Gorgeous views during our drive

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September 3rd 2016
Published: December 13th 2017
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Geo: -37.1422, 175.542

Well, we left Auckland behind around 9 am, with packed lunch of lamb sausage sandwiches!
Rather than driving straight here (maybe 75 mins) we drove the coastal road the long way, and stopped to photograph many views of the mountains on this peninsula, and every bird. Many attractive little parks and pull offs. We chatted with volunteers at the Miranda wildfowl sanctuary - unfortunately tide was out so the birds were scattered. We passed many beaches with signs saying you could gather 50 cockles each, each day. We were jealous of these modest houses with the million dollar views. Arrived at our B&B by about 3 and explored the lovely grounds. I keep thinking how much Robin would love to see all these exotic flowers growing in what seems to be an English garden. Palm trees. Enormous Norfolk pines (planted by the early immmigrants as navigational markers. Lemon trees!! Fern trees. Rose bushes in bloom, freesias that smell lovely. Everything is so green.
We loved the slow pace of today - no rushing to get here, but constant new things to see 'round every bend.
Having had our fill of exotic foods, we asked for a rec for fish and chips from the B&B owners and off we went. Red snapper and gurnard (as in the flying type???), with something that might have been sweet potato fries.
Came back to chat with our next-door-mates, 2 men about 45 or so. One has been in NZ for a month, the other for 10 days. Skiing mostly and not making any plans ahead of time. They said they had thought to stay in Rotorua (geo-thermal Maori area) and found it too commercialized - think Vegas I guess - and kept driving north. Sounds like a place we might avoid too, though Mary Jo's cousin said a volcano-buried village nearby was very interesting. He warned against Rotorua too. In chatting to these men, we discovered that the reason the one was traveling so long was to "clear his head," after his wife passed away in May. How sad. Two best friends shared the trip, one at first half, this one the second.
Love to all.


4th September 2016

We spent time in NZ for an Anglican ME Convention and Board Meeting. Thanks for reminding us of what a wonderful place it is. Rotarua is commercialized by NZ standards. By US standards it's almost pristine. Don't avoid it. It's worth d
oing anyway.

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