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Published: February 12th 2012
Kia Ora (hello in Maori),
Hope you are all well! So sorry for delay in getting the New Zealand blogs to you!
We arrived in Auckland on Sunday and spent a week with Liz (Anton's mum's friend from Fiji) and her two standard poodles, Richie McPaw (6 months) and Lima (2 years). Liz's husband, Hugh, was there on Sunday but left to work away in Nelson on Monday morning. On Sunday night, Liz's mum, dad, brother (Spencer) and his wife, daughter and daughter's husband came over for dinner. Liz cooked a lamb curry and a vegetable curry and Spencer brought over a chicken curry. I was so worried that they were going to be too hot and wouldn't be able to eat them, but they were fine and really tasty - Liz is a great cook! For dessert, Liz made an enormous trifle and, even though I'm on a diet, I had to try it! It tasted bloody delicious and I forgot all about the diet! Anton had seconds of the curry and the trifle! We had a lovely time talking to the family although forgot to get the camera out! We will hopefully see them again when we
head back to Auckland.
We spent Monday just relaxing and planning our activities for Auckland; it was actually quite nice not to do anything. On Tuesday, Anton went out with Liz to get a registration certificate for her mazda mx5 so that we could drive it for the week. When Anton returned, we headed out to Auckland museum. It rained, so we couldn't put the top down but it was perfect weather for the museum. The museum has three floors and we spend over an hour on the ground floor, looking at all the artefacts from the pacific islands; I don't think either of us had ever been so interested in a museum! We booked a Maori cultural show at 1:30pm which was so good. They performed traditional Maori songs (one I recognised from school!) and they also performed the Haka, which gave Anton goose bumps! After the show, we were taken on a tour of the Maori part of the museum by one of the Maori's; it was really fascinating learning about their culture. We had a quick sandwich once the tour was finished and then headed up to the second floor and by the time we got
to the third floor, the museum was closing, so we were running around in the end, trying to see everything!
We woke up early on Tuesday as we were going to take the boat to Waiheke Island. So at 8:00am, we got in the car raring to go and...you guessed it, the car wouldn't start. It had to jump started on Monday, so we knew it was the battery! Anton tried in vain and in the end we text Liz and put off the day trip to Waiheke. Liz got back to us a little later and told us to walk to the local garage and ask if the mechanic would put a new battery in the car. So we walked to the garage and the mechanic gave us a jump starter kit to get the car started so we could drive it t the garage for the new battery. The car started and by lunch time we were on the road again. We decided to go to a place called One Tree Hill and another place called Mount Eden. As it was sunny, Anton persuaded me to drive with the roof down! One Tree Hill looked out over
Auckland although didn't actually have the One Tree on it! Apparently, a Maori cut it down because it wasn't a native tree. So we sat on No Tree Hill and ate our lunch. Mount Eden was a dormant volcano and had a massive crater; the crater was sacred because ancient Maori's were buried there. We sat a took in the views for a while. We came home to another stunning meal cooked by Liz! Her food tastes even better because she and Hugh grow all their own vegetables and herbs.
We were planning to go to Waiheke Island on Thursday but Anton woke up full of cold and feeling very sorry for himself, so we decided to stay in. He was feeling a little better in the afternoon so we took the dogs out for a walk - yes you heard right, I took a dog for a walk!!!
Anton was feeling much better on Friday so we went on the ferry to Rangitoto Island. The ferry wasn't until 12:30pm, so we went on a little road trip around the coast in the morning which was nice. We left it a bit fine to get to the ferry
and then couldn't find a parking space! Typical us!! Luckily we found one and had to run to catch the ferry! Rangitoto Island was a volcanic rock island; not very pretty looking but it had stunning views from the top. We also took a train tour around the island and learned how the convicts built all the roads and how it was used in the war. When we came home, Liz took us out to the local pub for dinner. We had a wonderful evening eating delicious food (again!) and Liz wouldn't let us pay; we felt very spoilt!
To repay the favour, Anton offered to cook on Saturday. We took the dogs for a walk in the morning and then went over to Liz's other house which she runs a business selling Fijian Palm Furniture from (called The House of Palms) to help her set up. We then went shopping for Anton's ingredients and when we returned, Liz shut up The House of Palms and while Anton got cooking, Liz and I went to the beach with the dogs! You'd be so proud of me with dogs now!!!Anton cooked us scallopps with chorizo and cauliflower puree, followed by
Beef Bourguignon with Komora mash and Liz cooked a bread and butter pudding for dessert - heaven!!!
On Sunday we said goodbye to Liz and went to collect our campervan for the next part of our travels!!!
Lots of Love from Kate and Anton xxxxxx
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