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Posts Tagged ‘Auckland’

Location update

19 January, 2009 Leave a comment

last couple of days saw:

Snorkelling in Goat Island Marine Reserve with lots of wrasse, angel fish, cat fish, …

Down to Cambridge to hang out with the Laws. Oh, and on the way getting stopped by the law as well for doing 122kph in a 100 zone. The speed limits are ridiculous, and what they call a motorway, we call a road. Sunday was Rotarua’s excellent Te Puia and then to the amusingly titled Agrodome for some agroventure. Nothing to do with aggro. But in this case getting thrown about in a tiny boat with a huge engine on the back riding on about a foot of water. thoroughly recommend it.

Then back to Auckland for the final 24 hrs in NZ. Dinner with the Marshall and then, 24hours ago, getting up to drive to the airport, fly to sydney, then here to HK.

Waking in a winery

23 December, 2008 Leave a comment

Straw Lodge is great. Am sitting in the garden of our suite, the stereo has some chilled tunes and the view of pinot noir vines against a backdrop of mountains is only enhanced by birds twittering and the rain pattering down.

Nettie and Jane provided a tasty breakfast of local produce – the best I’ve had in 7 weeks of travelling – which lived up to last night’s dinner platter, again of local produce, which included hot smoked salmon, venison, turkey, their own olives, and both a rather good sauvignon blanc and the pinot noir.

Spending yesterday afternoon cycling round dirt tracks and roads to cellar doors so that some of the friendly winemakers can take you through what they make – and perhaps more interestingly, why they make it – is a great way to spend a holiday. Helped, by the good company, of course.

The NZ experience so far has lived up to expectaions. Seeing the Marshall in Grey Lynn, Auckland was great fun. Nice to have two semi-retired web professionals just mooching about on Waiheke island and trying the Cable Bay selection and cheeseboard. Then down to see the Law clan in sunny Cambridge. Ok, so it was pissing down for all of Saturday – but that didn’t stop us sorting the feng shui of home. You wouldn’t believe how much settling in with friends at their house, and sorting out the home office is a satisfying experience. It gave me a sense of adopted home for 36 hours. A good respite from constantly living out of a bag. And I got to learn about Ben 10 as well.

And, with little flutters of excitement building, getting an early morning bus back to Auckland Airport to pick up the girl. NZ1 delivers her safe and sound and hardly jetlagged.. and we head to Mollies. Awards galore, and when you get there, you can see why. A really special place and i’m so glad i picked it for our first day back together. Sumptuous, tasteful but not ostentatious, luxury.

Monday we flew down to Wellington and stayed in the Museum (not Te Papa) before getting the early morning ferry over to Picton and then a short drive to here.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas eve. Going to a couple more wineries this morning (Bladen, Wairau River and Seresin yesterday) and a chocolate factory. No midnight mass. No last minute shopping. No carols. No cold. No hurrying into a pub for a warming beverage.

No family and friends neither. Which I miss. But thinking of you all.

Feels like it’s going to be a happy christmas and a good new year.

Gulliver’s disinfected boots

17 December, 2008 Leave a comment

A very long day… I got up on Tuesday morning, went out to Valparaiso on the Chilean coast and looked out across the pacific towards NZ. When I got back to Santiago, just had time to pack and have a beer with the expats before getting in a taxi to the airport.

It’s now 0600 on Thursday morning and I’m on the same day. Grabbed a few hours of sleep on the LAN  flight (decent food, good service, nice seat, nice neighbour… shame about the film selection. Hellboy 2 the stand out, del Toro is outstanding, can’t wait for his Hobbit) and now am standing at the Samsung shop’s online terminal watching israelis opposite me do web searches for hotels to stay in Auckland. Boots may have lava damage, but are now v clean after BioSecurity clean-up.

I have the luck of staying with the lovely Kate Marshall today/tonight and then rendezvousing with the equally lovely Adrian Law tomorrow (better golf, worse legs) … it’s so nice to have such welcoming friends.

Immediate observation on the Auckland Airport inhabitants: I have switched from a Mayan land of miniature, round faced people, to a Polynesian land of supersized roundfaced people.  One flight has turned the gulliver experience on its head.

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