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Published: January 14th 2011
It's not often you get to picnic sitting on the edge of a volcano ( not active - hopefully). But there I was yesterday with Patricai at Mount Eden in Auckland city- what an amazing view 360 degrees round the city and out to the islands in the Gulf . The cone and rim of the old volcano crater is grassed and so quite safe to sit there with your coffee and eating your homemade macadamia nit shortbread ( Patricia is a very good cook!!). I ahve had some wonderful picnic spots and more still to come. Suz had arrived early yesterday morning and is staying at Emma's - so she was out sightseeing and I am sure we were passing each other by half of the day.
I spent some time yesterday on another beach - reading and paddling before I going to visit Clare and Chris and family who I stayed with 3 years ago. They had jus t done the Tongariro crossing as part of a training programme to do a 100km walk round Lake Taupo ( an Oxfam charity walk) . They sadi that the crossing over Tongariro volcano is very challenging and they have been walking
20 km walks every week lately...and they were togged out in all mnt equiiment and gear. Lovely to see them and the kids who are now teenagers.
So today has been the packing up day and now I have my rental car ( I have been driving automatics for the last 3 months so I kept forgetting to change gear !!!) and set off soon to pick up Suz and then we go off to the Bay of Plenty. This is not a house swap but a week in a timeshare unit at a resort- and have heard good reports about how nice it is there - so I am sure we will not be dissapointed.
Today I leave my lovely home in Auckland and my hosts Patricia and Peter and I thank them so much for their warmth and kindness and for treating like one of the family....but they are not getting rid of me as I am returning to stay here for a few days at the end of my travels when I fly out from Auckland at the beginnig of April.
It's been great to spend time here in Auckland and surrounds and I feel that the
North Island is sometimes underrated - because the South Island has all the big scenery - mountains, glaciers the sounds - it is often the prefferred destination - but I would say to anyone try and spend more time here too - and I havent finished with the North Island yet - lots still to explore.
So bye for now - it was interesting to get the comment from Jocelyne about her father's experience on 90 mile beach in WW11. Keep the comments coming - its lovely to know you are reading and keeping up with me.
Love to all Lynne xxx
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