Malcolm worked for LWT. Mary worked for TRL. They live near Camberley in Surrey and did achieve their life long ambition to visit New Zealand.
They have two daughters Laura and Hannah and two grandchildren Zach & Safi. Having done the big trip they then went to Canada, which was amazing. Scroll down it’s all here. They have visited Venice that they both so fell in love with in 2009 again. And recently returned to Lefkada for one week in glorious sunshine. Where next? Well, Canada is calling again in 2019; this time including Alaska. So stay tuned if you enjoy the ups and downs of travelling.
Mary pointed out last night at dinner (Friday night), that we had not slept in a proper bed since Tuesday evening. I nearly went face down in my fish and chips. We had a wonderful nights sleep and then a beautiful continental breakfast served by Heinz the owner of the guest house. Only three other couples are staying here and we awoke to that view again.
The amazing co-incidence about Heinz is that he is from Switzerland and was born in Bern. Wait till Laura reads that! So two big cruise ships in the bay. The bigger one with 2,500 passengers on board. So off we went to Waitangi, the road was blocked off yesterday because of the ‘bit of a do’. We saw the Haruru waterfall.
Onwards to Kerikeri and then a huge loop which took in Matauri Bay and Whangaroa. Now I shall be asking questions on pronunciation later!
OK have more to come but the dreaded inserting is failing. More in a minute. M & M
I have lost the ability to carry on writing after I publish a picture. So having to do these in sections, I’m sure it will sort itself out. So where were we? I guess Auckland airport by now and greeted by rain. The driver to take us to the internal flights terminal was waiting and also gave us various coupons to use and further detailed instructions. The flight lasted 35 minutes to Kerikeri and we picked up the hire car from two of the friendliest reps I have ever encountered at the Hertz desk. And in the sunshine we drive to Paihia and on Waitangi Day! This celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between the British Crown and Maori chiefs which took place at the bay of Islands in 1840. The place was jumping! And then we entered the accommodation that will be our home for the next three days. Whoa! What a view from the lounge. M & M
Off to the airport in the hotel limo. Same price as a taxi (again great hotel the Omni, California Street, SF.) but twice the comfort and a more gentle ride! Air New Zealand booked us all the way through to Kerikeri and off to the Air New Zealand lounge we trotted. If we are doing an airline comparison Virgin comes out marginally on top at the moment but will still have Singapore Airlines to come. M & M
Our final day in San Francisco saw us head off to the Golden Gate Bridge. Well it had to be done, didn’t it? A bit misty when we got there but it gradually cleared and let us get some reasonable shots. M & M
Breakfast in the hotel was just scrummy. Mary had French toast Malcolm had pancakes;
The crossing to Alcatraz was just fine. It only takes about 15 minutes and was very smooth. We were due to catch the 10 o’clock but we got there early and they offered us a 9-30 slot. Very few people and clear sky and sunshine.
Malcolm’s two little toes needed plasters. Altogether “Agghh! Shame!” And he clean forgot to put his knee support on to help his torn cartilage. Twit. Anyway he managed to hobble round the inside for the audio tour which was very interesting.
Back on the mainland and lunch and then another cable car ride back to Union Square. Mary went for a look round Macy’s and Malcolm stayed put and watched the world go by. Most of them off their heads and talking to themselves. I now know where the idea for “Shaun of the dead” was created and all the other zombie movies. It really is a very sad state of affairs and not a cop in sight.
So tomorrow we are off at 9 pm with Air New Zealand for our 14 hour flight to Auckland NZ. And then an internal flight up to Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands in the far north. Somewhere along the line we lose Thursday. So there will now be a blog blackout for some 48 hours I guess! (Hurrah! I hear you cry) We have not planned yet what sights to visit tomorrow but hopefully it won’t be too knackering, so we don’t have to hobble to the plane!
Take care folks and more news on Friday night! We hope! M & M
Yesterday was a bit of a blur towards the end but after 12 and a half hours sleep we awoke refreshed and ready to face the day. A superb choice of hotel by Audley Travel for our first stop over. As far as I know it is Monday February 2nd here! The breakfast was huge I had a sort of full English and Mary had pancakes and fresh berries.
Off into Union Square, then down Market Street to the Ferry Building built in 1898, which is now a gourmet imporium. We had two coffees. Back to the hotel, because Malcolm’s feet were hurting in the new trainers, and then taxi to Fishermans Wharf for lunch. A look at the seals at Pier 39 and then a ride back on what they call cable cars which bear no resemblence to the Swiss equivalent.
The Ferry Building. The seals.
Too busy with the video on the cable car so picture tomorrow. As we wandered round we were amazed at how many beggars there were on the streets: rather akin to The Strand in its hey day of the 80’s. Far more than in New York, now why? Tomorrow sees us off to Alcatraz.
The weather seems very fair after the early morning fog disappears , so fingers crossed for a smooth crossing.