*****DAY SIX (Monday, December 8th) - HANGING WITH THE SCAHILLS IN KERIKERI*****
I've had such a wonderful time so far up in Kerikeri
I took the bus up yesterday (Sunday, Dec 7th) and arrived at 7pm. Peter (Julia Scahill's father) picked me up at the "bus station" - it's literally just a sign out in front of a store in town - and drove me back to their house. The Scahill's were so kind to offer me a place to stay in Kerikeri!! It was a beautiful evening and Peter, Pam and I had a glass of wine in the backyard when I got in. I got a tour of the garden (I am learning a lot about bromeliads!!), saw the parrots (Peter's hobby!), and we had a DELICIOUS dinner of smoked red snapper, chicken, rice salad, beetroot (what beets are called here), salad & then a little lemonchello (sp?) & gem tarts that Pam made.
a couple parrots at peter's friend's house. peter used to run the "parrot place" where there are over 30 species of parrots. i will have to go check that out before i leave kerikeri!
First time I've ever tried mince pie. YUM!!! It was so much fun chatting with them and getting to know them!!! I feel really lucky to be here. :)
So, today was the first day where the weather wasn't perfect. I still think it's GORGEOUS up here - so I will be interested to see how even more gorgeous it can be. The day started with me getting up a bit late, having a coffee and lounging around a bit. Definitely felt like I was on vacation. Then, I went with Peter to their friends house b/c he had to drop something off & we also went to check out their garden (I told you I was learning a lot about bromeliads! I am actually developing quite an appreciation - there are so many & they are so pretty!) and their parrots (plants & parrots - two things Peter & his friend have in common!)
Peter then dropped me off to hang out with his daugther-in-law, Wendy.
Me at the monument for the Rainbow Warrior.
She was SO nice and gave me a tour of the area. We went over to Matauri Bay
& checked out the monument to the Rainbow Warrior (the Greenpeace ship that was sunk by the French). It was a pretty little hike and it was overlooking a magnificent coastline & a view of many islands (hence the name "Bay of Islands"!) We hiked a little bit & walked on the beach a little bit and then headed back. On the way back we hit a winery, Marsden Estate Winery, (delicious Savignon Blanc - I decided to bring one back for Peter & Pam) and a delicious chocolate store, Makana Confections where we got a taste of their yummy macademia nut toffee brittle!!!
After our outing, I came back to Peter & Pam's and really wanted to go on a run.
The Makana Chocolate Factory. Wendy & I stopped here for a yummy sample!
I ended up doing the most beautiful run to Rainbow Falls!!! I was really the only one on the path & I felt like I was running through a rain forest or a jungle or something! Well, there was one older guy out there walking & I felt bad because I think I scared him. I tried to cough and stamp my feet hard to give him warning that I was coming, but I think he jumped a bit when I said hi to him as I ran by. Anyway, I ran about 25 minutes through this goregous scenery until I got to Rainbow Falls. It was just so peaceful and pretty. It had started to sprinkle a bit - but I actually really liked that! It felt great!!! I then ran back to the house to get ready for dinner (I was actually 2 minutes faster on the way back. Woo hoo! I'm an animal)
That night we (Peter, Pam and I) went out to dinner with Wendy & Chris (Julia's brother) and their kids (Sam & Tim).
New Zealand meets Jerusalem at Cafe Jerusalem.
We went to the coolest restaurant - The Cafe Jerusalem...or Cafe J, as they like to call it! Their other daughter (Aviv) and her husband (Asher) actually own it. It was so funny because I had actually read about it in Lonely Planet before coming up there & had wanted to try it. Who knew that I was going to be staying with relatives of the owners?!? The food was DELICIOUS - we had hummus, falafel, tabouli, shwarma, etc....YUM. And it was so cool, they had all these pictures of Jerusalem around the restaurant & some things were written in Hebrew. I just loved it - Jerusalem meets New Zealand. :)
The whole Scahill family has been so warm and welcoming...it's been a really incredible experience so far. I think I will be here for at least 2 more days....
Dinner at Cafe J with the Scahills - on the left, from the back it's Pam, Chris, Sam & Tim. on the right, from the back that's me, Peter and Wendy!
I think I'm going to go to Pahia
& Russell tomorrow, and then take a day trip to Cape Reinga
on Wednesday. Thursday I may do some mountain biking somewhere, and then head down to Whangarei
where I may do a dive trip to Poor Knights Island. Chris and Wendy even said I could borrow their car one day if I needed it. I will just need to keep thinking STAY LEFT, STAY LEFT, STAY LEFT!!!
Oh, and I'm working on my Maori...here are some of the things I have learned...
- Te Hiku ote Ika - means "The tail of the fish".
Peter outside of Cafe Jerusalem!
..that's what they call the north part of the North Island because the whole island looks like a fish. It's from a story about how the islands were formed. It's called Maui's fish - he was the one that fished the north island out of the sea from the South Island (which is the boat). The north part of the North Island is the tail, Lake Taupo is the heart, and the head is down by Wellington
. Maori folks will say they are going "up" to Wellington because they are traveling up the fish....as opposed to saying they are heading down, since it is south.
-pohutukawa - these are the very pretty NZ "christmas" trees - they get a lot of red flowers this time of year. i have to keep repeating it to remember it!
- aloranui (i think that's right) - means "much love"
- kai - means food
- kia ora - means hello, great!, and a few other things too
- gumboot tea - normal tea that you drink in the morning
- and i'm working on my pronunciations.
another bromeliad! this one is called, "perfection".
...for ex, Whangarei is pronounced Fangaray....and Lake Taupo is pronounced Lake Toe-paw (that one is hard for me for some reason)
A huge thank you to Julia for introducing me to her family! :)