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Showing posts from February, 2015

Pastures New

The last couple of weeks have flown by in a wave of nostalgia for our return to Wellington, some long journeys as we've traveled from the North Island to South Island and a very hectic schedule of sporting events - 4 cricket matches, 2 parkruns, a super 15 rugby match and a highly contested round of crazy golf thrown in for good measure. Late last Wednesday we arrived in Porirua, just north of Wellington, and on Th ursday, we traveled by train into NZ's capital to go on a nostalgic tour of the places special to us from when we met seven years ago in the city... We went back to the Basin Reserve Cricket Ground and tried to find the seats we were sitting in when we met. We couldn't quite have a picture taken there, as the England team were training at the ground and some sections were closed off, but we got close enough. We went back to Burger King, walked along the waterfront, wandered through the Botanical Gardens, visited a museum and art gallery and reminisced. Sadly, the

Lost for Words

I've spent many a happy hour in cafes on this trip so far, generally enjoying a combination of comfy sofas, blogging, reading, cakes, tea and free wi-fi. But I don't think I've ever enjoyed a cup of tea whilst looking at a view quite like this one... That's Mt Ruapehu in the centre, the highest peak on the North Island and NZ's most active volcano, and you might also catch a glimpse of Mt Ngarahoe to the right (hiding a bit behind the centre flagpole). The tank, cannon and flags are part of the National Army Museum in Waioru - more on that later. We've just travelled by bus along the Desert Road from Turangi, which has to be one of the most spectacular road journeys I've done. It gave us a perfect view of the volcanic heart of the North Island, with Tongariro, Ngarahoe and Ruapehu all in view against a virtually cloudless blue sky... Please excuse the muddy streaks on the photo from the bus window. This photo shows Ngarahoe and the flanks of Tongariro: The v

The Waiting Time

The last 7 days feel like we've had a holiday within our holiday and, at the same time, like we've traveled through space and time! Our base has been the very lovely City Centre B&B in Hamilton, with our very friendly hosts Ann and Pete. Hamilton isn't really one of those places that draws in the tourists, not for a week anyway. If you do visit, it's probably for a couple of hours on your way south from Auckland. Strangely, though, it is somewhere Jon and I have both visited before. I first came here in 2000 and returned in 2004 and 2008. Jon was also here in 2008, but about 10 days before me (and we didn't know each other then). My friend Anna lives here - I met her her when we both lived in London in 2000 (after my first visit to Hamilton) and my last visit was timed for her wedding to Andrew. This visit was all about catching up... Anna and her family all wanted to meet Jon for the first time and we got to meet Shanae and Tamara too, Anna and Andrew's two

The Verdict

On Sunday, we said a sad farewell to Western Australia, as we flew from Perth to Auckland to begin the next part of our adventure. We've really enjoyed the three weeks spent in WA and packed quite a lot into our last weekend too. We had a day at the WACA, watching England against India in a one day international. Strangely for us, we actually got to see England win a cricket match... that didn't happen at all on our last trip to Australia in 2011. It was a steaming hot day on Perth for our cricket visit... The humidity was making it feel more like Columbo (according to Jon anyway, I've never been to Sri Lanka). I just knew it was hot. Our booked seats were in an uncovered stand but we managed to sneak our way undercover after about an hour of play. We were still hot but at least avoided sunstroke! Before play started, we were able to seek shelter from the heat with a vist to the cricket museum, a rabbit warren of a building that used to a private house. Each room was a trea