Monday, 13 June 2011

New Zealand

We were up bright and early Wednesday morning for our flight to Auckland.  Having left home with plenty of time to spare we ended up being the last to check in for our flight!  I hate being rushed at the airport!!  The freeway was covered in ice and there were cars sliding around all over the place, police, flashing lights, accidents.  I have never seen that highway so icy.  It was crunching under the car tyres.  There was no choice but to crawl along slowly behind the row of cars.  It wasn't a good start. 

We quickly parked the car and rushed to get in the queue to check in for our flight, feeling relieved that there were many people arriving behind us in the queue.  That was until someone official looking called out asking if anyone in the queue was waiting for the Auckland flight and we were the only ones!  We were given an express pass to hurry through customs and security and were glad to be on the plane.

We drove North of Auckland to Warkworth to have dinner with Su, Mick's twin sister.  It was a lovely evening and a great meal.  We stayed just a few doors up at Warkworth Lodge.  I was disappointed to discover my camera battery had gone flat so the few photos I took were on my phone.  Better than nothing.

Thursday we had breakfast in a nearby cafe and headed off South, back through Auckland, towards Taupo where Mick's mum, Robin, lives.  We saw the turnoff to where Clive and Marie live so made a last minute decision to turn off and have coffee with them.  We got off the highway and rang them... they were home.  It was a bit of a rushed chat and coffee considering we hadn't seen them for a couple of years, but we would be back Saturday afternoon and could talk more then.  We had lunch at Cambridge, my favourite little town of those I've seen in NZ, and reached Taupo in time for afternoon tea with Robin.

Following a stunning view of Mt Ruapehu covered with snow as we headed into Taupo, we weren't to see it again.  The weather turned rainy and pertty much stayed that way.  It was a pleasant visit with a couple of lovely meals out with Robin, but we didn't get our walk around the lake until the last morning in Taupo when the rain eased off.

We did our usual side step on the way out of Taupo to gaze at Huka Falls and then had lunch at Matamata, where Mick grew up.  The tree is still there when he and Clive used to play, their neighbouring houses haven't changed much either.  The old family friends that we often call in on were away at a funeral so we drove on to Clive and Marie's.

As usual we had a great visit.  We talked about our narrowboat plans and Clive and Marie's Europe adventure plans. Great to see you guys!

I was determined to allow more time than necessary to get to the airport and check in.  Everything went fine and we were waiting at the boarding gate when there seemed to be a fair amount of discussion happening among the boarding crew and other officials.  An announcement was made that we would be leaving half an hour late due to the ash from the Chile volcano eruption. Once we were finally on the plane the pilot announced that we would be detouring over Brisbane.  It was to be a long trip.  As we landed, the pilot said we were near on the last plane being permitted to land in Melbourne as they were closing down due to the ash cloud.  The airport was amazingly quiet and we breezed through.  We were extremely glad to get home knowing thousands of other passengers were now being held up and unable to fly.

What is it with those Kiwis!  The coffee comes in a bowl!

1 comment:

Tom and Jan said...

Great photo of Huka Falls. We were there same time last year.