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Published: July 23rd 2014
We had another delicious breakfast with our hosts, Brita and Heinz and met two more guests at breakfast. They were Yana from the Czech republic and Jay from China. They were spending four days at Allegra House. We, unfortunately, had to say our goodbyes as we loaded up the car. Caroline was going to drive. She was just about to drive off when Don realised he had forgotten his bag - the one with his passports etc etc. Finally we got away and decided to drive to the town of Russell. Russell was formerly the capital of the area. It had a dreadful reputation as a bawdy town thanks to the sailors putting into port and getting into drunken brawls along with escaped and former convicts behaving like convicts. We went over on the car ferry which was quite exciting albeit very brief.
We visited the museum which was a little disappointing. It had two rooms of European and Maori relics and one room showing a stamp collection and a photographic exhibition of WWI monuments throughout New Zealand. The museum is under financial threat. I wanted to purchase a book but it was so extortionately priced I decided not to
a Rainbow brightens our journey back to Auckland
Between rainy spells on the coastal road detour off SH1 south several rainbows appeared including this complete one.
bother. Then we crossed the road to the oldest church in New Zealand, which has the original bullet holes from inter tribal battles in the Maori wars.
Then back in the car and on the road south. It started raining. We knew that there were going to be detours so we wanted to get going.
We reached Whangerei where we had been told were some nice cafés along the harbour. We drove round the town, very industrialised, and finally found the quayside. The harbour is very picturesque, even in the drizzle. though many of the shops were closed. But we found a little cafe open. We all headed straight for the restrooms. Then had a coffee for me and hot apple drink for them. It was very strange to go somewhere where there is a log fire burning in - JULY.
Back on the road again and lo and behold between Whangerei and Brynndon the road was closed and we had to take the scenic coastal route. Not much fun getting stuck behind a lorry or bus winding its way down the coastal road.
Eventually in driving rain we reached Auckland. We dropped off the girls and picked up our bags and then it was back to the Heritage Hotel.
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