61. Christmas on Waiheke Island

We’ve been having a lovely restful Christmas on Waiheke island with Dave’s brother and his family, enjoying wonderful food and wine every day, often on the deck with its beautiful view.



What’s keeping Dave from the view? His present from Penny:



For those who don’t know about it the island is only about 35 minutes from Auckland on the pedestrian ferry or 45 minutes to 1 hr from Halfmoon Bay on the vehicular ferry.  (Driving from Auckland city to Halfmoon Bay takes longer!) At this time of year the pohutukawa trees are blooming everywhere. Although not quite the orange-red of the Queensland flame tree, the colour is spectacular especially when in full sun.The sea sparkles and all the little bays and beaches flaunt suntanned people having fun.

The island is very hilly, with narrow twisty streets in the more inhabited areas and even more narrow and exceedingly steep driveways disappearing up or down into the bush yielding only occasional glimpses of houses. Then suddenly one might find an open space and a vision of a distant headland, often with a palatial multi-million dollar home perched on top. Many of the gentler slopes are covered with vineyards.


Jacqui joined us for Christmas day, that’s her walking from the ferry with Dave. IMG_7324



Boxing Day we took the ferry across Auckland harbour to Devonport (the name always makes me think of Tasmania) for the Auckland Gibb family Christmas dinner, held at one of the 4 sons’ homes in rotation. All sons, their wives and children were there, plus Uncle Dave and Aunt Nancy and of course Penny. SHE had a wonderful day playing ball with all the younger boys.

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Another day Dave and I investigated the little Waiheke island museum. One exhibit attracted my attention, as shown in the photos. I’m awed by the thought of that first Constable, his area was really huge and his transport was not exactly fast. What did he do in stormy weather?



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A short drive away we found a vantage point from which to watch the vehicular ferry approaching. Below is a photo of the neighbouring bay. At low tide it is just a sea of muddy sand with all the boats sitting on their keels. IMG_7367



Dave’s other sister Bev and husband Bruce have joined us for our last full day here; we leave late this afternoon. I or rather my computer will miss the full-time internet connection and power supply. But we will miss so many other things too. It has been a lovely break from the caravanning lifestyle.

60. A New Beginning

All best wishes for a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We are currently on beautiful Waiheke Island enjoying the hospitality of Dave’s brother and his family. For someone of No Fixed Abode for the last 14 months, this is heaven – no cooking, unlimited showers, no worries about emptying the grey and black water tanks!


Lo10178063_629892723757804_6723816019547897378_noking back over 2014 most of which was spent in the north island of NZ, the highlights have been numerous but the most important was our trip to Australia for the wedding of Nicole to Mick Dunbar on their Queensland country property.

We braP1130221ved the heat and the flies and as Mother Of The Bride I was entitled to wear a huge extravagant hat. It was a gorgeous unusual horseback wedding. made even better by Nic’s two cousins coming all the way from America “just for the day.”




We did have one or rather two other breaks from the caravan. Over winter we homesat a lifestyle property at Otakiri near Whatakane with a huge friendly labrador, cat and about 20 bantams for 6 weeks;

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IMG_4678…then shifted to a beautiful home in Tauranga and a feisty Jack Russell dog for another 7 weeks. Winter passed in no time at all and we were back on the road heading north. I have been awed by the sheer beauty and diversity of this country and am still eager to see more. We also hope to start a similar tour of Australia within a year.


I have been dissatisfied with my previous blog website for some time, so I’m taking the opportunity while staying with family over Christmas to create a whole new Blog on a different platform at wordpress.com. It’s long been my desire to have my own website where I can post other stories too, so I’ve created <nancyvada.me>. It will take time to get the stories up, and dependent on internet access, so for now do not expect to find anything except the blog. Subscribing by email is much easier now.