We left Napier on Monday and took Highway 2 south to Wellington, capital of New Zealand. We had quite a lot of ground to cover and the car had to be returned to Hertz by 17.00 so we didn’t have much time to spare but several people had recommended the Mount Bruce Wildlife Centre and Kiwi Sanctuary so we planned to stop there en route. Highway 2 follows the line of the Ruahine Range so as we drove across the plains of the Hawkes Bay region through wine territory and later through farmland we could see the mountains rising west of our route, some still had snow on them so they were quite a sight. We stopped for a break in Dannevirke and found a lovely café in a converted bank where coffee and cakes set us up for the rest of our drive. Next stop was the wildlife centre, we figured we could spare an hour there if we were going to reach Wellington on time. Continue reading Wellington
Well, what can we tell you all about Samoa? In brief it is a beautiful country with lovely people and stunning scenery.
We arrived early in the morning on our flight from Honolulu and were met by Michael, a member of staff from The Seabreeze Resort, our first stop in Samoa, he had a car waiting complete with iced water and cold towels to refresh us after our journey – great start.
For our stay in Maui we were booked in to the Inn at Mama’s Fish House; a group of holiday cottages clustered around a famous fish restaurant. When we checked in we were upgraded to a two-bedroom garden cottage, it was beautiful, really spacious, tastefully furnished and recently fully refurbished at great expense. We discovered a welcome tray in the kitchen with the usual tea and coffee but also a loaf of homemade banana cake, a huge fresh papaya and a fresh lime – that was breakfast sorted for one morning. Having had an early start we didn’t stray far that afternoon, but we did walk through the restaurant to see the beach. The setting was idyllic, a beautiful tropical garden opened on to a grove of palm trees and a virtually private beach, technically all the beaches in Hawaii are open to the public but this was as private as could be. The beach was steep and there was a reef off shore which protected it from the surf, in between was an area of rock pools. Not really a swimming beach but great to sit and gaze at.
Well we have gone and done it and we are now on our way to New York. We decided not to buy the on-board internet package as we thought a week without emails and text messages would be more relaxing; so we are writing a bit each day and then we will post this on arrival in New York.
Our thoughts on crossing the Atlantic on Queen Mary 2, what a wonderful way to travel! Comfortable, civilised, no jet lag, what is not to like? We have seen pods of dolphins swimming alongside the ship, Mark spotted a whale (sorry Mia it disappeared to quickly to take a photograph) and we have marvelled at the mesmerizing ocean views which are truly breath-taking. What a fantastic way to start our trip.
(By the way, bonjour Gerard et Marie-Claude, ca va?) Continue reading All at Sea …
We have had two more great days before we all head home tomorrow.
Thursday Margaret and Carl stayed at the cottage while we others went out. We headed to Truro where Yvette had her hair done and spent some time doing her own thing and exploring Truro by herself. Kim and I went off to see Sean, a very good friend who was running an open day at his studio. We spent a couple of hours with him and then headed back. One of the highlights of going to see Sean (apart from seeing Sean himself and looking at his most recent paintings of course!) was crossing the River Fowey on the chain ferry! Back in Truro we met up with Yetti who was enjoying a lobster lunch and looking glamorous with her new hair do.
Today, we all had a bit of a lie-in and after breakfast went off to Penzance. We had a good look around and then headed to Marazion for a spot of lunch at the Godolphin Arms hotel. The food was fantastic and the views from the restaurant were spectacular. After lunch we headed back to the cottage for a bit of r and r!