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Kim’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 07 Mar 2007

Location: Bay of Islands, New Zealand

MapOn Tuesday, 6th Sandra and I had organised another trip but this time by coach to explore some of the other parts of the islands and to venture up towards the top most point of the North Island ( I will have to fill the names in later as I have left my diary in the room). Arrived at collection point and a 40 seater coach arrived, oh well, we can cope with a big tour, settled in and went to collect next group of 1, in total three people. The tour started off with a coach driver who burst into song at 8.45 in the morning to welcome us in the way of the traditional people and at any given point after that, he sang ( very hard to keep a straight face). We stopped at the forest, home of Tane - an enormous tree over 2000 years old and very much part of the Maori story of life. They have stories and folk tales for all of life's happenings and tell them with such fierce belief that you get totally wrapped up in them.

After lunch, the next part of the tour, a boat trip ( have you all noticed how much I am taking in my stride) but I thought this one would be ok as it was on the inland waterways and all the small bays and coves. Amazing area,( name) with a natural harbour, trees on one side and sand dunes the other - people come to body board the dunes - top to bottom and forty feet into the water in 10 seconds but 15 minutes to climb back up the dunes. The guide was very knowledgeable but once again, burst into song at the drop of a hat. This was going very well, until a board was held up saying hold on and yes, all you clever ones have guessed, we did a doughnut - ie boat rev's at top, speed up and then a very fast 360 turn!! Yes, I might have muffled something into the back of the chair. Fun though!! We wandered up the channel and eventually were collected for the return trip ( after another two doughnuts). A wonderful day out and brain just buzzing with all the new pictures and sights. Phil had very kindly agreed to take us back to Auckland, so we set off and met Mike and Cathy in Auckland - they had very kindly agreed to have us to stay for a few days.

Clean, crisp white sheets, steaming showers and coffee on demand - what more can a person want! Mike had also informed us that we were going racing the next day.

Wednesday, 7th ( at last almost up to date), we all set off for Auckland racecourse which is in the middle of the city. Mike has an ice cream business and works all these major events. It turned out to be Auckland Cup Day, their equal to Ladies Day at Ascot but what a difference - their idea of dressing up is nothing compared to the English and even I did not feel too undressed to be there.

Once Sandra and I had worked out some the language used in the betting system, we were off and playing. Sandra knows her horses and choose them after they had been around the ring but I worked on names (well, all I know about horses is they have a leg in each corner). At the end of the day, we were 10 dollars up - not bad!!!!