Fabulous Northland

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January 12th 2011
Published: January 12th 2011
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Hi everyone
Patricia here is a bit of a slave driver and she is telling me to get on and catch up with my blog!!! So here I am. She also makes us go out walking and swimming everyday..and even gets Peter to add in a bike ride some days.
I came back from Bay of Islands on Monday ..what a fabulaous drive it was through Northland across to the West coast and then back down to Auckland. How to describe it - sometimes I thought I was driving in Scotland with a few tropical trees thrown in... winding roads ( hardly any traffic) though farmland and then forests, horses and cattle grazing, beehives dotted here and there...pretty homesteads- then suddenly you are in ancient volcanic hills ( Northumberland Nationa Park!!!) and some peaks and then there was a huge estuary - a lovely little town Rawene , with some old houses and a greta ploace for coffe sitting over the water. Next surprise as I drove along a wide stretch of a turquoise bay with AWESOME sand dunes suddenly appeared ...gobsmacked at Opononi !! This place had a dolphin who used to come into the bay to play with peoplein the fifities - he was called Opo. So what an amzing picnic spot I had on the headland above that bay. Then down the coast to the south and through the Waipoua Forest, about 20 km of twisting winding roads, which has some of the biggest and oldest Kauri trees. So it was out of the car a couple of times and walk in the forest to expereince these giants...ahvent I been so privileged to be able to be close to some giant magnificent trees on my travels. These are absolutley monstrous and so wide they have a girth of about 15m... and are probably grown from a seed 200o years old!!!!!!!!!!!
So what a great trip and again nice to be coming home back to my place in Auckland - with Patricia having a lovely meal ready for me - green lipped mussels, and prawn salad - don't these lovely people spoil me!!!

I am allowed to rest at night and have a good sleep - then its off to see more of this lovely North Island... staying with the locals is always great as they know some of the best places to go... sun was shining so off up the East coast again we went....car packed with picnic and togs ( thats swimming stuff) and jandals ( thats flip flops) and sunhats and of course we have put our sunscreen on - oh sorry i forgot most of you reading this are suffering the Northern winter!!! Hee hee!!! Through a lovely coastal town Orewa- which has a very long beach and then to a Regional Park - Wenderholme. Fabulous grounds of an old house , beautiful trees and walks along the beach to the river mouth and then along by the river with a few folk fishing. Of course after our walk we had to go swimming and then have a picnic. Then it was a drive up a beautiful (have I used that word too often!!) steep sided valley filled with tree ferns to an old settlement of Puhoia - where people came from Bohemia to settle here... very quaint red roofed houses and church...and a cheese factory and cafe. So Patricia gets us organised and made us stop there for tea and cheeescake....no wonder I have put about 1/2 stone on!!!
Time to go out in the eveningand meet Jackie and Goff - who are more house swappers - they have been to my house in October and Suz and I are going to their cottage on a lake after next week. Livingin AUckland they picked me up and took me some other areas of the city and then out for a meal. Lovely to meet them ...and I think apart from Anthony and Fiona from Brisbane i will have met all my swappers by the end of the 6 months.

This morning was a shopping and doing a few jobs day - K Mart I found is good for cheap t-shirts and shorts - so got a few supplies today - I dont want Suzanne to shout at me for wearing the wrong clothes and anything that doesnt match. I was on cooking detail today too ....Patricia has cooked for me and Peter wont let me do his washing up job so I thought the least I could do was make them one of our family favourites - pork parmigiana with taglitelle and green beans and snow peas. Patricia couldnt do nothing so she made some macadamia shortbread giving Peter the job of cracking the nuts which fall into the garden from the neighbour's tree.... she does get us organised.
Later in the day we went to the local beach at Long Bay and had to walk all along the beach before our swim...there was very little wind today and the sea was so calm - lovely for swimming and as always greta views of Rangitoto across the bay.
Suz is on her way we have been tracking the plane as it left LA - so its going to be great to meet up - but sad to be packing up to leave P+P. However they aren't shot of me yet as I will be back before I leave NZ at the end of March.
Pick up the rental car tomorrow in the city so will let you all know how that goes ...hope I can find my way back here to the North Shore.
Nite nite everyone.
Lv Lynne xx

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12th January 2011

it all sounds wonderful
Dear Lynne, Your trip sounds just great. We are on holidays here and I feel positively lazy as I read about your travels. We haven't had the alarm on this month and are having lovely sleep-ins!!Thankyou for sending me your trip news. The photos are amazing. Take care and keep enjoying. Love from Suzanne, Amelia and Kate xoxo
12th January 2011

Looks and sounds so beautiful
What stunning scenery!!! I am soooooooooooooo jealous. You would know you were in Scotland if you were slithering all over the road as we are--snow still on the ground--been here since November 28th. & I am so glad to hear I am not the only one with a daughter who scrutinises her mother's clothes (Mum, why have you come out dressed as a rainbow? is a comment I won't forget) Carry on having fun, Lynne & thank you for your beautiful descriptions & photos that bring some sunshine to a very cold Scotland. XX
13th January 2011

wonderful NZ
My dear Lynne, you sound so very happy and are making me want to visit NZ tomorrow, especially the Bay of Islands area. The photos are just lovely. Do hope you are as happy as you sound, much love Jenny xxoo

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