Well what an experience, Molly and I went to the Waitomo region of the
north island of New Zealand and visited the "Lost World".
This is a great trip which starts with a 100 metre abseil down into the
bottom of the cave entrance. The worst bit is stepping off the ledge
at the top hoping the ropes will be OK. After that it is all fun
When you reach the end of the cave system you are confronted with a narrow
steel ladder that goes straight up 30 meters into the darkness. They don't
tell you about this before you start. Never mind we survived and the whole
trip was great.
Accommodation at the Waitomo Hotel was another story. I don't think I have
stayed in such a dump of a room since I was working in London nearly 40
years ago. The room was small, to match the double bed, peeling wallpaper,
black mould in the bathroom and generally a dump. The meal at their restaurant
was a matching experience. Best described as Faulty Tower gone wrong.
Staff not knowing what items were on the menu, wrong wine brought,
"he he, all the bottles look the same."
When we were asked by a local the next day what we thought of the Waitomo
Hotel and I politely replied that I did not think much of the service,
there response was, "you got SERVICE!!" Obviously the hotel has
quite a reputation in the area. Such a shame as it is a beautiful building
with great possibilities.
house at 9 Hauraki Road on Waiheke Island had a coat of paint and a
new front garden. Made quite a change from the 1995
June we went to Australia for a holiday. Flying to Sydney we picked up a
rental and headed south as far as the Victoria / New South
Wales border. From there we drove inland through the Snowy Mountains,
Canberra, Cootamundra where I was hoping to catch up with Warwick Newton
the first Australian I had really known back at Clarks Shoes in Street
Somerset about 40 years ago. From there we made our way up to the Blue
Mountains and so to Sydney for a few days.
Sydney Opera House
Sydney we did the usual "tourist" things, harbour bridge, opera
house, harbour cruise etc. We stayed in Kings Cross, noisy but nice, or
should that be naughty but nice. The 'sex centre' aspect is highly over
rated but it makes a good base for restaurants and close to the city. One
area well worth a visit is Oxford Street and in particular the Aubery
Hotel. Each night they have performances by some of the best drag queens
in Sydney, well worth a visit for a great evening.
Bill, John and Rita
a few days in Sydney Molly had to return to New Zealand due to work
commitments and I picked up another car and drove up to Brisbane. En-route
I visited Hunter Valley, Tamworth, Coffs Harbour, Nimbin, Byron Bay and
the Gold Coast where I caught up with old friends, Bill & Rita. We had
a few good meals, and wines before I carried on to Brisbane and the flight
back to New Zealand