As has been a regular feature of my extraordinary time in New Zealand, I have been given names of friends of friends and family from all over the country, and it meant meeting so many generous, but above all the fun people. One of the greatest attractions of New Zealand has been 'people beauty' as much as nature's beauty.
|This is the famous John Britten motorcycle at the Te Papa Museum in Wellington. Completely hand built but for the tyres by a slightly maverick but brilliant engineer. This bike was the fastest in the world and one man created a machine that bested the might of the multibillion dollar motorcycle industry.|
|These snaps cannot really do it justice, but hints at the situation. It has to be noted that the film director, James Cameron, has just acquired the property next door and he, if anyone, knows where dreams combine with reality.|
|The Gascoigne family and friends. My one night here was criminally short, but the memories will last the full term|
|Peter saddled me on a quad bike and we rode off in tandem for a few hours up the coast on track, beach and pasture. A magical morning's entertainment.|
|H, Katrina and Glenda.|
|Trevors' bees. Rather embarrassingly I had taken a small offering of a honeycomb of honey for having me to stay, only to be dressed up in bee paraphernalia and shown the inner workings of his hive. It produces gallons and gallons of honey.|
|Over the course of the veggie oil saga that has, I'm afraid, dominated parts of this blog, I have corresponded with a number of sustainable fuel enthusiasts, many from the http://www.biofuelsforum.com in Australia. Not only does Peter, pictured, run his vehicles using mostly contemporary fuel, he also has a barn/garage that is the envy and intrigue of any mechanically minded person. The highlight has to be his Triumph Bonneville drag bike that he has built and won many championships with.|
|views from the near Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula on the North Island|
We met as planned and I couldn't help telling Lily where we were going as we approach the tower. Her excitement at the idea was clear to see and appeared to match my own. However as we went to the lift that hurls you up hundreds of metres, I completely lost my nerve much to Lily's bewilderment and my humbling horror. I was completely taken by surprise by this sudden terror, I had booked it the day before without a second thought, but I just froze. Looking back it was a stupid thing to have done, I had forgotten that heights can disabled me, and I had got swept away by the splendour of the idea. At least Lily went up and had a good look around before we found a comparatively dull waterside restaurant for lunch. Ironically had I had half bottle of wine before going to the tower, I am sure I would have made it. What a plonker.
The day was rescued for me at least, by Lily's good company as we boated around Auckland's harbour.