Tuesday, September 30, 2008

it's fleece was white as snow

Some of you may only see dinner, but if you are one of those people like me who can only see sweet baby animals then this is the blog for you. Our resident walking spot Mount Maunagnui is also home to a huge flock of sheep. Since it's spring here, that means it's lamb season. Lately my walk up the Mount takes a little longer while I pause awhile and watch the lambs getting their footing and learning how to be sheep. Every time I am greeted by a cacophony of sounds as the mother sheep bleet to warn the lambs of my presence.

Look at those pink ears
Well this one isn't white as snow, I caught him digging in the dirtThe view from the Mount, a nice place to graze

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tamaki Makaurau

Tamaki Makaurau is the Maori name for Auckland and means "desired by many." Since ancient times Auckland was just that. Maori settled here because of the natural waterways on both sides of the city. Everywhere you look there is water or lovely green spaces. Kiwis who are not from Auckland will typically tell you they don't like Auckland. They think it is too big and rushed. I wonder how they would feel in Phoenix? As someone who considers herself a city girl, I love Auckland. The tall buildings, the hub bub, the kebabs and sushi on every corner. Auckland has a large Asian influence mainly from the thousands of students from a number of Asian countries. Friends of ours discovered an Asian Food Court in middle of the city and we made it there last time. There must be thirty different restaurants to choose from. You can have everything from Indian food to Phad Thai to bento boxes all within a few square feet. It's cheap too. A great place to go in a group, as no one has to compromise. Besides eating we spent our three day weekend taking in a show at the Sky Tower Theater, walking a lot and even doing some touristy things like the Sky Tower and the Auckland Museum. The museum was loaded with cool history of New Zealand as well other Pacific Islands.

An old Americas Cup boat full of tourists leaving Viaduct Harbour for a 2 hour sail

Auckland ferry terminal
Sky Tower, it was going on sunset
The glass floors from the top of the tower, blah I look photo-shopped in ,that is the Auckland Harbour bridge in the distanceInside the observaton deck The Auckland Museum
Mark and a pre historic penguin, apparently they have scaled down in size over the years

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Not to sound to Bridget Jonesy but last weekend we went to Auckland for a mini-break. We took in a show, the Auckland Museum and even went to the top of the iconic Sky Tower. On the way we stopped in Karangahake Gorge, an 8 kilometer stretch of road along the way. The gorge is very dramatic with a rushing stream and verdant cliffs. The area is loaded with tramping trails. We chose a loop trail that goes through an old railroad tunnel a kilometer long. After our little hike we had a hearty breakfast a the nearby cafe and we continued on to the big city. Below are some photos from the gorge.
Mark leading the way in the dark tunnel
We were not the first people there. It was wallpapered with graffiti These Calla Lilies grow wild all over NZ. They are huge!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Candles of New Zealand

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha Finding work in a different country has been an interesting practice in patience. I have found that my old job in the non profit world doesn't quite exist here in New Zealand, well not in our little beach town anyway. So while I am looking for that "real" job I have been keeping busy. For the last three weeks I have been working for a local couple who own a hand made candle business. They are fairly new to the game but doing well. This is where I came in. I helped their candle maker Harpal, with everything from getting them ready to pour to getting them cleaned up and shipped out. An interesting thing to learn and certainly a beautiful place to be. The "factory" itself is an old kiwi packhouse, so it is surrounded by groves of avocado trees and kiwi orchards. My favorite are the pyramid candles. They are gorgeous, but not the most practical thing on a boat. Still I have quite a collection. Pyramid molds, like a bunch of old Chianti bottles
Liz & Harpal self-portrait
I wish this picture would have turned out better, she pours the wax and her cover-alls up close are reminiscent of a fabulous Elvis jumpsuit
This thing sounds alive with it's hissing and bubbling

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


A gorgeous sun shiny day. That is Mount Maunganui in the background
The other day we decided to uncover our neglected BBQ since the day was sunny and it seemed kind of springy. By nightfall it was freezing! I guess we had forgotten that in New Zealand even the summer nights are cold. Anyway, here are a few photos with a view of our "backyard". Oh and the last of the remodel photos. This is our aft cabin and just in case you have never been aboard, the walls had carpet! Mark grilling some veggies

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Adios Chicas

It hasn't been all work and no play here in NZ. A few weeks ago we headed north once again to KeriKeri to visit and farewell our friends Mike and Heather from Chica Bonita. We met these two in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador and have been lucky enough to enjoy lots of adventures together since. They hosted a going away bash and here are a few of the photos. Good luck with you new adventure Chicas.
love, Liz & Mark
Hanging our with Kris and Courtney John & Kris from "Robyn's Nest"

Mikey and Courtney
Mark with the girls on the patio