A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

New Zealand Trip Days 22 – 27: Part 2

In Part 1 I described the setting of Waiheke Island, to some extent, and more specifically Di & Don’s place. As you can imagine there was plenty of motivation to relax after three weeks of flat out touring. For those of you who know Brenda, you know she’s not one to relax, so there are plenty of things she did that are not described in this blog, since this is a Jon-centric blog. You want to know what Brenda did? Ask her.

Though we were on holiday, Di still had to go to work at the local library. There’s only so much lying about you can do, so our first morning on Waiheke we drove the twenty minutes into town on the winding roads to have lunch with Di at some hoidy toidy cafe which had cool, hip tables and modern coffee shop acoustics – i.e. all you can hear is music from the sound system and the clattering of plates and dishes and none of the conversation. But it we enjoyed ourselves:

After using up all of Di’s lunch hour we were at loose ends in town, so we dropped by this music museum where they had lots of keyboard instruments and what-nots, most of which you could play with. So we did:

One afternoon Don, Jean and I went for a walk up Trig Hill to check up on the cows they have. Since they use the metric system I’m not sure how far we walked – I’d give a miles estimate but they don’t have miles in New Zealand. I’m not even sure if their system for measuring time is the same (do they use metric hours?) so don’t ask me how long it took us to walk. But it was a while. Here’s Don a little further along the trail than me:

All I can tell you is it should be named Trig HILL. It’s been some time since I’ve heard my heart pounding in my ears that loudly. But the view was worth it:

The cattle were happy to see us too, especially since Don brought treats:

On the way back (which went waaaay faster than the way up) we spotted a car used by some blokes in the eco-village for rabbit hunting at night. All it takes is one person driving with a spotlight and another in the crows-nest working the gun:

When we got back to the house you better believe it was time to rehydrate and relax:

That evening we organized to watch a documentary in the eco-villages new community room. They’ve got a projector, big screen and lounging furniture for watching videos. Di plied us with traditional movie watching New Zealand candies and licorice:

The documentary? “The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls”. Who are the Topp Twins? Okay, so anybody who has lived in New Zealand during the last twenty-five years knows who they are because they are perhaps New Zealand’s top (no pun intended) musical and comedy duo. But since neither Brenda nor I have lived in New Zealand for the last twenty-five years we had never heard of them. It was time we caught up with a little bit of New Zealand culture and history. Here’s the trailer for the movie (watch it now):

It doesn’t necessarily come through in the trailer or the documentary, but these gals, who really are lesbian twins with the last name of Topp are hilarious and have an inspiring tale to tell. They started out as buskers, just singing songs on the sidewalk and their natural personality and sense of humor has made them huge stars. I encourage you to check out more of their stuff at youtube.

The next evening we drove into town for a Maori art gallery opening. Along the way out of the village we happened upon a girl who was trying to train her rescued pet Banded Rail how to forage for food in the wild. Something tells me the bird is a bit too tame to ever be normal:

I wasn’t as impressed with the art as I was with the view out their back window, which was stunning:

The next day Brenda set to “upcycle” an old canvas camping tent into a new handbag for Di to use for work. This was a perfect and time consuming activity for Brenda over the next few days as Brenda loves to make things and is also endlessly fascinated with bags:

Di had scheduled to start her own personal holiday on Thursday and Jean was scheduled to leave Waiheke on Thursday as well (no connection there, I’m sure). The four of us went for a loop drive around the central part of the island. We stopped off at Man-O-War Bay to have a walk-about along the beach:

In the first half of the last century there was a school house here and Brenda’s mum and aunt and uncles would’ve walked over the saddle in those hills to attend grade school here for a time. There’s a house and some structures off camera to the right.

While walking along the beach we spotted a rock with oysters on it, so the savage Kiwis found a rock for pounding and set about to have a feed:

You don’t find them any fresher than this:

Brenda was not satisfied with just one either. I felt sorry for the poor bugger who was just living there happily minding its own business a moment ago:

Di managed to get the biggest one:

The next five photos are simply views of the countryside that pretty much speak for themselves, so I’ll let them:

Just be thankful that I culled out five from the abundance of photos available.

Did I mention the winding roads on Waiheke Island? Here are two examples:

Once we got back into town, we went to some friends of Di and Don’s, Don and Russ. Along the way we spotted some gates that Don made for a client:

We arrived at Don and Russ’. They have a great view off their balcony. We enjoyed champagne and stuff to nibble on. The weather was pleasant and even warm in the sun. The beverages went down easy:

But I didn’t imbibe as much as my three companions, so I took over the vehicle and we went to have dinner out at The Beach Front Bar – Cafe. There was more imbibing, though since I was driving (and on the other side of the road and the other side of the car) I stayed well under the legal limit:

Great food and a great time was had by all.

One interesting thing though. It was Good Friday, which is a national holiday in New Zealand. All the shops, other than some exceptions for those in hospitality, have to close. It’s the law. That meant the grocery store was choc-a-bloc ridiculously crowded the day before Good Friday (Mediocre Thursday?) as people loaded up for the holiday weekend. I thought it was interesting that a country that is less religious than the U.S.A. would be more observant of Easter than us U.S. Americans.

The next morning we went to Saturday Market in town. Lots of stalls of people hawking their wares. Some of it was interesting. A lot of it was people making gift cards out of photos they’ve taken and hand made soaps and that sort of thing. Brenda took this photo (with me acting as a decoy) because she sort of wanted to steal the design of these interesting grow boxes:

When we got back to the house I was able to spend some of the afternoon contemplating my navel… or more accurately, my Teva tan:

Later in the afternoon it was time to head back into town for a benefit auction for the Art Shack.  Artists bought the “guts” of a clock (the clock mechanism) and were given a rectangular board from which they were to make an artistic clock. Also, the artists were not restricted to using their wee board.

There’s a phrase “Waiheke time” that’s famous on the island. Apparently Waiheke Time is a less precise time measurement system than used in the more populous areas of New Zealand. Anyway, it seemed like good fodder for artists to play with.

There were, I don’t know, 30 – 80 clocks made. Most of them were auctioned off in a silent auction, but for more of the renowned artists there was an actual live auction. Don and Jean made this clock for the auction:

Since Don and Jean had a clock in the live auction, we were curious to see what it went for. It took a while for them to get to Don’s clock:

I got a little antsy and watched some of the auction from over the hedge behind the auction canopy:

Finally one of Don’s mates offered to display Don and Jean’s clock – lovely ladies had paraded the previous clocks around. He even offered to do it topless:

I’m not sure if that helped, but the clock, bought by a local winery, fetched the second highest price in the auction.

We went back to the house. Brenda and I made a couple of pizzas for dinner and we enjoyed our last evening on Waiheke munching pizza, drinking beer and watching a movie on TV.

Next it was up bright and early Easter Sunday to take the ferry back into Auckland where Jean would pick us up for our last day in New Zealand.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>