Paradise Found - Coromandel Peninsula
Trip Start Jun 30, 2008
80Trip End Dec 31, 2009
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Arriving in New Zealand after 2 long flights (L.A to Hong Kong 15.5 hours, with a 6 hour layover, and then Hong Kong to Auckland 11 hours) we were surprised that we felt pretty good. We were all a little lost in terms of time as we went to the Airport in L.A. Tuesday evening and arrived in New Zealand on Friday morning. We were going to go into Hong Kong to kill some time but when Raymond asked the patrol guard at an exit if we could go the guard said "You go, No come back". Raymond rephrased the question but got the same thing again. "YOU GO, NO COME BACK!". We decided to live at the airport for the day.
Cathay Pacific Airlines provides excellent service and took care of all of us. Even beyond all the food and drinks they were very helpful when Monique threw up all over herself mid-way to Hong Kong. Raymond was quick enough to catch one cup full of vomit in the glass he swiped from under my drowsy eyes. All I saw was Raymond quickly reaching over the man sitting next to me and grabbed something. The travel tab I took seemed to work very well as I found out what happened about 15 minutes later as airline workers kept coming back and forth to Monique. I add this so Raymond and I will remember it was not all sunshine and roses.
Unfortunately, Sophia was also quite sick on our first night in Auckland and understandably slept most of the next day. We rented an older van and cautiously went about learning to drive on the 'wrong' (left side) of the road. So far, so good - Raymond drives and I chant "keep left".
Last Christmas in Florida we met a wonderful man from New Zealand trying to get online in the lobby of our hotel. He (Jack) and Raymond struck up a conversation; after Raymond told him we planned to come to New Zealand he said he would help us. He, and his wife Adrienne have been incredibly helpful, and we cannot thank them enough. We enjoyed meeting up with them on Monday and then drove out to their 'bach'/cabin on Waitete Bay at the north end of the Coromandel Peninsula where we will stay 2 weeks. When we arrived we were shocked by the dramatic coast, beautiful beaches and rugged ranges. Not to mention the abundance of sheep (and their excrement) - everywhere. We were told New Zealand looks much like B.C, I would have to disagree as it's much more tropical here which is reflected in the trees and flowers, not to mention the turquoise ocean.
The kids are enjoying the freedom to run and play outside, collect shells on the beach, swim in the ocean, hike and somewhere in there a bit of schoolwork.