The Hendersons Week 6 of our 2004 Morgan tour of New Zealand
Moggie's Big Adventure - Morgans to New Zealand
February 22nd – Sunday - Napier
Tom and I went into Napier in the morning – we first visited the museum, then went on a city walk. The guide, Russell, really knew his Art Deco, and by the end of the walk we felt pretty knowledgeable about the style, too – it is characterized by ziggurats, arrows and zigzags – décor with stylized flowers are indicative of the prior style, Art Nouveau.
Napier has dozens of buildings in the Art Deco style – some fairly modest, some pretty elaborate. When you are taken around by a guide who knows the town and the architecture, it is really interesting.
We had a light lunch in town, then drove back to the hotel. I changed into my costume then we went back to town as there was a church service that Janet Proud had recommended that we attend.
We got into town early – we had been told that parking was at a premium during the church service – well, Janet hadn’t counted on the reception the Morgans would get, as we were waived into the show area for the classic cars, so didn’t have to look for a parking space at all. We spent time wandering around the Great Gatsby picnic – I wish we had known about it before – it looked like a lot of fun. The attendees set up their own picnic under awnings in front of the music shell. Some of them had very elaborate set ups – champagne in fluted glasses, or silver tea services. There were strolling musicians and children playing in the fountain – it was a lot of fun seeing how much people were enjoying themselves. There was one tent set up as a hospital tent, complete with 1930s dressed nurses and an earthquake victim on the lawn, and policemen who told folks to ‘move along, no loitering.’
The church service was in the Anglican Cathedral. It wasn’t a normal Anglican Service, but was a commemoration of the earthquake, its victims and the people who helped them. The people of Napier were very lucky that the morning of the quake, HMS Veronica had sailed into the harbor, and the sailors were instrumental in helping in the recovery efforts. Later, the city acquired Veronica’s bell, and the service begins each year with the local Boy Scouts bringing the bell into the cathedral.
After the service, we returned to the motel, got freshened up, then boarded the bus to the
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of ‘awards’ and gifts. Ray and Sarah had acquired a really nice model Morgan for Doug and Liss Lloyd, as well as a nice plaque for George and a beautiful Maori carving for Janet. George presented Peter and Jane with a tour plaque and badge.
George and Janet had gone to the effort of getting a small ‘gag’ gift for each car. Moggie got a Japanese phrase book, in recognition of the trouble we had with the Japanese tourists (who, incidentally, managed to put a minor dent in Moggie’s bonnet that we just discovered when Tom was cleaning her for the Art Deco show). Dick Dice got a toy off road vehicle since he was the only one who took his Morgan off roading. Gerry Pell got a bright gold sequined driving hat. The gifts were really funny and we had a thoroughly great time.
February 23rd – Monday – Napier to Auckland
We drove from Napier to
At most of us gathered in the lobby, then took taxis to the home of yet another Morgan owner Allen Duffy. He and his wife had arranged beverages and a potluck catered by the other Morgan owners in the area. We got to see Doug and Liss Lloyd, Steve, our host of the first night, and Keith Merrett and his companion, Jill. There were a lot of other Morgan owners there, but we didn’t know any of them.
Dinner was fun, except I got bitten by a particularly vicious mosquito, and awoke in the early morning with my hand throbbing in pain. It was really swollen. I took an antihistamine, but it was only marginally effective. However, this was a minor inconvenience.
February 24th – Tuesday – Auckland to Thames
I think because of the antihistamine, I overslept, but we did manage to get to the restaurant for breakfast before everyone had left. We said our goodbyes to Ray and Sara, Vivienne and Richard Welch, Tim and Alison Ingham, George and Janet Proud, George Tollworthy, Henry Tutton, Tony and Mary Oliver, Doug and Liss Lloyd, Vern Dale-Johnson, Bob and Barbara Stinson, John Lancaster and Lynne Dale-Johnson. We had missed the others.
