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One month in NZ, Warkworth and around

We landed in Auckland on the 6th of December, went through all the long process of immigration and customs… Even though we informed that all our equipment has been clean because we knew the conditions before flying, they sent us to the slow lanes and it took us 2 hours standing in queues to get out of the airport… My brother picked us up, and drove us to the place we could stay in.

After the first night of sleep, we were pretty rested, no real jet lag (thanks to the stop in Taïwan and the evening landing). We also got surprised of the weather, sunny and warm (well at least for the first day)!

We hung around with the Schnaps family, I met my nephew again and my niece for the first time. (see the Schnaps family)

We hung around Auckland and went shopping, getting used to the “Hi, how are you doing?” again from everybody everywhere 🙂

Bicycle Christmas tree in Auckland

Bicycle Christmas tree in Auckland

Auckland Skytower

Auckland Skytower

Then we got to Warkworth Lodge to meet again Liz, Geoff, Jorgia, Laila and Sonnie. After 3 years the last 3 ones have been growing up so much! It is great to see everybody again, and a lot has changed in the house!

 

The reception is now fully occupied with the office that moved completely there (the reception was just getting built when I left last time), so more space in the house! Also now there are more people/staff who are helping in the lodge and in the office, which is completely new for me!

 

So we got settled in our room, and then started helping! Yep we did clean rooms, make beds, fold towels, iron sheets… And sometimes late after dinner! Liz, Geoff, Laila and Sonnie went away for a week-end for summer holiday, so we enjoyed our week-end doing all the above mentioned and answering the phone and the door bell (even when ringing 3 times without no reason in the middle of the night…)! Liz, Geoff if you read that, yes we did have a good time and enjoy it! 😉

hanging the sheets and towels on the line... personal protective equipment needed = sunglasses!!

hanging the sheets and towels on the line… personal protective equipment needed = sunglasses!!

 

But of course, there is the second part of Help exchange:

  • Going out on a beach walk at Omaha beach (thanks to Sonja, staying at the lodge as well that drove us a bit around),

    Omaha beach

    Omaha beach

  • jumping in the pool or in the hot tub,

    Hot tub at Warkworth lodge

    Hot tub at Warkworth lodge

  • being dropped in Auckland for a few sunny days with the Schnaps family,
    Browns Island, from the Auckland-Half Moon Bay ferry

    Browns Island, from the Auckland-Half Moon Bay ferry

    Auckland harbour bridge

    Auckland harbour bridge

    Sky tower

    Sky tower

  • being pick-up by Geoff with his limo at the bottom of the sky tower to drive back to Warkworth,
    Geoff with the limo!

    Geoff with the limo!

    in the limo...

    in the limo…

    spacious!

    spacious!

  • going on a limo fairy light tour at night and seeing the brightest house ever (that even have a money box in front to pay the electricity bill…)

    over-lighted house

    over-lighted house

  • enjoying Christmas trees while the temperature is around 30 degrees,

    A Christmas tree or a jump in the pool? this is confusing...

    A Christmas tree or a jump in the pool? this is confusing…

  • hiking in the Scandrett Regional park,
    Scandrett regional park

    Scandrett regional park

    Scandrett regional park

    Scandrett regional park

    Scandrett regional park

    Scandrett regional park

  • polishing the boat of Liz’s dad,
    Preparing the surface

    Preparing the surface

    and polishing (yes, safety first!)

    and polishing (yes, safety first!)

  • getting the biggest mug ever for Christmas present (I was stealing Geoff’s one everyday…) and a really nice bottle of local wine,

    The biggest mug!

    The biggest mug!

  • being invited to a kiwi family (Liz’s family) Christmas lunch and having a loooooot of food,

    Kiwi Christmas lunch

    Kiwi Christmas lunch

  • trying to make the famous French Christmas cake: “bûche au chocolat” (Chocolate log) but then I realized it is summer and the chocolate mousse did not stay on the rolled cake because it was too warm… 🙁 I will try again in July, when winter is here…

    Bûche au chocolat, falling appart...

    Bûche au chocolat, falling appart…

  • swimming to Goat Island,
    The water was cold...

    The water was cold…

    yes, we swam there! (I was out of breath, it was high tide and the waves were not making it easy!

    yes, we swam to this island! (I was out of breath, it was high tide and the waves were not making it easy!)

