Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Onwards towards Gisborne

Condi, the small horse, lying in the kitchen while dinner is prepared

We left Robyn and Murray’s today, heading east of the Bay of Plenty towards Gisborne (the first point Captain Cook came ashore on his first voyage of discovery, just up the coast from Young Nick’s Head, the spot of land first sighted by young Nick from the crows nest), after stopping off at the Medical Centre to have my dressing changed. I forgot to say yesterday that my complaint, along with all other types of skin cancer is very common in New Zealand (I suppose because of the lack of ozone layer in the southern hemisphere) and probably wouldn’t have been recognised in the UK. My Scottish doctor, Dr. Gordon Miller, said he had never seen one until he came to NZ, but it is pretty common here, in fact the nurse said that on one day she saw 12 cases, but usually at least one case a day! The hospitals would be over-run with such operations, hence the reason they do them at Medical Centres.

Robyn and Murray as we sat down to dinner
Murray was a little disappointed that my $180 charge was the same as he would pay as a native Kiwi, well Murray, today they told me there was an additional $65 charge for the lab tests as I’m a foreigner, so you do get better terms!

This morning we toured Murray’s avocado plantation, which is pretty extensive and saw his collection of parrots, ducks, swans, chickens and other birds (and some goats) and realised just how big the area is (and how peaceful and relaxing – well for us anyway). While waiting for lunch Bob, the cockatoo, was let out of his cage and what a cutie he is. 
An avocado tree (probably boring to some people, but I've never seen one before!)
A bit reluctant at first, but then he hopped onto Murray’s hand and came in the house and started chatting away, including imitating one of the dog’s barking! We’ve had a great time and want to thank them very much for their kind and generous hospitality. We hope we meet again (quite soon if Jackie gets her way!)

Bob stretching his legs and wings

A little bit of fuss from Murray
And I got a tickle too!
Tonight we’re in Whakatane, which is a short distance away from the East Cape. We can take the long route round the cape to Gisborne, or, the one we’ve decided to do, the much shorter route across country through the Waiokea Gorge, described in the Rough Guide we have as “one of New Zealand’s great drives, dotted with tiny settlements, weaving up and down steep hills cloaked in bush and winding gingerly along the lower echelons of the plunging Waiokea gorge.” When we told Murray about this he couldn’t believe it, he knows the road and said ‘it’s OK, but nothing special’, so he’s asked for our honest opinion (via the blog). Well Murray, will we tell you the truth or embellish it as your wicked sense of humour would probably do to us! You’ll have to wait and see……
View from the end of their garden - fantastic or what!

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