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Published: October 24th 2016
A Tale of Two Trips
. One from Sumner
and back, and after two days at home, Sumner
and back. WHY
! The Dunedin trip was primarily to watch a three day soccer tournament that grandson Luca was participating in. The tournament was a great success for his team as they reached the finals, but unfortunately lost that game. Needless to say a big disappointment to Luca and his team, which dissipated once they realized how well they had done to reach that final game. While the games were going on, Ann managed to take Lola to the Dunedin Museum where they had a fun time - especially in the butterfly exhibit. There was also a visit to the Cadbury's Chocolate factory, with the obligatory bag of chocolate treats. After the tournament, Philip and family took off for home, and Ann and I went to the Royal Albatross Colony on the Otago Peninsula. We were lucky to witness the return, after a year at sea, of four of these wonderful birds. a real treat. The next day we took a beautiful scenic drive back to our home in Sumner, where we had a couple of days to catch up
on laundry etc., before leaving for Nelson.
The trip to Nelson was to catch up with Melissa's family and take a hike in the Abel Tasman National Park - probably our favorite New Zealand destination. We took the scenic coastal route up to Nelson and returned via the Lewis Pass mountain route, We stayed with Melissa's mother, Jan - visited with her 92 year old Nana, Mavis - still driving and still an active seamstress. Mavis had just been interviewed by the local newspaper, recounting WWII stories of her time in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. It made for fun reading, as Mavis "tells it like it was". It raised a few eyebrows in the family, but it was all in fun. Jan organized a lovely dinner at her hill top home to visit with Melissa's brother Damon and his wife Mio, and Mavis.
We hiked in the Abel Tasman with Jan and her friend John on a beautiful cool and clear day. The lushness of the vegetation, the beautiful beaches, the wonderful birds and bird song and sheer peacefulness of this place is magical. One day there way too little, but how lucky we feel to have
We covered about 1100 miles to accomplish these trips and we marvel at how much unspoiled beauty we witnessed, and how many new people we got to spend time with. New Zealanders are warm and welcoming and always have time to share local knowledge and show interest in our journey. Stopping for a coffee often turns into a longer break than expected.
We feel very fortunate to be here during a time when the world is wondering what is going on with our political processes. Even here, so far away, the whole cycle is viewed with incredulity. People are very puzzled, and concerned.
The photos attached cover this trip plus a few extras from hikes and previous jaunts.
Until the next posting - warm greetings to you all. And thanks for the comments.
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