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Trip Start Jan 28, 2009
Trip End Mar 26, 2009

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Tide Water Motel

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hi Everyone
It's 4.30 pm on Friday 19 February and I'm making this entry from Auckland. I've put in Coromandel because we've just had 2 marvellous days in the Coromandel Peninsula and we were planning to be there until tomorrow but guess what? It rained and poured as if we were back home! NZ is so much like Scotland but much, much warmer! Yesterday was boiling hot, rain came in at night and the cyclone struck this morning - the whole of the North Island is wet and windy. Like at home you get a beautiful summer's day, you arrange a BBQ for the next day and then when you waken it's back to winter!

Anyway - since our last entry.
On Tuesday we went to Ragitoto, a volcanic Island 1/2 hour's boat trip from Auckland. Looked the right kind of day for climbing - quite dull but when we got there the sun was out and the sky was blue and the heat was almost unbearable. It's a rough climb most of the way over lava paths. Mary was so hot she had to turn back befor the summit but Matthew and I went through the lava caves and then up to the top. What fantastic views - I'll put a photo on. Me being me, of course, wasn't happy at coming straight down again so Matthew and I came down a much longer way walking back round half of the Island.

On Wednesday we left for The Coromandel - again in blazing heat - and headed for Coromandel Town. Some of the views on the coast road up to our destination were fantastic. I'll put in 1 or 2. We found this lovely Motel just as you enter the town and headed off for a nice meal. Mary and I both chose the local fish dish - Tarakihi - it was beautiful - well cooked and presented. Funnily enough the local wine was good too! Well it had to be tested. Next morning over the hills to Whitianga and the Hot Springs beach. Now that was some experience! The road over had stunning views and the beach ...well. If you look at the photo, the stretch of sand between the rock on the shore and the rock in the sea was 65 degrees! If you scraped away a couple of inches and sat in the sand it was unbearably hot then when the waves came in your rear end was boiling and the water coming over your legs was sea temperature - qute a strange feeling! Whitiangi is a lovely wee town with nice coffee and cake - need I say more!

We liked the motel so much we decided to go back there for a second night - in retrospect with the weather as it is today, the wrong decision as we had to retrace a good bit of the road in the rain - but hey who's rushing, we're on holiday!
Lazy night tonight, some sightseeing in Auckland again tomorrow then a meal out with Richard, Mary's cousin, with his new partner and Matthew and Jen (Ann and Richard's dughter who lives away from home so we haven't seen a lot of her). Sunday we pick up a hired car and head South - first stop Whakatane (Wh pronounced F - no they don't speak Doric like the Aberdonians!) to visit my brother Robert's old University friend Dick - a Devon man who's been in NZ for quite some time. We should hit Wellington on Thursday and cross to SI on Saturday.

If possible I'll put on something before we cross but if not I'll post an entry from SI.

Hope you are all well, the snow cleared and the weather better.
T an'M
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