Today we travel northward to the Bay of Island. On the way we surely want to stop at the Waitangi Treaty grounds, and witness where this nation of Maori en Pakeha was officialy founded. We then travel on to Kerikeri, where we'll be staying 2 nights at the Villa Maria Petit, managed by two lovely Belgian ladies, Mieke and Catherina Van Dijck. We are very much looking forward to meeting them.
On our second day we will be making a magnificant sailing trip through the islands, on a true tall ship, the R Tucker Thompson. She is a 26 meter long, 2 master, gaff rigged, square tops'l schooner. A reminder of a beygone era ... Hopefully we'll be greeted by dolphins and other marine wildlife during our day sailing. This is the perfect way to experience the beauty of this region, with it's hundreds of islands and bays.
Checked out early morning, went up Sky Tower. Walked to other suburbs of Auckland (Parnell, ...), took link bus from here to there, raining, cool record store.
JJ went in search of Kevin, who teaches at Media School. JJ met Kevin once back in Belgium on a job. Kevin now lives in the Phillipines, but got a job for 3 months in Auckland.
We left Auckland around noon, did not really make time to stop in between, headed straight for Keri Keri.
Met the 2 lovely Flemish ladies of the Villa Maria Petit, excellent accommodation (villa actually) with large sitting room, 2 bedrooms, good size kitschen, patio with beautiful views at the end of the garden.
Headed of to Pahia, but Waitangi treaty grounds were about to close. Need to come back tomorrow.
Had fast food for dinner. Met a dutch girl working at McDonalds on a working holiday visa. Strolled around Keri Keri, checking out property prices ;-)
Got breakfast kitty from the ladies for during our days sailing in the Bay of Islands.
Very windy and cloudy (cold!), ideal for a days sailing perhaps, but not our favourite kind of weather ... looked very "stunning" in sailing parka's ;-) First ferry from Pahia to Russel, where we boarded beautiful old schooner "R. Tucker Thompson", no chance of soaking up the sun when dropping anker for lunch. Dropped anker, and JJ went to beach, while R stayed on board. When JJ got back, we had BBQ lunch. Later on, R had the chance to "ride the bow", sit in the nets at the bow, excellent view!
Met nice young tazzie girl, had long chat, made up for the gruelling weather.
After arriving back in Pahia, headed to the Waitangi Treaty grounds first, before closure this time. Beautiful parkland, with native bush and lots of birds (Tui, fantail), interesting display at the treaty house and beautiful marae, gorgeous panorama's of the bays and surrounding islands.
Jean-Jacques Halans ©2003