Real Guinness At Last!!!

New Zealand is lovely! So much open space, and even in the centre of Auckland it never seems too built up. We had a brilliant boat ride to the Tiritiri Island which is a protected nature reserve. Therefore we had to clean our shoes before boarding, and were warned that we weren’t allowed to take any mice, rats, pests or possums onto the island. Great amusement when the captain of the boat made an announcement asking asking us to check our bags, and if we found any such animals “to hand it to a member of crew who would humanely deal with it….with the rat-killing hammer”!! On docking he also asked us to take all our children with us, as those left behind “would be sold into slavery”! We had 8 year old Carly with us, who predictably became quite worried! Carly went on to massively impress us with her knowledge of the rare birds on the island, recognising them by bird-call alone! So, a lovely trek around the island and a couple of hours on the beach before heading back. Very peaceful and relaxing.
Back in Auckland we explored the waterfront which is a beautiful area populated with great bars and restaurants. We discovered O’Hagans Irish Bar where I had a thirst-quenching pint of very fine Guinness! Aaah, civilisation at last!! Interestingly, O’Hagans have a weekly 5km run on a Tuesday evening around the harbour area, where for the $7 entrance fee you get a free pint afterwards! Could we see the Pitcher and Piano doing this????? There’d be a few more fitter people around!
The marina is full of beautiful boats – racing yachts, luxury yachts and catamarans. In fact the largest luxury catamaran in the world, Hemisphere, was docked there. It looked stunning. I was just about to charter it for a couple of weeks until I discovered it was £200,000 a week…… Maybe not just yet. Mind you, it has 12 bedrooms so maybe a few of us could get together??
We’re still planning our imminent journey around the islands and I’ve had loads of great info from people. A great message from Kiwi Steve yesterday, with whom I cycle regularly in England. It turns out his parents live just down the road from where we’re currently staying! It’s a small world!
Looking at the map we like the simplicity of the place naming – the far north of the island is called The Far North (up Far North Road) etc, so we’re intrigued to visit Shag Lake…..
Heavy rain showers today! But never mind, as we’re going to look at bikes to buy for our trip! You can never have enough bikes!!
My ever increasing hair seems to be causing some general concern to people. All I can say is, please don’t worry about it, as I’m not! In fact, when you’re sat in the traffic jam on your daily commute to work, with your perfectly coiffeured locks, just try very hard to imagine that you’re as happy as I am!!!!! 😉😉😉

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Across the bay towards Auckland

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The beach at Tiritiri

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Me and a very shy Carly!!

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Hemisphere. I might need to work another year before I own this…..

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The SkyTower looking over Auckland, permanently lit in red at the moment in honour of next week’s Anzac Day (the hundredth anniversary)

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