Napier, NZ

Trip Start Feb 01, 2008
Trip End Feb 17, 2008

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

In Napier, I had scheduled an all day tour with Ferg's Fantastic Tours.  The gang plank was rather steep and difficult to navigate, and Dick twisted his leg as he was coming down.  He was in a great deal of pain as we climbed into the van, but decided to stay with us and hope for the best.  Ferg took us on a short tour of Napier, explaining that the town was almost completely leveled during the 1931 earthquake.  It was rebuilt in the beautiful art deco style that was in vogue at the time (some thought that the art deco buildings south of Miami are more abundant and impressive).

Ferg drove us out to the Mission Estates Winery where we enjoyed wine tasting and saw the vineyards.  I bought a bottle of their delicious Riesling and had no trouble bringing it onboard.  While we were enjoying the winery, Ferg was checking for places to rent some crutches for Dick to use for the rest of the day.

He dropped us off at our next destination - the Aquarium and then picked up the crutches.  However we had been promised a dolphin show at Marineland in prior communications, so I was not happy about this change.  Ferg and Dick met us at the Aquarium, and we proceeded to a hotel where we enjoyed an outstanding buffet lunch.  After lunch, Ferg stopped to pick up 2 more people who were joining us for the afternoon tour.

We then drove through the Tuki Tuki Valley and up to Te Mata Peak for some spectacular views of the valleys.  We stopped for a brief cheese-tasting at a pretty tacky place, and then to the Strawberry Patch where most of us bought some delicious fruit ice cream.  Ferg bought fresh strawberries and chocolate for dipping and we had a lovely dessert picnic in their arbor.

He drove back to the Mission Estate Winery to drop off the couple that joined us after lunch.  This took time away from our tour, and we missed some of the other stops we had been promised (Marineland, Pernel's Fruitworld, another winery and a chocolate factory).  For this reason, I cannot recommend Ferg's Fantastic Tours.  However, he did go above and beyond to obtain crutches for my husband to use during the day, so for that we were grateful.  He also gave me a small discount for bringing other people on the tour with us.

We were greeted at the port by a jazz band and people dressed in 1930's garb standing next to their vintage cars.  The ship's crew put Dick in a wheelchair and pushed him up the ramp.  I was able to borrow crutches at the Medical Center (conveniently located just down the hall from our cabin!).

Sophie and Ruth were happy to find their luggage in their cabin, so were sporting new outfits at dinner!   We passed on the evening's entertainment;  "The Lord of the Rings" in the movie theater and a comedian in the Celebrity Theater.
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