Around Auckland with Marilyn and Vick

Trip Start Oct 26, 2007
Trip End Oct 26, 2009

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

I was taken on a tour of Auckland by my London-based friend Nigel's sister Marilyn, and her partner Vick (whose Maori name is Wicki), who live in Auckland.  It was great to meet Marilyn again.  Even though we had met 10 years previous at a Tottenham Hotspur match in London, we had hazy memories!  I couldn't get over how like Nigel Marilyn is, both having lovely speaking voices, and the same compelling eyes and big, beautiful smiles!  Nigel has a twin, Neil, but Marilyn is more like him than Neil.

We had a lovely time, starting with brunch on the city's waterfront.  The muesli made us all laugh, as there was enough to feed a family of six in my bowl!  I do love my food, but it was way too much!  The young waitress looked surprised when I asked if she'd heard from others that the muesli portion was rather large.. seems she hadn't, but it also seemed she was less than interested in her day job, so we just chuckled and grazed on muesli as we ordered our second cups of flat white coffee.  I have been known to refer to it as "flat line" coffee, mistakenly!  Flat white is a coffee special to New Zealand.. it's not really a latte, more a creamier cappuccino.. if that makes sense?  I suppose you would be flat-lining if you had too many flat whites...

After our brunch we went to the highest point in Auckland, at Mt Eden, the site of a defunct volcano.  Auckland is sitting in the middle of inactive volcanoes.  It's such an impressive sight looking out over the city and seeing all of the cones and craters!  We watched tourists ignoring the large "Do Not Walk Into The Crater" and marching right into the centre. 

Marilyn, Vick and I will meet up with Nigel, his fiance Anne (first time I've written that, since Nigel and Anne announced their engagement in January!)  and many of Nigel's friends when we celebrate Nigel's birthday in Marrakech in May.  And then we will meet up again when Nigel and Anne marry in September!  It's going to be a great year, that's all I can say.

I love New Zealand, and the people who live here.  There's no hassle.  Things are easy.  Of course I appreciate I'm on perma-holiday, and I would feel less stressed and hassled, but that's not it.  There's something in the air here.. people are relaxed.. the quality of life is good.. there's a laid back-ness that is very nice.  As my shuttle-bus driver cum rock star guitarist said to me when driving back to the Bay of Islands Airport, "If we were more laid back we'd be horizontal..!"

Enjoy the photos.
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