After completing the 5 state Tour de Family 2016 USA, we flew from LAX back to Auckland. Lucky for us we had a copy of our official Temporary Import Permit for the boat from New Zealand when we checked in, as they were not going to let us on the flight without a return ticket. In the end the ticket agent ended up calling New Zealand Immigration in Auckland to get an OK. After a few days back on the boat in Whangarei our friends Di and Ken showed up from San Diego for a few week visit.
First up was boat drinks on the shore in Russell, the old whaling port in the Bay of Islands.
In ít’s hey day, Russel was known as the Hell Whole of the Pacific because of the uncontrolled debauchery of the whalers, escaped Australian convicts and other shady characters. For me, I go by the ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans’. Unfortunately my traveling companions got a little tired of the bad behavior.
This is not official rusty stuff, but it is a pretty old printing press, circa 1800’s, used by the French church to translate into Maori and print Catholic prayer and hymn books. Much to the chagrin of the Protestant British missionaries across the bay.
We took the ferry across to the mainland and headed up to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Ken got promoted from his previous position as a Battalion Chief to Chief of the Pakeha (a non-Maori New Zealander) tribe. Here’s a Maori warrior testing Ken’s manlyhood during the traditional Maori greeting.
He passed and got to have some private one-on-one time with the Chief, aka Tiny. Not really a full bromance, but enough to help smooth over some of Trump’s comments.
The hakas are designed to intimidate the opponents – works for me.
We spent the night at the Pagoda Holiday park just outside of Kerikeri. It butts onto this river that connects to the Bay of Islands. This is the old boat house guarded by white ducks.
Looking out toward the Bay.
The Pagoda Holiday Park official greeter and night security.
Why this RV rental company thinks it is a good idea to debate in public the age old question of What came first, the chicken or the egg is beyond me. And they say our politics is crude.
I still just don’t get the blame the victim signs in the carparks here.
Another very helpful sign in the petrol station (aka gas station).
We’re on to the South Island next.