Day 7 & 8 – The outdoors

The Bay of Plenty is spectacular. Amazingly still mostly undeveloped. No highrises, low one-storey unpretentious houses, Caribbean-blue water, golden sand beaches and graceful sailboats crossing the harbours. We head out in a boat to see the Bay and hopefully see dolphins. Rules around dolphin watching are strict: limit your time, only watch a pod once,Continue reading “Day 7 & 8 – The outdoors”

Day 5 & 6 – Of Hobbits, Maori and totem poles

Today was tourist day. We drove out to Hobbiton, the film site where The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were filmed. A tourist trap but I have to admit, it was worth it. The natural scenery was beautiful in a I-want-to-live-in-this-fairy-tale place and the film set was tastefully done. You are driven into theContinue reading “Day 5 & 6 – Of Hobbits, Maori and totem poles”

Day 3 & 4–Marae

We are near Rotorua (two lakes), four hrs south of Auckland. It is geyser, hot springs country with pockets of steam shooting up through a garden fence, between houses, behind a gas station, and pockets of air smelling of sulphur. The landscape has changed from rolling hills, tall trees with abundant evergreen foliage interspersed withContinue reading “Day 3 & 4–Marae”

Oct 21-23, Recuperating in Sitges!

I am not sure how I ended up in Sitges, just south of Barcelona but it may be because it’s so close to Casteldefells where we spent time as children fifty (OMG) years ago. My father had rented a villa. We all remember staying in France the night before and my father came into ourContinue reading “Oct 21-23, Recuperating in Sitges!”

Part 2, Day , Oct 18 to Santiago de Compestella – Last day

Postscript… I just realized this did not get published. Oops. Better late than never…. I only had 25k left but I was in no rush. I had 2 days before I had to be in Santiago to meet Diny. Diny was walking the Camino Frances and I had planned to surprise her but she figuredContinue reading “Part 2, Day , Oct 18 to Santiago de Compestella – Last day”

Part 2, Day 9, October 16 – Caldas de Rais to Padrón

Bad news and good news. The good news is I managed, after many emails, to snag a booking in a hotel that is a 15th century stone monastery that saves 20 rooms for pilgrims. I started emailing for a reservation for two nights but they were full. Twice a day I would send anContinue reading “Part 2, Day 9, October 16 – Caldas de Rais to Padrón”

Part 2, Day 8, October 15 – Ponteverdra to Caldas de Rais

Things are breaking down today, or have been over the last few days but accumulating: First the blog is 5 or 6 days behind. I will blog out of order. Live with it. I hub a cold. It is raining! My umbrella has two ribs broken. If I adjust those ribs just so, I canContinue reading “Part 2, Day 8, October 15 – Ponteverdra to Caldas de Rais”