A Travellerspoint blog

Trip to the Land (Marlborough Sounds) and back

We spent Tuesday preparing to go to "the land", which is Donna and Murray's name for their summer home on the Sounds. Picking vegetables, organizing groceries, etc. Although Don and Rob undertook the refinishing of the table top we have been using outside. They moved it to the shed and sanded the top, before applying a finish coat. There wasn't time to do the second coat, so that has to wait until we get back.
The Boys Working on the Table

The Boys Working on the Table


We got up early Wednesday morning and loaded up. Donna is staying here until Thursday morning as she has several meetings to attend today. So off in the van we went for a 3 hour drive to the Portage and then load up the boat and a short ride later we were at the land. We lazed around and Don, Rob, and Murray had discussions about work that needs to be done/how to do it/etc. We were visited several times by a Weka, a chicken-like flightless NZ bird.
Weka on outdoor cooking bench

Weka on outdoor cooking bench


Friday morning we reversed the process and left, Mani and I riding with Donna this time. We stopped at Pelorus Bridge for lunch (pies - a typical NZ lunch, apparently) (not sweet pies, meat and veggie pies!) and had a nice walk along a nature trail. We visited a beautiful waterfall and after returning to the cafe, the boys went for another hike and a swim, while the girls sat about and read.
Fairy-like Waterfall

Fairy-like Waterfall


On our way home thru Richmond, we picked up fish and chips for supper, another KIwi must, and then cleaned up to go out. We attended a lovely concert at the Boathouse Restaurant in Nelson. Blue Daiquiri played klesmer, jazz, and other music that was fantastic.

Posted by katdill 14:51 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Lake Gregory and the Desert

Sunday and Monday March 3 & 4

We drove over to Marilyn and Vergil's house and rode with them and their dogs up to their house in the mountains. It is at Crestline, above Lake Gregory. It is a beautiful house that they have been building for the last 15 to 20 years. It is almost all done now, just a few finishing things to do. It is on a very steep lot with a stream running thru, so there were lots of technical challenges. Mountain House

Mountain House


After lunch, we drove down to Lake Gregory for a walk and then over to Lake Arrowhead to see what it is like. Back for supper and slideshows, both of our trip and of their trip to Spain. Then it was bedtime, so we could get up early.

When morning arrived we had breakfast and packed up. Then we drove down the back side of the mountains so we could drive thru the desert and see some of the desert plants on our way back to town. We saw lots of Joshua trees and different kinds of cactus. Joshua Tree in Bloom

Joshua Tree in Bloom


We had a picnic lunch in a nice little park in Lucerne Valley. We arrived back in Yorba Linda around supper time and we took Marilyn and Vergil out for supper at a Lebanese restaurant they are familiar with. It was delicious. After supper, we said our good byes and got in our own car to drive back to our B&B. Tomorrow we fly home to Saskatoon, hopefully with no hitches!

Posted by katdill 08:14 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Leaving New Zealand

Saturday, March 2

Donna, Murray and Mani went off very early for a snorkeling trip in a glass bottom boat and Don and Rob went over to Gemstone Bay to snorkel. I took a walk around town and discovered an Osage orange tree that is almost 150 years old! It was very close to our place but because we are always coming and going, no one had discovered it.
Osage Orange Tree

Osage Orange Tree


After they all got back, we packed up and took off for Auckland. We had lunch in a nice café in Thames and then on to return the rental car. We dropped Donna and Murray off at the Domestic Terminal and the rest of us were dropped at the International Terminal. Rob and Mani's flight left later than ours so we spent some time in the airport together and then it was time to say good bye. We had a good flight to LA and I even managed to sleep for awhile. We arrived in LA at 10:00 am Saturday morning so we got to live Saturday again! We had a wild goose chase for the health food store we wanted - first, I put LA in the GPS as the city it was in so we drove way up north thru construction and heavy traffic to find nothing at the address. Then when I corrected the mistake and put Manhattan Beach as the city, it was a UPS store! So maybe it is just a mail order business. Then we gave up and found our B&B and met Arvin, our host. After we got cleaned up we went over to my cousins', Marilyn and Vergil, and had supper with them. We had an early night so we could catch up on some sleep after our really long day!

Posted by katdill 07:58 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Exploring the Coromandel

Thursday, February 28 and Friday, March 1

Thursday morning we drove into Whitianga – Don and I need to buy groceries to make supper tonight, Mani to go to a bone carving workshop, and Rob to use the internet. Murray and Donna stayed back and went to Cathedral Cove by walking. We drove around by the road, dropped Mani off, parked outside the library so we could use their WIFI and got something to eat for lunch at a Bakehouse shop. Then we drove north out of Whitianga to Ring beach past Kuaotunu. We only spent ½ hour there, eating lunch, and then drove back to the supermarket in Whitianga for the groceries. Then the fish market and picked up Mani and came back to Hahei. Then everyone but me went down to Hot Water Beach, where you dig holes in the sand at low tide, looking for the hot springs to sit in. Apparently it was a zoo, with tons of people there, all looking for the best spot and then the tide starting to come in…just a gong show.Then we made supper and bed.
Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach


Friday we drove down to Paeroa to a bike rental spot. Murray, Donna, and Mani rode the bikes down the 14 km trail to the rail station at Waikino.
Setting out on the bikes

Setting out on the bikes


The rest of us drove to Waihi, and after checking out the working gold mine there, caught the little train back to Waikino. There we ate our lunches and then the bike riders showed up. So they took our return train tickets and we took the bikes and rode the 14 km back to Paeroa. It was a very easy trail, very flat, but sunny and hot. The most exciting thing about it was the 1 km long tunnel, lit only by faint ceiling lights. Some of the time it was riding by trust, because we couldn't see the ground in front of us! By the time we got there we were ready for a beer! After the others rejoined us we drove back to Hahei by going the long way round the Coromandel Penisula. We also stopped in Whitianga for supper – our last supper together for this trip. Then home to clean up the place for the morning.

Posted by katdill 07:49 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Travelling to Coromandel

Tuesday and Wednesday

Up early to pack up and leave. Then a long day in the car (6 ½ hours or so) to our rental in Hahei on the Coromandel Peninsula. We stopped in Thames for a picnic lunch in the park and bought groceries before finishing the drive. A very nice place with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms!
This morning I had an early beach walk and it is lovely. Lots of great sand but the surf looks challenging to someone as water challenged as I am. Don and Rob went off to Cathedral Cove to snorkel and after lunch Donna, Murray, Mani and I drove to the ferry landing and took the passenger ferry to Whitianga. I'm using the library WIFI in Whitianga to post all my updates. It is unlikely I will be posting again before either the Auckland airport or in LA on the weekend.
Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove

Posted by katdill 17:39 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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