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 ...

Tuesday 6 March 2012

News from the edge of the world (or rather the beginning) ...

On Friday last week I had to travel to Auckland for my eighth 'Diploma in Holistic Life Coaching' weekend, usually about a seven hour drive, through beautiful scenery.  Gisborne is literally on the edge of the world, and is the first place to see the sun each day (well that is until they changed the date-line on 31 December 2011 and Samoa 'lost' a day).  There are only two roads north from Gisborne, one through a gorge which is the shortest route and the other around the East Cape, another three hours at least.  On Friday morning a friend of mine phoned to say that the gorge was closed for a few hours, due to a 'slip' of something onto the road, so I waited a while.  By 12 midday though it was announced on the radio that it would be closed until Sunday - so off I went the long way and arrived in Auckland around 2130hrs - a nine and a half hour drive of around 650kms.  In the early hours of Saturday morning, a massive landslide occurred in the Waioeka Gorge, which has now closed the road for 4 - 6 weeks!  So it's likely it won't even be open when we get back from England - incredible.  How fortunate that it didn't happen when someone was driving past.

It's now Tuesday afternoon and my bags are packed ready to head to Auckland airport this evening around 2200hrs.  Barry is still working in his shop, ezimade, and is scheduled to catch the last flight out of Gisborne at 1840hrs.  Let's hope nothing goes wrong with it as there's no way he'll be able to make it to Auckland by road if he doesn't!

Not many photos at the moment, but here's one from last night - Deb and I went to 'Euro', a restaurant owned by Simon Gault who is a famous NZ chef.  The food was delicious, but expensive, and actually not as amazing as I expected and nowhere near the quality of The Marina Restaurant in Gisborne that we went to recently with our English guests Jean and Jeremy.

Deb and I at 'Euro' on the waterfront in Auckland

We've more or less arranged now to catch up with Captain Ahab and Belle on the weekend of 17th March, so Barry should get his canal and narrowboat 'fix'!   It'll be lovely to see them both again.

We arrive at Heathrow around 1615hrs on Wednesday 7th March, where we'll collect a hire car for the 20 days of our brief visit, and initially drive to my parents in Ombersley.  I'm hoping that the traffic isn't too awful, it always takes a bit of getting used to after the delightful slowness of New Zealand.

We'll stay there for a few days before travelling to Kim's in Brighton on Saturday until the Monday, before heading back to Ombersley for a few more days, then up to Malpas to see Lisa and our gorgeous grandson for the first time in person - we think he may try and put us back into the computer as he's only ever seen us on Skype!

It's coming into autumn here and we'll be arriving in UK to the spring - I'm looking forward to seeing the daffodils and crocus's, as well as my family, and I suspect Barry is looking forward to drinking more English beer - that's if he gets to Auckland on time ...

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