Peter & his new/old car. He sold the car to Murray & now he may be buying it back.
*****DAY SEVEN (Tuesday, December 9th) - CAR SHOPPING, HISTORY LESSONS & DRINKING WITH PETER & PAM*****
Today was another AWESOME DAY (I just discovered that I can change colors & stuff - oh, this could be fun...)...anyway, back to what I was saying...
The day started off with a trip to Murray's house - a friend of Peter's. Peter had sold his 1928 Plymouth to Murray about 2 years ago and now Murray was going to be selling it back to him, so we went to check it out. Definitely never would have expected to be test driving 1928 cars when I planned my trip to New Zealand! :) It was fun to go for a little ride in his new/old car!
After our car shopping excursion, we drove to the Waitangi Treaty grounds.
It was free for Kiwis (lucky for Peter & Pam) and $20 NZD for everyone else. The $20 is basically to walk through a museum about James Busby & how he helped with Maori relations & his house (or "whare") is where they actually signed the treaty. Every Feb 6th, there is a HUGE celebration on the treaty grounds. This place is definitely a big deal for New Zealand. The things I saw there were similar to what I had seen at the Auckland museum...we saw a waka (war canoe), a whare runanga (meeting house), and lots of maori carvings. There was also, of course, the pohutukawa trees (big green trees with red flowers all over them)....and that word is finally starting to roll off my tongue a bit more easily!
After walking around the grounds we headed to the Waikokopu Cafe for an afternoon tea.
I just love how much tea & coffee are a part of their lives here. It is just so fun & civilized or something. I ordered a flat white (my favorite version of coffee over here....I've moved away from the Starbucks americanos...and now I just get a flat white! I think it's kind of like a cappuchino....anyway, it's delish) & a little salad. It was such a nice little place - right in the middle of a lush, green forest-type-jungle thing with ferns and beautiful trees and tui birds (I love the little tui birds...they are black with a white tuft of hair at their neck & they have a really pretty song.....(Lizzie, are you impressed? Megan, I'm sure your sister would love the birds here!).
Pam & I at the waka...the war canoe.
Anyway, after Waitangi, we drove over to Pahia.
Such a cute little beach town. We walked around a little bit, but our main purpose for being there was to catch a ferry over to Russell. Russell was actually known as the "hellhole of the Pacific". I love what the Lonely Planet wrote about it...."those coming to Russell for debauchery will be sadly disappointed: they've missed the orgies on the beach by 170 years." Anyway, we hopped on a ferry & decided we were going to go over and get really drunk....ok....I'm just kidding. We did hop on a ferry & had a lovely ride over. :) It is just so awesome to be out on the water here...there are islands everywhere (hence the name "Bay of Islands", duh! :) )...and it's just gorgeous! We walked around Russell for a bit and then found ourselves at the Duke of Malborough hotel.
Pam & Peter outside The Duke of Malborough hotel in Russell. It's the oldest hotel in New Zealand.
It was actually the first hotel in New Zealand. I also learned that Russell was actually the first capital of New Zealand....so defintiely a very historic little hellhole. And oh, the reason it was known as a hellhole was because it was the first European settlement and it became a haven for drunken sailors, whalers & fleeing convicts. Charles Darwin actually referred to it as full of "the refuse of society". So - it was definitely appropriate for us to have a glass of wine there.....it was probably actually MORE appropriate for us to have more than one glass, but we refrained. :)
Pam & I having a savvie blanc at the Duke.
After Russell, we drove back to the Scahill residence - and I got to do another Rainbow Falls run! I just LOVE this run. It is AMAZING - I will have to bring my camera out with me one day to get pictures of it.
It's just SO peaceful & beautiful & you run along a great running trail (think Presidio meets Jurassic Park) and then there's a fabulous waterfall falling into a huge pool of water. Oh I just loved it!!!
The koru. I've been obsessed with this Maori symbol of the growing fern.
We had our kai (food) at home and then I got to see some of the Scahill family pictures (Julia, you are just going to love hearing the things I saw!). Peter & Pam also showed me the DVD of the infamous Parrot Place that they used to own. It was great to hear stories about their birds and see their labor of love. :) I MUST see the Parrot Place before I leave Kerikeri.
Such a wonderful day!!!!!