Helen and Randall on the road

A bit about our adventures 2011-2012

Friday 30th Sept – Sunday 2nd Oct: Auckland

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Big thanks to the fabulous Gav and Joyee for their wonderful hospitality in their beautiful home!

Go NZ bread on Union Jack breadboard 🙂

Also to the cats:

We had a long lie in on Friday morning which we attributed to the 3 hour time difference, although to be honest it was more likely to do with being in a real bed in a real house with a super-comfy mattress and a spotless private bathroom next door! However we did manage to drag ourselves to collect our Wicked Camper, thankfully less of a social embarrassment than the last:

I also managed to drag myself out for a run around the park in which sits One Tree Hill while Randall made use of a decent wifi connection to get some work done, and then when Gav and Joyee came back from work they kindly took us to the local shopping mall where we stocked up on SIM cards, 3G dongles, bits and pieces of camping stuff and some warmer clothes! After dinner (for those that remember, one of Gav’s famous vegan curries – hooray!) I unbelievably crashed out on the sofa with the cats to the sound of the boys playing on the Xbox Kinect.

On Saturday as promised Gav took us out walking in Waitakere National Park which has a brilliant visitors centre and the rather sweet idea of framing the more beautiful views!

We walked to a waterfall:

then 40 mins up to a steep lookout, and back down to the beach, which with its rock pools and windswept sandblasting reminded me of childhood trips to Borth:

 

Incidentally I just discovered by reading that Wikipedia entry on Borth that according to Morrissey, his hit single “Everyday Is Like Sunday” was inspired by Borth. This pleases me greatly.

Anyway, after that short walk looping back to the car park we were off to a small village for lunch and  back for a quick nap before heading into town for dinner at Monsoon Poon.

Dinner was made amusingly interesting by Joyee and Randall both ordering the Firecracker Chicken which turned out to be ridiculously – painfully – hot and required copious amounts of raita and mango lassi to even make a dent in it:

The offending article

Still, the rest of the food was yummy, the beers were cold and the (non-alcoholic) lychee cocktails were superb:

and the eclectic pan-asian-theme decor was interesting, particularly the Great Leap Forward-style wall paintings (check out the baby about to roll a melon onto my head).

We made it to The Cloud in time for the second half of the Scotland-England game, which looked as if it was about to be the second surprise of the day (all the hooting, hollering, happy Tongans indicated that they had just beaten France!) although as it turned out this was not to be. Still, we got a good spot to watch on the big screens amongst good-natured but crazy fans of all nationalities:

On Sunday morning we were out of the house early (ish) for Yum Cha at the Grand Park restaurant the other side of One Tree Hill:

before a short walk in the park and then a drive (well, it’s steep and it was starting to rain!) up to the monument itself (no tree though!).

Gav and Joyee under the tree where they got married 🙂

After packing up our van and bidding Gav and Joyee (and Tommy and Fluffy) a grateful farewell – and promising to return to see Gav compete in the Cross Harbour Swim on 13th November – we headed off to the north, in the rain.

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Written by helenbcn

October 3, 2011 at 6:44 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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