So you all showed up my doorstep at 6 am!
This is were we are living: www.zoomin.co.nz/map/nz/
It is a terrible photo but you do get the idea...
Welcome, come in and Mr. Roelf has the fresh brew of coffee. We have one hour before we need to be at our first destination. Our first destination is our local sport store where they will fit each of us out with a wet suit. It took all my negotiation skills to pull this off, so we have to make the best of it. You will be allowed to take your wetsuits with you back home as I got a sponsor for it. There is a bit of a quid pro quo but we can discuss that later. We all bonded instantly, even the boys, Mr. Roelf and Brian.
O my, the fitting of the wet suits… I was last and there was only one on the hanger and it was a bit too small for me. I wiggled and shaked some skin wobbles into the suit but I got stuck. Mandi had to put one foot against each side of the doorway while I was lying on my tummy so that she could zip me up. Tania had to hold Mandi in place so that she won’t fall down. Dee pulled my legs while we giggled our heads off. The shop assistant was most concerned but eventually we got the zip in place. With lots of laughter we all then piled into bus by 8:30 am and we were on our way. We had a classical bacon and egg pie for breakfast (yes with veg’s in it!!!), all packed into picnic baskets with juice, coffee and tea. We were on our way to Hot Water Beach. It is a well known fact that New Zealand is located within the “ring of fire”. View:
“Some volcanos develop huge underground reservoirs of superheated water. Over time, this water will escape to the surface — cooling on the way. There are two fissures at Hot Water Beach issuing water as hot as 64ºC (147ºF) at a rate as high as 15 litres/minute. This water contains large amounts of salt (NOT salt water), calcium, magnesium, potassium, fluorine, bromine and silica. There are other hot water springs nearby but the location of these two springs on the beach make them unique. Two hours before low tide is the ideal time to stake-out a place for digging your 'spa' and to allow for some relaxation in your 'spa' before the tide rises and reclaims the beach, 'spas' and all. We can rent spades on the beach, dig a hole and sit and relax in the scalding hot water until the tide comes in. This link will take you to a photo that would give you and idea of the steam coming from the water and people enjoying being so close to the beach and ‘bumming” in a hot water spa. There are not many places in the world where one could to this on the beach.
We are having a salad lunch with BBQ meat at the resort and then we all tumble into kayaks to take us to a yacht that will take us onto our afternoon destination. We are all now into our wetsuits as we need to swim the last bit to Palm Beach. Here we split in two groups, Lizzie, Brain and Roelf will wait until we are all gone and then they will visit the secluded part of Palm Beach to be “au natural”.
A link to Palm Beach www.getinthehotspot.com/
For the not so PC (political correct) story of Waiheke follow this link:
For those who are not too keen on going to the other site, here is the introduction: “There have been people on Waiheke Island for a Thousand Years; but today the old traditions are dying out. The historic habit of eating each other no longer meets with general approval although the original settlers considered it pleasant and frugal.
Today most of the inhabitants wear boots and despite the nearness of Auckland City the aborigines profess to discern definite signs of civilization. The history of the Island is sketchy and imaginative. The first settlers were the Maruiwi who arrived from the Western Pacific in 950 A.D. They were followed by the Maori two hundred years later…”
After our swim and a dry out, the “natural group” joined us and we all took tuk-tuks to take us to the ferry that will bring us to Auckland harbor. Follow this link to look at your transport girls and boys…
In Auckland we trooped up Queen Street, and now it is time for the quid pro quo. I took you to a studio where we all posed as calendar girls for the wetsuit company. Thank goodness it is with the wetsuits ON! Here is a clip of what was expected from us: www.youtube.com/watch?v=
That was easy!
Back in Queen Street, I showed you greenstone.
For those of you who could not make it, here are some photos of the Viaduct and buildings surrounding it to get an idea of Auckland. I also took photos higher up in Queen Street where the old shops are. Today it is selling authentic Oriental food from many countries in these renovated old shops.
But since this is Middle Earth, I need to show you something that could be a great buy to show your people at home… What will it be? Jewellery or Gollum (Lord of the Rings)?
Time for dinner, I am famished… We were having dinner under these flower baskets overlooking the harbour...
After dinner and a couple of wines we all piled into a little bus back to my home where I have booked you a place to sleep in a Motel. Tomorrow after breakfast 8am I will pick you up and we will walk my favourite walk of 762 stairs in Point View Reserve. To view this you will have to look at my previous blog
Then at 10 am we will have a light snack, pile back into the bus to take you back to the airport. You all look worse for the wear. I gave you all a good work out and enough to read on your way back home. Please visit again soon.
(Now I am going to take a snooze as well!)