Mangonui, Far North

We have got internet again. We drove up here from Russell today with a couple of stops along the way: we visited the Treaty House at Waitangi and stopped for pies and slices at the Bake House in Kerikeri, saw the Stone Store and enjoyed the beautiful Taupo Bay.

We had our accommodation all picked out for Doubtless Bay, but when we got there it turned out the owners went banktrupt and the hotel was closed down. So we checked our different guides and nothing sounded quite good. We went to 2 places but neither one looked particularly inviting – names withheld. So we stopped at one we had seen while driving: good choice. We have a wonderfull new room, with an incredible view – more sunset pictures! – over the bay.

I am writing this on a laptop kindly lend to surf a bit. We got a “chilly bag” to pack a picknick for our trip to Cape Reinga tomorrow, a map, tons of tips where to go and what to do and why not to do the bus tour to the cape, which I was not in favor of anyway. And we got a really nice TV for tomorrow’s rugby finals. Rolland already declared he wants to get a six pack and watch. I still think we should find the local pub (they always say tavern but the sign always says pub …) for that occasion.

On a different note: I got totally eaten by sandflies in Russell. I have 22 bites on the right foot and 16 on the left, legs not counted. It really hurts. At night I have to get up every couple of hours to cool down my feet with cold water. Only other thing that helps a bit is tiger balm. I think I am allergic to the salve I got at the pharmacy. Sandfly bites are not like moskito bites! They sometimes start bleeding without me even scratching them right after I was bitten!

Our Bay of Islands cruise the other day was also very nice, we could not go through the hole in the rock because there was too much wind and waves but we did see dolphins and baby dolphins and I think I got a couple of nice shots. According to the crew they were not very playful that day but it is nice enough to see so many wild dolphins swim alongside the ship.

The Treaty House was well worth that trip as well. After all it is one of “the” historic sites of NZ. The grounds are very nice and they have a lot of information on the Treaty of Waitangi, the history surrounding the treaty, the times and the people.

Kerikeri was not quite as cool as it is made out to be for the bus tours they offer – of course we did not visit all the places but we have already seen a winery (ate at one actually) and plan to go to Waiheke on our last day. The historic sites are nice.

So now we need to go do some shopping for breakfast and picknick and of course get us some dinner – if I can get Rolland away from watching Simpsons.

Greatings from the Far North!

PS: we saw a pink and yellow katamaran anchored near Russell yesterday. We named it Sponge Bob.

Russell, Bay of Islands

We are nearly up north now. We made it here despite 24 hours of rain in Whairangi. We spent 2 days around Whairangi. The second day it was raining so we did some bad weather activities, like visiting the clock museum, tasting the remaining 2 beers at the Frings Brauhaus (Drought and rye beer ‘Catcher’), eating hokey pokey ice cream and taking pictures of the most photogenic waterfall of New Zealand which had become a steaming mud monster due to the rain.

We got started on the drive rather late and it turned into an adventure of itself. It was dark and raining. The street was always in danger of flooding or landslides. The meadows to left and right had turned into the swamps they used to be before the sheep came.

Sometimes it seemed there could not be civilization at the end of this road, in the end we made it here in one piece and found a very nice place to stay and that is where we will remain for the next 2 nights before finally going up to Cape Reinga. After that it is back south, to Auckland and then on to Samoa.

far away posting

our two days in hkg were very nice – of course one cannot explore all of the city in that time. i still managed to take a lot of photos. we had a most wonderful room with a great view of the habor at The Excelsior. too bad we missed out on the 34th floor bar because we wanted chinese food and not steaks.

we went walking around the island the first day and took a trip up to Victoria’s Peak. spectacular view of the city plus some nice souvenir shopping.

the second day we went to kowloon with the ferry and did lots of walking again. no museums even though we passed several.

the afternoon we returned to the hotel to get ready for the second flight. the plane was verry uncomfortable and we arrived here very tired.

flight over auckland was great, nice weather – though autumn is irritating. rental car pickup was nice and easy. everyone at the airport was so helpful and friendly.

we found the hotel easily – the nokia does very well as navigation system. however since the rom was not ready we walked around a bit. discovered we are located near the university campus and managed to find a helpful kiwi who showed us the next atm before we tried to buy a snack and a drink.

so for now we might go out a bit. more here soon and also on twitter as delusions_de (closed profile need an account to follow sry)

Just Married

So here’s the reason for the quiet season around here: we were too busy preparing for this:

Just Married

I hope I will be posting a bit in the next few weeks – so stay tuned.