  • walking along the really long and sandy Pakiri beach
    The view between Leigh and Pakiri

    The view between Leigh and Pakiri

    Pakiri beach

    Pakiri beach

  • going out for New year’s Eve in Matakana pub with Sonja and Matthew (helper freshly arrived/jet-lagged), drinking different beers, realizing after 2 hours there that at least 3 persons in the staff were French, listening to live music (until someone fell on the “stage” 50 seconds before midnight…) having a count down to midnight anyway and a happy new year screamed by everybody (but no fireworks) and then trying to find the free shuttle back to Warkworth that brought us to Omaha beach instead and that we had to paid to get to Warkworth… ,

    Matakana Pub

    Matakana Pub

  • watching rodeo and not understanding anything of what was happening but enjoying it anyway,
    Ready for rodeo watching!

    Ready for rodeo watching!

    trying to jump on the calf

    trying to jump on the calf

    trying to catch the calf with lassos

    trying to catch the calf with lassos

  • having a mud challenge when hiking up the mount Tamahunga at dusk/night with only one flash light for 2 (next time, Sonja, remember to check your batteries!) and meeting a possum,

    the last view before total darkness in the forest on the way up to Tamahunga

    the last view before total darkness in the forest on the way up to Tamahunga

  • going on a fishing trip on the previously polished boat… And getting sea-sick quickly, so I was picked up by Geoff, Jorgia and Liz on the Jet ski and had a walk on Kawau Island until they drove me back again home. First experience on a Jetski, it was pretty nice! (also pretty fast, even if not that stable being 4 people  sitting on it! (especially when the fourth one to climb on does not climb and turns us up side down…)
    Starting the fishing trip!

    Starting the fishing trip!

    being happy, on the way to catch food for dinner!

    being happy, on the way to catch food for dinner!

    Froginette passing Motuora Island, 3,5 years later!

    Froginette passing Motuora Island, 3 and a half years later!

    The coast behind us

    The coast behind us

    walking on Kawau Island, being too sea sick to fish...

    walking on Kawau Island, being too sea sick to fish…

    Amazing view from Kawau Island

    Amazing view from Kawau Island

    view above South Cove, Kawau Island

    view above South Cove, Kawau Island

    Lady's Bay, Kawau Island

    Lady’s Bay, Kawau Island

  • And that is already a lot!!

We left the lodge on the 5th of January, now we are in Half Moon Bay looking for a car to buy.

Happy New Year for the ones that did not receive it from http://news.froginette.org !

8 comments to One month in NZ, Warkworth and around

  • “Schnaps family” c’est pas mal comme nom… c’est bête, on vient de refaire nos passeports, on aurait dû en profiter pour changer nos noms de famille officiellement !

  • MamOdile

    eh, mais moi aussi je l’avais trouvé, “Schnaps’family” ! et sur le passeport il y a aussi l’équipage à poipoils ?

    Eh bien voilà donc la suite du super dépliant touristique, nous nous réjouissons en lisant votre journal, et même envisageons de nous en inspirer, ce sera permis ?

  • claire DIAZ

    Merci à toi de nous faire partager ces beaux espaces, je languissais un peu de tes reportages “maison”. Nouvelles sensations, dis donc: je ne sais pas si j’aurais été bien brillante sur le Jet-Ski mais c’est sûr que ça règle le problème du mal de mer.

    • Froginette

      oui c’est clair que pas de mal de mer là, ça secoue et comme tu penses qu’à rester dessus et pas tomber, pfouit oublié le mal de mer!

  • François TABARY

    Bonjour les jeunes,
    Retour sur images : comme quoi, tout est possible, quelques années plus tard.
    Merci pour ces nouvelles du bout du monde, avec une traduction un peu comique.
    Je profite du fonctionnement -enfin- à nouveau correct de mon installation informatique pour accéder au blog.
    C’est super d’avoir pu passer un moment avec la “Schnaps Family”.
    Grosses bises pour la nouvelle année.
    François

    • Froginette

      Salut François, et oui, tout est possible! Comme d’habitude, la traduction n’est pas terrible… mais tant que c’est compréhensible! Bises et bonne année!

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