Auckland and adapting to the Shift in the Space-Time Continuum

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We woke two days ago (3 days for most of you) to the beautiful view of the waterfront in Auckland.  I hope someday the Seattle waterfront is as nice.  We took a long walk, saw some beautiful boats, ate a yummy breakfast and packed up for a tour of Auckland and then our drive to Rotorua.

Colin, our tour guide picked us up and we headed out to learn about Auckland, it’s history and botany.  Colin was a wealth of  knowledge.  We stopped by the University of Auckland and he showed us this very interesting stone perimeter that was built in around 1845 when one tribe of Maori asked the British for protection from another musket toting tribe. He also shared a wonderful knowledge of the trees including the rare Pohutukawa tree which was harvested almost to extinction because of its great height and strength. It grows so slowly that it is very hard to grow back in large numbers. I also personally loved the fern trees and the silver ferns (a NZ icon like the kiwi bird).

The Maori’s strong warrior culture made them a strong ally in times of war and we had the opportunity to see the war museum memorial.  It’s perched on a hill with a great view of the city.

Colin dropped us off at the Sky Tower to get an even better view of Auckland. It’s much smaller than the Space Needle, but gave us a great perspective. Then we head to the north shore (similar to West Seattle) for another lovely view of the city. All along the way we learned and shared great conversations.

We said our goodbyes to Colin as he dropped us off for our rental car where we had a bit of tension before truly experiencing the effects of the time and latitude shift. We were heading out to drive on the left side of the road chanting: “stay left!”

We got the hang of it pretty easily as we drove. The forests we passed as we got closer to Rororua were dense and primeval with their tall ferns trees. Another shift in the space time continuum is that as we drive south we get more fall colors and of course we are entering fall. We skipped spring and summer (which we understand intellectually, but it is still odd).

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Melting through Papeete

No problem taking the boat to the Bora Bora airport. Absolutely no security, or air conditioning. But it’s quick turn around. We strategically took seats on the back of the plane so we could be the first to disembark. It worked and we were first off the plane. The airport was much smaller than we remembered. I waited for our luggage while Jim used the facilities.

I quickly learned that we had gotten off the plane on the wrong Island! The guys on the ground had a good chuckle and led us back onto the plane. We had gotten off on Morea and they never said anything about where we were landing, at least not in English and our French has not improved in 5 days.

But, no harm, no foul. We left the plane for good on the correct Island, gathered our bags and made our way for the international gates and Air New Zealand.

Unfortunately, those gates wouldn’t open for about 1.5 hours. So we ventured back to the small, hot little cafe were we settled down with a couple of cold beers, a small baguette sandwich with some ham-like substance and purchased internet. We did some texting a got to video with Jasmine and James. He thought it was pretty funny that we were in the IPad and he tried to play catch with us. The internet didn’t work vey well, but it was great to see them both.

Poor Jim had begun melting while we waited at the Bora Bora airport and kept melting when we landed in Papeete.

When it was time, we headed to security hoping we could get to a cooler place before Jim completely melted. It was strangely comforting to see the real security. Unfortunately, we had an issue with my carry-on bag due to the amazing polished conch shell that we were given as a gift. Again no harm no foul. We ended up checking it and that led us to the air conditioned cashiers room. The temporary cooling allowed Jim to stop melting. We tried to buy other things so we could stay in the cooler space, but she was pretty quick, so we ventured forth to the Air New Zealand terminal hoping for a cooler spot.

Alas, the Air New Zealand terminal is not air conditioned but it does have much better air flow. We each washed off in the bathroom with some cool water. I procured some cold diet coke (which I almost never drink, but it was ridiculously good given the circumstances) on ice (given grudgingly) and some chips so I could get some salt into Jim who was clearly in need.

It’s almost time to board and Jim is cooler and revived. We are ready to enter the space-time continuum and jump from Sunday night to Monday night in just 6 hours.

