Tom & Holly Travels
since 2004

Day 5 – Auckland

G'Day Mate How You Going?


       Yesterday we took a ferry to Waiheke Island. We went past the volcanic island of Rangitoto. If you google Rangitoto eruption, you will see a simulation video of what it would be like if you were standing on the beach today when it erupted. I will tell you it is not G rated and you will forever be amazed at the power of a volcano. I can see why when the pranksters were setting off fireworks from the top that people panicked. If you do google it, you can slide the video to the end if you just want to see the eruption. It is worth the watch!


   Next we visited an olive grove. We learned as we knew that your olive oil should always be in a dark green bottle, never more than two years old, and say ‘extra virgin.” This used to mean first cold pressed but now has a more in-depth meaning.  Now it is actually regulated with no added junk. That means the olive oil you buy should only come from Australia, New Zealand or California. California is the only place in the US that controls its olive oil. We asked about Italy and she said, “no” because the olive groves in Italy keep their good olive oil for themselves. We did taste some delicious oils and herb seasonings. She also had made blueberry muffins using olive oil. Yum and healthier than using butter.

    Next on to two wineries. The first had a two hundred year old tree in which a lot of weddings take place under.  As we stood under the tree with the stunning scenery, I could see why. Just something romantic about wineries! It was a beautiful place to be. I even tried out the tire swing.


    As many of you know I have written a book about my Dad’s life. I wanted to piece all of his wonderful stories together. There were definite gaps in his stories, and I wanted to make certain I had the ‘real’ facts before it was too late.  I became enamored by how many times the “Luck of the Irish,” as he called it, seemed to be there for my Dad at just the right time in his life. Once during military training just before WWII, he slept the night under a six by six Army truck. In the morning when he woke the truck was gone. If the truck had moved one direction, I wouldn’t be writing this blog.  As you can see, it moved in the other direction. Since he has story after story such as this, I decided just too much ‘luck’ to not be something much more. So I decided he had a wonderful guardian angel who watched over him. I nicknamed his guardian angel, “Ole, Six by Six.” Anyway Ole Six by Six was with us yesterday.  

    As I mentioned there is very little flat ground in New Zealand, and we have been on some very steep roads with a lot of hairpin turns and drop off cliffs. Well, we happened to be on a patch of flat ground and driving slowly because our driver wanted to show us something. All of a sudden we hear, “Oh dear, we have a problem. We have a very big problem. We even need a new bus.” The gear shifting level had completely separated from its base. Thanks Ole Six by Six!  The mechanical failure what was just a small bump in our journey instead of a major catastrophe. A new bus came and we continued on our journey.  


  We ate dinner overlooking the harbor. The food was awesome. I love dim sum.

  “We live in a world full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharlal Nehru


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Tom and Holly