Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Barry’s in Tall Spirits

Since our last posting, Barry has had his 56th birthday (6 December) and we had a few days away in the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula as I’d been in Auckland for the weekend on my Life Coaching Diploma.  I’d already booked the accommodation and his air fare before he opened up the shop, and we have a very competent friend who looked after 'ezimade' while he was away.  I know how challenging it can be for self-employed business people to take time off (having lived with Barry when he had his photography business when he hardly ever had a holiday) and I don’t want Barry to go down that road again, especially after he’s tasted three years of not a lot of employment!  It’s gone from the sublime to the ridiculous lately, but that’s OK, it’ll settle down and we’ll adjust.

We drove up the west coast of the peninsula, which hugs the coast most of the way so you’re almost driving on the golden beaches which are lined with Pohutakawa trees (NZ xmas trees), though sadly only a handful of them were in bloom. It’s one of my favourite places in New Zealand, having visited  many times with visiting family, but Barry has only visited a couple of places, briefly, many years ago – so I showed the kiwi some of his own country, just like he showed me some of mine when we were on the canals.

It’s tragic isn’t it that we often fail to see what’s in ‘our own back yard’.  “What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?’  At this point I’ll apologise for the quality of the following photos – taken with my new ‘iphone 4s’, but by me rather than Barry so they’re not up to the usual standard despite it being a fantastic camera!

IMG_0352 Stunning beaches and Pohutakawa trees line the road


Me and Barry on the eve of his birthday, in Coromandel town, at the Pepper Tree restaurant in Coromandel town – one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever tasted!

On Barry’s birthday we went to the 'Driving Creek Railway', built in the bush by Barry Brickell over a period of years, and then drove along the '309 road' which is 22 km of winding gravel road that cuts across the Coromandel Peninsula from west to east and has a few attractions along the way.  The second one I’d been to three times before, but it was Barry’s first time.  When I said we were going to a water park, he thought I meant slides and pools – ha!  Little did he know what fun he’d have …

IMG_0368 IMG_0383  At the Driving Creek railway station and in the train, high in the bush, overlooking the Coromandel

IMG_0426 IMG_0438 In the Waiau Waterworks Park, Barry plays out his inner child!!!  56 or between 5 & 6?

After the water park, it was a visit to the waterfall, book into the accommodation at Hot Water Beach, and a quick walk to Cathedral Cove – sadly there’s been some rock falls here so it’s cordoned off (no that it stops most people!)


IMG_0467 Sadly the tide never went out at Hot Water Beach, so we didn’t get to dig a hot pool, despite waiting around with our spades for almost two hours!  Ah well, we’ll have to go back one day …

The time away together was far too short, and it was soon back to the shop for Barry – not that he minded!  He’s loving the new opportunity and has been unbelievably busy since he opened.  New Zealand is one of only three countries in the world where it’s legal to brew your own spirits, and it seems that having somewhere with the equipment for spirits, as well as beer, wine, cider and cheese and yoghurt making, is a very popular place to frequent in Gisborne.  He’s even just been featured on the front page of the national home brewer’s magazine …

Barry in tall spirits But don’t worry, despite  his success his main aim is returning to the waterways of Britain early in 2013, all of the things we’re doing here in New Zealand in the meantime are working towards that goal.

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