What a difference a year makes – last day in New Zealand

I can’t begin to describe how grateful I am to have had this amazing opportunity to bring my mum back to New Zealand to remember dad on the anniversary of his death. They both came to visit me here in March 2002, on my first adventure, so we have many precious memories of fun and happy times.

Mum has blossomed – she seems ten years younger with the constant company, magical memories and of course we’ve been extremely blessed with blue skies and warm sunshine almost daily.

This evening (though it’s now Sunday still in UK!), we fly from Gisborne to Auckland at 1705hrs, then leave Auckland for Singapore at 0115hrs on Tuesday 16th February. A few people are coming to say Haere Ra at Gisborne airport, and even one friend is meeting us at the Domestic Terminal at Auckland airport to transport us to International and come and have a coffee with us.

I’d forgotten how many people I know here, which has admittedly has been quite overwhelming for mum at times. It’s been incredible to see so many of them again – especially a few who haven’t been in the best of health in recent times. Very precious.

Barry has coped admirably being a lone boater and will be in Chirk, North Wales, where I’ll return to the boat by the end of the week. It’s going to be a huge shock to the system returning to the lower temperatures of UK after the sublime average of 25 degrees centigrade here.

I’ve got lots to look forward to though in the coming months – festivals and family and friends. And of course we have the second round of Barry’s UK Spousal Sponsored Visa application in July which will be another milestone for us. Once we’ve (successfully) passed that date, we can make plans for the following couple of years to ensure he gets through round three also! It feels like the British government have a bit of a vendetta at the moment against Kiwis in Uk which is very disappointing. Still, it is what it is, and we’ll do our utmost to tick the requisite boxes to stay.

Today has a pretty tight schedule, so I’ll post just a few more photos from our New Zealand story to brighten your days before we return …


One of many coffee jaunts at cafes here – this one is at Muirs, a fabulous bookshop on the main street


Tologa Bay Wharf – which has recently had a makeover and now showcases these stunning carvings and fascinating history


Turihau beach, where mum and I discovered dozens of Paua shells in 2002 – not so many in 2016 but she’s searching …


Visiting Barry’s previous business in Gisborne – Ezimade – where they have a board of photos showing his past customers what he’s up to


On the anniversary of dad’s death, 9th February, we had a reflective walk on Wainui Beach where dad and I saw a seal in 2002


We went on the MV Takitimu on a boat trip around Poverty Bay to look at the cruise ship Sea Princess


Spectacular Anaura Bay up the east coast – and the room where Barry and I had our honeymoon 22nd December 2009 – this is Rangimarie one of the best places I’ve ever stayed at


An early rise on Saturday 13th February to watch the sun rise at Pouawa – the first country to see the new day

6 thoughts on “What a difference a year makes – last day in New Zealand

  1. Pingback: Good Old Gisborne ~ Barry & Sandra's Adventures

  2. Pingback: Celebrating Barry's 65th Birthday Back In Gisborne ~ Barry & Sandra's Adventures

  3. Tutelage Bay! Is that something to do with predictive text? Glad you had a great time with lots of positive memories. We love the shells at Turihaua, depends on the time of year though. We are back in England mid-September to mid-October so will have to try to catch up. Regards to Barry. Cheers, Phil

    • Haha, it’s been amusing to see what the computer decides Maori words must be. I shall edit … (I know you know it’s Tologa Bay, lol!).
      Yes many magical memories – I looked out for you guys, meant to email to check your address but never quite squeezed it in. And yes, Tongaroa brings differing gifts depending on the tidal flow.
      Would be really fabulous to see you both in England, we’ll be trading at Tipton and Parched middle and end September so if you’re in the area give us a call.
      It’s a little chilly back here compared to Gisborne – enjoy your sunshine.
      Sandra 😉

  4. Hi Sandra, I have thought of you and your mum over the last few weeks and been delighted that you both have had such beautiful summer holiday – hasn’t the weather been wonderful? I am working down in Hokitika during the week and it has been just stunning here – no wonder tourists fill the place! You will appreciate this, I know – I went for a swim in the local pool this morning and a woman said to me it had been really busy as there were at least eleven people swimming …
    Travel safely back to the UK, and hopefully we will see you there anon,
    Marilyn (nb Waka Huia)

    • Kia ora Marilyn
      Yes we had a marvellous time, the weather was amazing for us.
      Haha, yes, that sounds ‘busy’, it’s all a matter of perspective isn’t it?!
      Arrived safely on Tuesday evening, welcomed by Barry and my sister which was lovely.
      Fingers crossed we catch up properly this year when you’re here.

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