It was a long day, but we have arrived in Auckland.  We slept very well in a lovely soft bed and are ready to face the day with a quick tour of Auckland and then we are on to Rotoruaimage by car. We will have to engage  our team driving on the”wrong” side of the road.

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Bye Bye Bora Bora – Onward to Aukland

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The theme of our final day in Bora Bora yesterday was ocean!
We swam, snorkeled, kayaked and generally enjoyed the multitude of turquoise and blue hues.

Over breakfast yesterday we met a lovely lady who had traveled the world and never goes anywhere more than once. She had always wanted to see the blues of Bora Bora and says there is nothing else like them. Good to know.

We bought a carved Marlin tusk from a local artist with the help of the gift shop manager Hilsa. The artist is her friend and buying direct was a real deal compared to the art galleries in town. She delivered it by jet ski on her day off yesterday. She’s coming to Seattle in August. Hopefully, we will get to see her again

For dinner we took the boat shuttle and then the bus to the St. James restaurant which had been recommended by a couple of people. The setting was lovely, the food was presented beautifully and tasted delicious. We ate under the stars and over the water. The water was lit and we were treated to swarms of fish that were attracted to the light and even a manta ray.

Today we cross the international date line to tomorrow. It’s strangely exciting as we continue on our adventure. This morning I woke up, packed us up (everything still fits back into the suitcases as planned). Then I went for my last swim here. What a luxury to swim laps in front of our bungalow to a coral reef and back.

Soon we will check out. We leave here by boat at 11:20 for an 12:20 flight back to the main island of Tahiti where we’ll catch the 6 hour flight to Aukland that leaves at 5pm. Seems a bit tight, but they have clearly done this before.

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Bora Bora: Simple and beautiful.

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Maururu: It’s sort if like Shalom or Aloha.
Iaorana: Good morning and thank you.
Nana: good bye

We were really lazy yesterday. We did go into town. It’s great if you want to buy Pearls. But, not much else.

We did meet the coral gardener a Francesca and Tony. They have been working on our beautiful coral for 10 years. They harvest sick coral from the reefs and put it in the forms. Then as the coral heals and thrives the fish come.

We did go to Bloody Mary’s the popular watering whole for a late lunch/linner but discovered they don’t do that there. So we had some small appetizers and yummy drinks.

Today, we go diving!

After breakfast today we went for a snorkel orotund our lovely  coral garden. The song “I like to be under the sea in an Octopuses garden . . . (in the sun, in Bora Bora).

Here is a fun photo of some of the shells. Great color.image

Francesca and Tony

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First Stop Tahiti

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Today we begin our South Pacific Adventure. This trip has been 7 years in the making. It was supposed to be Jim’s 50th birthday adventure, but it was not to be. Life, family, work and finances got in the way.

To avoid the long flights we’ve added stops in Tahiti the way out and The Cook Islands on the way back.

We’ve read, planned, gotten advice and packed light.

Our trip began with a joyful escort to the airport by Jasmine and James. I experienced wonderful flashback memories of taking my Grandparents, Naomi and Saul to the airport during their travel phase of life. It makes me smile with warm memories.

We will miss James so much. He will be quite the toddler when we return in 6 weeks. We’ve been lucky enough to catch him starting to walk and trying to talk (although we haven’t learned his language yet)! He’s pretty darn good at sign language though.

After a few days in Tahiti we head to New Zealand, then Australia and finally the Cook Islands. We plan to hike, scuba dive and enjoy all the adventures this part of the world has to offer.

We leave knowing that Dick’s is in the capable hands of Walt and Jasmine and Cre8ive Empowerment is going to thrive and grow under Saul and Jess.

We can’t wait to share our True Love Adventures: South Pacific Style with all of you. We hope you enjoy the blog posts!

Arrived and in our dream room over the water!
I always thought this would be cool and it really is. The Pearl in Bora Bora is truly lovely. The view and architecture is beautiful and we are floating over coral nurseries that are growing like flower gardens. It really is enchanting and certainly feeds the soul of this Pisces. I get to be one with the warm salt water and the beautiful fish!

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