We packed up Moggie, took a test run out to the place where we have to deliver her for shipment back to Vancouver, then drove to Thames, on the Coromandel Peninsula. We didn’t do much sightseeing on the way – at this point we needed a little ‘down time.’ So, we checked into our motel, Tuscany on the Thames, which was very nice, complete with a kitchen, had lunch, mailed a few things, did some grocery shopping (‘home cooking’ for a few days will be a treat) and got the laundry caught up.
What a trip this has been. Five weeks ago we only knew a few of the people we were to be traveling with and now we consider all of them fast friends. Someone said last night that when you buy a Morgan you aren’t just getting a car, you are getting a social life as well. How true!
February 25th – Wednesday - Thames
Today we drove the Coromandel Loop – up the west side of the peninsula, then down the east coast.
The views were wonderful.
We stopped for coffee in
We had a lunch of left over chicken, some cheese, crackers and fruit at a roadside picnic spot.
While we were there a bunch of Australian bicyclists pulled up – this would be a fairly energetic place to ride, given all the hills.
We took a picture of Moggie – we’ve driven 5,000 miles in
We had dinner at the digs – a bit of lamb cooked in a packaged Moroccan sauce with some rice. It was quite good.
February 26th – Thursday – Thames to Auckland
We drove back to
After we returned to
Tomorrow we turn Moggie over to the shippers for return home.
February 27th – Friday - Auckland
We left the Copthorne about and drove to the shippers. Ken and Pat Miles followed us. It was amazingly easy – we just made sure that Gary, the agent, had the necessary paperwork, then loaded the cars into the container.
Tom and I wanted to go on a sail, but it was cancelled because the winds were in excess of 30 knots. It was a disappointment, but if we come back here in 2006 with the Welches, we’ll make it a point to take the sail.
Instead, we did an on the bus, off the bus tour of
We did enjoy the cathedral, Holy Trinity. It is modern, but is set up very intelligently, with arrangements for performance groups so they can be positioned on a stage that doubles for the altar. The acoustics must be wonderful. The stained glass windows are incredible.
Tom and I met briefly with Brian Blake, who is the Operations Manager of the cathedral. Apparently they have a lot of choirs that come through and they would welcome Choral Union. Next to the cathedral is a beautiful old wooden church, St. Mary’s which is a delight to the eye.
We spent a couple of hours in the
Back in town, we did a little more shopping and confirmed our reservations with Qantas. I bought some earrings in the shape of a little fern, NZ’s national emblem.
The rains hit
February 28th – Saturday Auckland
Today was pretty dreadful – rainy and that’s about it. We caught a bus from near the Copthorne and went to visit Cyril and Ailsa Kelleway, who live in a suburb of Auckland. We had lunch with them at their home, joined by their son, Spencer. After lunch, Cyril drove us back to the Copthorne. Given that the weather was so awful, there wasn’t much to do, but we had to get packed up for the return home. As a matter of fact, we had dinner in the hotel (which was reasonably good given that they had a lot of people who were hunkering down in the hotel).
February 29th – Sunday – Auckland
Our flight from
We took the bus out to the airport in the late afternoon. I bought some herbal sleeping tablets at one of the duty free shops – my hope was that those, coupled with the No Jet Lag I’d bought earlier would make for a better journey.
The trip home was uneventful – a bit of turbulence, but no big deal. And the combo of the No Jet Lag and herbal sleeping tablets proved to be effective- I was able to get some good sleep in during the flight.
We had a few hour layover in LA and were surprised to run into Sam and Nathalie Brown and their son Laird, who were returning from a family business trip. They were on the same flight as us.
We made it back to
So, we returned – the house and all the ‘stuff’ was in good condition and spring is just breaking out. Seems that we skipped a bit of winter, which is nice – I wouldn’t mind skipping winter routinely!
What an adventure we have had – we may have other exciting times in the years remaining to us, but to have one so original will never happen again – we’ve never shipped our Moggie overseas, we’ve never been south of the Equator, we’ve never had a six week vacation before – so many firsts. Heaven only knows what our next adventure will be, but it will be hard to top this one.