To South of the North.

Wellllllll…… We note that Larry has been at the computer once again, and has been doing a bit of blogging on his own, but tonight he is laid up in bed, with a bit of a cold, as we have been in Napier since yesterday, and its cold enough to freeze the…..well, lets just say Larry is a bit cold and grumpy.

  Its been a little bit of an up & down, since we arrived in Russell.  On our first full day, we went to see our block of land that we planned on buying – only to find a big nasty red SOLD sign on it! Our hearts dropped into our bellies, and we may both have had a lil cry (along with being a tad angry that the Agent hadn’t kept us in the loop!), but after a quiet morose half hour, we pulled up our big-grrl panties, and soldiered on. There was another block we had briefly looked at, but when we had spotted the now-sold one, we didn’t look at it any further. So, we went back to have a proper look, and spent a good half hour wandering over every part of it, and seeing if we ‘felt’ what we needed to.  And as luck would have it – it was a waaaaay better block than we had initially thought (we hadn’t gone over it last time – just looked on a drive-by.) Smaller than the first, but still a good size, and could easily meet the requirements we have!!! Outside of all that happening though, we got to spend some really wonderful quality time with some very special friends, Ian & Ida.  We had two lovely nights staying at their place at Orongo Bay, and got to relax, eat, drink, chat lots and just generally be happy campers.  Larry got up to a bit of mischief on our first night there – a lil too much Shiraz perhaps – and it would seem he ‘scored’…        Monday we awoke to drizzle and it was a bit blowy, but it was time to head south.  We had planned to spend the the night in Hamilton, as there is a beautiful old ‘grand dame’ of a hotel, that we stayed in last year, and we wanted to not only stay again, but to revisit an Italian restaurant we’d really enjoyed.  Thankfully the restaurant was open, and we had a most fabulous meal – and left there so full we could barely move! Freddie & Lani had fed us to the hilt once again! Delicious!! The next morning it was off to Napier. The drive through the pass was really windy, with huge gusts at some points.  Had to stay alert that’s for sure!! On the way, we passed through Taupo, and went for a drive around the steam parks. They’re really quite an amazing site, and an engineering feat!    Today we went to the National Aquarium of New Zealand. Saw lots of really pretty fishies, turtles, fairy penguins, eels, sharks, stingray, alligators – a whole truckload of marine life!! Got some quite good photos too, which we will try to get more of, posted, once we get some good reliable free wifi 🙂    The winds have been really full on in parts, and the night before we had arrived in Napier, they had had an overnight snow for the first time in a lot of years.  By the time we got here, the snow in town had thawed, but can still be seen up on the mountains.  One of the really amazing things on this trip, is that every single day, we have seen rainbows.  Makes us both smile 🙂 It’s supposed to be 0º tonight again, and we are heading further south to Wellington tomorrow, hoping to catch the ferry across the strait to the South Island on Saturday.  A few of the ferries have been cancelled in the last couple of days, so it’s fingers-crossed that we make it over!

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