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.

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

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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