The boys said Goodbye to their Great Aunt Margaret on Tuesday evening and I took her up to Auckland to get the plane to start the last leg of her trip. She still couldn’t get her head around the fact that she was going on a 12 hour flight to Los Angeles which would arrive 3 hours after she set off from Auckland. I must admit I find it bizarre too – time zones are strange things. Anyway she was looking forward to going to Vancouver and still trying to decide whether to get the flying boat over to Vancouver Island or go on the ferry. I think she was quite taken with the flying boat as we saw a couple at Lake Taupo and was attracted by the idea of flying in and landing on the water!
She had a good time in Wellington with Chris and Brian. They spent a couple of hours in Wellington itself and then had a drive round the coast. Wednesday they went over the Rimutuckers to see Moi and Terry and spent a pleasant afternoon looking round the beautiful Awaiti gardens in Carterton, and then fish and chips in in the White Swan in Greytown before heading back over the mountains to Upper Hutt. Thursday they had the compulsory visit to Te Papa which as usual was a source of fascination and wonder, before heading back to Hamilton.
We had a damp last few days but made it to Rotorua on Saturday. Lachlan and Nigel went mountain biking in the Redwoods whilst Aunty Marg, Aonghas and I went to Whakarewarewa. Aonghas was given the choice of mountain biking but when he heard that we were going to Whakarewarewa he said “Is that the place where we had the sweetcorn?” (5 years ago when he was 5yrs old) and when we said that it was, he decided that he would forego the bike ride in favour of sweetcorn!
It all started off so promising, the sun was shining and despite a bit of a breeze it was quite pleasant. We dropped the boys off at the Redwoods and embarked on our tour. Margaret was fascinated by it and I have to say that I too learnt something new and am always intrigued by the the place. This was the third time I have been round and I have had 3 different guides. Since they all live or have lived in the village and have all been different ages, they all bring their
own stories, memories and anecdotes to the tour. We saw the Kapahaka show and Aonghas went up to do the Haka! Had a nosey round the shops and were just about to get a coffee when we got an SOS from the boys – Nigel’s chain had broken at the top of the hill – so I left Gus and Aunty Margaret in the cafe and headed out to pick them up just as it started to pour with rain! They were like a pair of drowned rats, looking very miserable sheltering behind the entrance sign to the car Park!
The rain continued so we headed to the Fat Dog (where else?) for a (big) bite to eat.
It was a rather damp weekend and plans for a trip out to the beach on Sunday came to nothing when we woke to torrential rain. However, we spent a lovely day chatting and Aunty Margaret told me more tales about our family so that I could fill in some of the gaps in the family tree. It was fascinating and I really want to get down to some real research and work on our genealogy. Time, time, time – there is never enough of it! She had a quiet day on Monday when I was at work, but it brightened up in the afternoon and we managed to get out to Hamilton Lake to see the Pukeko and the ducks. We went out to Babaganush on Grey Street on Tuesday evening – well worth a visit – great food and reasonably priced too. I managed to manage my day on Wednesday to squeeze in the trip to Auckland airport to see Margaret off which was great – luckily there were no traffic problems en route and so I got back in time for my afternoon classes! It really was lovely spending some time with Aunty Marg and having someone to talk to about Mum. Quite a few weepy moments too but it was all good. It will be difficult to remember everything she told me but I memories are always subjective and I am sure that some of hers were her personal interpretations of events which others may not see in the same way. Isn’t that the nature of history?