Thursday, 10 February 2011

NZ ctd

Mon 7th

Last day in N Plymouth and an absolute washout that was predicted never appeared. We didnt get a view of Mt Taranaki but we did have a good day. We had a really nice visit to Pukekara Park which has to be one of the loveliest Parks anywhere.
Had a great run along the front late afternoon. Did 1m in the 5 fingers then 5m in normal shoes at 6.50 pace. V happy with that.
We ate again at Marinovich's which was just as good despite Liz's reservations about eating fish on a Monday. I had scallops followed by John Dory.

Tue 8th

A long drive today up north to Kerikeri. In fact a v v long drive. Almost 9 hours in fact.
Arrived at a lovely B&B run by Geoff and Chris (both boys). This place is immaculate.
We went to the local pub just round the corner and had a great meal. In fact we havent had a disappointing meal in NZ. I had green lipped mussels followed by a Moroccan lamb salad.

Wed 9th

We have a great room here dominated by a massive image of Gail Tilsley!
We woke to really dreich day. Headed off to Waitangi which is NZs most historic spot where the treaty was signed giving the Maori rights. That was in 1840.
We took the tour which was superb, conducted by a nice Maori girl who could trace her ancestry back 26 generations. We had a group with us on the tour that had 2 elderly folk in wheelchairs.
The tour went down a pretty steep hill to see a truly massive canoe.
I felt it was a bit unfair to let one of he ladies in the group push her Father up the hill so I offered. It was quite a push and they seemed grateful. We got chatting and it turned out Sally knew Alan Murray who is my predecessor in Comrie and works with her husband. She phoned him up and we had a chat. We got chatting and before we knew where we were we had an invitation to dinner that evening.
The rain continued so after some lunch we headed home and after a 5m run we headed to Sally's which is a short distance away.
Their house is quite southfork like and we were dining in a kind of room without the outer walls and a massive fire in the end gable. We were invited to some sort of extended family dinner with the 5 from the tour, sister and family. We had a great evening. Terry is from Zimbabwe and was a selector for the national cricket team. Seems they left Zimbabwe in a hurry like a lot of people.

Thurs 10th

We had booked ourselves a day on a tall ship to go around the bay of islands today. Fortunately it was a much better day and we got the ferry from Pahia (worth a miss) to Russell to board our ship.
We had a loony as our captain, definitely on the "spectrum" but he did seem to know how to sail the boat. There were 2 glamourous assistants who did all the hard work.
We had a lovely day sailing around the area.
went ashore to climb a hill for the view before having a barbeque lunch on board.
A really memorable day.
In the evening we went to an Israeli restaurant (a 1st for me) called Jerusalem. Another great meal!

Fri 11th

A lazy today today. Headed up the road to see some Kauri trees. They really are impressive. massive and dead straight.
After that we went into Kerikeri which is a lovely town that we have really taken to.
The day turned out well despite another duff forecast.

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