The Anstis's

Trip Start Sep 30, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
The Anstis Residence

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Friday, October 12, 2012

Taking advantage of an ACTUAL computer to write my blog before I head off properly on my own. I arrived here last Friday and was going to just stay here for a couple of days and leave at the same time as Kate and Isaac on Sunday. It's now Wednesday evening and I will genuinely be very sad to leave tomorrow morning not only just for the home comforts absent in a hostel but also because I'm leaving the Anstis family who have been far too generous as well as lots of fun and Claire who kept me entertained, made me coffee, reminded me of why we love Yorkshire and driven me all over.

Although the weather has not been perfect here with it still being spring - a storm hit over the weekend with lots of rain and gale force winds - it's been really quite sunny for the past few days and so in spare moments when Les is busy I've enjoyed soaking up the sun on the decking in the beautiful lush garden overlooking dense bush. Really their 'little patch of paradise' as Isaac put it. Kate took us to the beach on Saturday and had a huge dilemma over whether to go back and get her surf stuff or not - despite the weather there were a fair few out there and I have to admit it did look lots of fun. Unfortunately she decided against it so I will have to put off my first surf lesson for another time.

Since Isaac and Kate went back - I have made them both promise to visit England soon and see the little patch of Eccleston paradise - I've kept busy by cycling. I cycled into Tauranga and back which was a nice ride but all ever so slightly uphill on the way back so that I felt I deserved the coffee and quiche I got from Claire's work when I called in. Les then took me mountain biking. I wasn't quite prepared for quite how downhill it would be, or quite how sheer the drops at the side of the track would be. I was pretty sure I would die and obviously managed to fall off pretty much straight away. Les was very patient however as I made my way down at snail's pace (and back up even slower) and it was actually a lot of fun and I would definitely love to do it again until I conquer my irrational fear of going at high speed down a steep, rough, switchbacked track. However I'll have to let my bum recover first.

Claire popped round after work and kindly took me to her and Sam's flat where we cooked tea. Unfortunately it's quite a small and temporary arrangement with only two hobs and a wok to cook in. Claire inventively overcame these obstacles by cooking the meat and sauce in the wok, and boiling the carrots and the noodles in the kettle. Genius. Worked a treat. Another obstacle was the completely unexpected beer bottle top on the sauce. We don't know if this normal in New Zealand as Sam the man never cooks and so has never encountered one before. We then went to the hot pools - more naturally heated baths in the open air which are a pretty cool way to finish the day, with the boys rebelliously breaking the no jumping rule at closing time, or 'bomb o'clock'.

Instead of leaving today Claire and I decided to do a road trip on her day off and so headed up Coromandel to Cathedral Cove. We scrambled over the stairs, rocks and mud for an hour with me cursing the unpredictable New Zealand weather as I had to carry my jumper, top, pumps and socks in the midday heat. Worth it though, as it really was beautiful and looked very tropical with white sand and turquoise water. We then went to hot water beach, another of New Zealands many geothermal wonders. At low tide you can hire a spade and dig up the beach to find hot water oozing up and creating hot pools. We cleverly timed it so that we arrive tenminutes after high tide to find the many other visitors had already created lots of (often scalding!) pools for us to enjoy, although with the sunshine we regretted laughing off Les' suggestion of taking our 'togs'.

On the way back through the lovely green, rolling farmland and during our stop off eating lunch overlooking the sea at a quiet little town we were both very quiet, clearly worn out from the day's exertions. Now we're getting on for the mid-twenties we just can't keep up!
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mum and dad on

Looks fantastic. Sounds very busy. Cant wait to see you on a breaker

mum and dad on

Busy, busy. Where next?

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