35 44.393S 174 20.339E
Posting by Barb:
With Landfall safely on the ‘hard’ Dennis and Becky headed home for Christmas. As I am going home in April I decided to stay in New Zealand for Christmas. So after having 3 people in our little home it was a little quiet with just me on board.
But I was never alone. Ernst and Inge, our neighbors on Atlantis looked after me and had me over for countless coffees accompanied by the most amazing Apple cakes I have ever had. Inge can bake! And then there were cooked dinners too!
I did several hikes around Whangarei, including the beautiful Whangarei Falls and the Tahatea Loop which was a 4 mile loop from the boat to the town basin and back. It was strange to be going out in shorts and flip flops (or ‘jandals’ as they would say here) and be surrounded by color instead of white snow or grey landscapes. Many of the trees, Pohutakawas, were self decorated in red flowers.
I spent a fun Christmas day with my friends Rick and Kyra. They even served me breakfast in bed the next morning. I spent New Year’s eve with Ernst and Inge and their fantastic hamburger, sausage, pork chop and steak BBQ and topped it off with a New Years day brunch with champagne to toast the New Year.
New Year’s weekend I did the Mount Mania hike with my Canadian now Kiwi friend Melissa and that was a work out after all fine wining and dining. The hike is a steady climb 1 hour climb and as the gradient got steeper the views got more spectacular with the Bluff lookout offering great views of Bream Head and the Hen and Chicken Islands. After the hike Melissa, Pete and Melissa’s mom Cathy treated me to a gourmet pizza.
Thanks to great friends it wasn’t such a lonely Christmas ! But it was sure nice to have Denny back on board.