. It all just really sucked! Anyway, I got my ticket, went through security, sat around, emailed Colin, went to the departure gate and sat there. All the time just with wet eyes. I think leaving Raglan and then finally New Zealand was the hardest thing I've had to do. It was such a great community down there, life was how I've wanted it to be for years. I'm so happy to have had that perfect time there, because its made my trip even better. But I'm so gutted that even if I went back things would never be exactly the same. Leaving Nash was hard because I don't know when I'll see her next, probably not for another year and we had such a great time just chilling out at her house with cups of tea and good N.Z TV. And then leaving Colin was just crazy hard because I don't know when, if I ever will, see him again, and thats really tough because we really clicked. But we'll see, theres nothing to be done right now. The flight was fine, I was sat to a nice old lady, and as we came into land over Sydney we flew over the Opera House and Harbour Bridge which was really cool. I quickly figured out I needed to get the train into central Sydney so caught that, then it was a short walk to my hostel room. By then I was pretty knackered so emptied things out of my bag and then went to bed.
In the morning I noticed my throat was a bit more sore but igorned it. My ears had also popped on the plane when we went up and didn't unpop when we came back down so I could hardly hear, which was a tad inconvenient. Anyway, I left the hostel and walked towards the botanic gardens. Once there I spotted a nice little cafe outside so sat down for a bowl of museli with yogurt. It was brought over to me and all was fine until I raised the spoon to put it in my mouth and in half of the reflection I saw a black dot with lines, like legs, coming out of it. I dropped the spoon into my bowl in shock thinking it was a spider (I think I was on edge because Matt (who I met in the Cooks) had said there were a lot of giant spiders kicking about the botanic gardens). After sifting about in my bowl very cautiously I decided it wasn't there. So went to put another mouthful in when I saw it again, I was about to recoil again but then looked up and realised what I was seeing as a spider in my spoon was actually the reflection of the giant umbrella above me and the spikes holding the material up were the spiders legs. I felt very silly. After all that I carried on my walk to the harbour and once there went around to the Opera House, which was kind of cool but not staggering, for some reason I didn't find it all that fab. Anyway after the mandatory photographs I walked around the harbour to the bottom of the bridge where I saw a load of crazy people walking over the bridge. Crazy, crazy people. Few more pictures taken before I headed back. Along my way I came upon the Museum of Contemporary Art, which was free! Well theres nothing I love more than a free art gallery! The exhibition downstairs was by Fiona Hall which was very good. All based around the effects man is having on the world, global warming and things like that, expressed in a really clever way. Then upstairs there was an exhibition on Californian Art which just made me think of Colin, but was also pretty good. Once I left the gallery it started really chucking it down with rain so I put my jacket on and made a dash for the nearest train station before catching one up to my stop, saving myself the half hour walk in the rain. I grabbed a pasta salad at the station and then went back to the hostel. I went online and updated up until Auckland and then went up to the room for my dinner. I changed into my pyjamas rather early planning to just chill in my room before going to sleep, however there was a knock at the door. I thought maybe I should throw something else on so I didn't look like I was ready for bed at 5 or 6, whatever the time was. But I didn't really have anything to hand so just opened the door. There on my doorstep was guy holding a tray of shots and a girl who said, "Hiiii, why don't you come downstairs for some drinks, tonight is pyjama night, oh and you're in your pyjamas so you're all set..." They were so bloomin enthusiastic that I had to take one of the shots and promised I might consider coming down for them to leave me alone. Very amusing, anyway needless to say I didn't go down due to feeling ill, tired and Raglan home-sick.
The next day I woke up with my throat even worse than the day before, swallowing was ridiculously sore and no amount of water was making it go away. I decided to look down my throat with the torch and afterwards wished I hadn't. I had very swollen toncils and there were big pussy spots on them like ulcers. I did not feel like getting out of bed at all. But I had to check out of my room into a dorm because there was no space, so at 10 I went to check out and got to check into my new room luckily not having to wait until 2pm. I went online to try and find out what was wrong with me and read a few things about throat ulcers which told me to avoid spicy or sweet food, alcohol and gargle with tea tree or salt water. After that i decided to get some breakfast before going back to bed, so I went around the corner to a cafe place where a nice man said I looked very fresh, which was very nice considering I felt like I had just been scraped off the road! He asked where I was from once he heard my accent and I said Edinburgh. He said, oh well thats funny I used to work there, at that new complex, whats it called... I suggested the Omni, and he said that was it, he worked in the restaurant La Tasca, I said I knew it, that I had actually eaten there just before I left for my trip. Its such a small world. Anyway I had a toasted bagel with cream cheese and salmon which was yummy, although I didn't manage it all as it started to scrape my throat. Once back at the room I met one of the girls in my room. She was from Canada and on her way to New Zealand. She was a bit shy so we didn't talk much, I curled up in bed and read for a while before having a nap. Later on I went out on a quest to find orange juice. I did that and went back to the room and read more. Another girl came into the room who was nice. She was an Ozzie who worked as a legal researcher/ski instructor/nanny which seemed really cool because she said she could get work anywhere she liked and travel all over the place. Anyway she went out and I tried to get to sleep early as I had an early morning.
The next day I woke up on the last of 3 alarms on my ipod (which at that point was my only way of setting alarms, not entirely effective due to the tiny short alarm goes off through my earphones, hardly loud enough) but atleast I woke up. I got up (this was at 5am) grabbed my bag and went down to reception where I was told I needed my pillowcase. Typically my room was on the 6th floor and being in a hurry to get the train to the airport and running late already I didn't wait for the slow lift and ran up 6 flights with my throat dry as sand paper. Once I finally checked out I quick walked to the station. My ticket on the way from the airport had been a couple of dollars so when I used the ticket machine and it told me I owed it $15 I think it must have had some kind of tourist censor that it could tell it could rip me off. Anyway with no choice and luckily just enough cash (I literally had $1 left after that) on me I got the ticket and went through. I thought it'd be fine finding the platform as I'd worked it all before but after trying 3 different platforms saying 'airport' I gave up and marched up to a cleaner or someone and asked him which one it was. He said he thought I was looking for the airport and told which one it was. I went down and 2 minutes later the train arrived and on I got, relieved to finally be a bit closer to resting and getting a drink at the airport. I got to check in (which was nicely the furthest away desk from where I entered) and gave the lady my ticket while dropping my bag. She tapped away as they do and then asked me if I had anything else, another ticket, that she couldn't do it with the bit of paper. I told her rather crankily that I had flown half way around the world with that 'bit of paper' and it would work. She turned out to be a beginner and the girl next to her had to do it for her. Anyway, once all that was done I got a bottle of water, drank half of it and then realised I had to go through security and leave the other half of it. Anyway the plane was brand new and I had loads of room plus it was a Singapore Airlines flight and they are the best yet who I've flown with, really good service. Also, I watched Juno which I think is the best film I've seen all year. For those who don't know its about a 16 year old girl who gets pregnant and decides to give the baby to a married couple who she gets to know. The actress who played Juno was so good though, and such a good character. Really loved it. Once in Singapore I had a little time and discovered a Tiffany there so went in and tried on a load of bracelets and looked at pens just for fun and the sales lady did look bored, haha. After that I caught my flight to Bangkok, where I met my mum at the baggage reclaim. It was really great seeing her, when I landed at Bangkok I had such a big grin on my face just thinking I would see her there. We booked a taxi for 1,200 baht (we later found out that it actually costs about 300 baht to get from the hotel to the airport) and got to our nice hotel. After a good catch up and some dinner we both went to sleep very quickly, completely exhausted.