orry for the pause this missal. We woke up early in our Sheep Shearers Cottage and drove the car to the Blenheim airport. Vineyards surround the entire area and the airport is next to the New Zealand Airforce, all four planes of it. Again the airports are a treat. No one could care less who you are and what you might be carrying on to the plane. The majority of the planes are prop planes and for the short jaunts they are tiny carrying 10 passengers. Our journey to the Northland began with the bigger plane taking 20 people and took us to Auckland. The flight attendent was incredibly chatty to the point of neglecting her duties. Great views of the two volcanoes peaking above the cloud cover. The smaller plane from Auckland to Whangerei left the door to the cockpit open and the copilot doubled as the flight attendent. Kind of incredible to see the landing strip as we landed.
We had a b and b booked in what I thought was close to Whangarei but Whangarei Head is two bays over so we twisted and turned our way eatlng lunch before arriving at Mcleod Bay and ultimately to Flutes a B and B with one room and an apt
. Kay is the owner. Though this is her house she is a wonderful host and the house is laid out with privacy for the guests. Our bedroom overlooked the bay with our own deck and one could view The Whangarei Head (rock formations) from the bathroom. All around were lush fields some with sheep, some with cows and some neighboring ducks who happily quacked us to sleep. Kay has befriended the local fauna: these include: several Pukekoes, one who answers to Pip (the pukekoe is a funny bird with long legs and really big feet. They have a red beak and are black with a dark blue chest and belly) Spike a very bullying Gull, a small bunny and a duck named Topsy. We arrived at around 5 and did not feel like going out again and Kay made up a delicious cheese platter and we had a bottle of Otago Arcadia sparkling wine and we sat on our own deck looking at the sunset thinking This is the life while Pip, Spike, and Topsy hovered about. Breakfast was included and there were homemade muffins, home made marmalades and muselii with fresh fruit and plunge coffee. Kay had a great sense of humor and our brief stay was excellent.
Then it was on to the Waipoua Forest. We took the long scenic route over hill and dale with fields and mountains and lakes. It took us about 2 to 3 hours to drive from the east to the west coast. I only have a few of the pictures on this entry. More will be added later