The Hendersons       Week 6 of our 2004 Morgan tour of New Zealand


Moggie's Big Adventure - Morgans to New Zealand

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Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6


Week 6


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.


Beattie and Forbes bookseller    The Daily Telegraph    Beattie and Forbes bookseller and The Daily Telegraph


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.


The Theater    The Antique shop    The theater and the antique shop


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 Great Gatsby picnic    Kids loved playing in the fountain    The band    The Great Gatsby picnic site, the fountain and the band


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.


The Saints come marching in    Followed by the Scouts with the Veronica bell    The Saints come marching in, followed by the Scouts with the bell


After the service, we returned to the motel, got freshened up, then boarded the bus to the Church Road winery, where we had our ‘farewell’ dinner.  Peter and Jane and Doug and Liss joined us as our guests.  We first had a tour of the winery, then had dinner in a private dining room.  The food was wonderful – several kinds of bread, then a salmon and potato salad starter, followed by a first course of Portobello mushrooms over polenta with blue cheese.  The main course was either rare beef fillet or pan-fried chicken breast.  Dessert was a gelatin preparation called a ‘panacotta’ with fresh berries.  Finally, there was a cheeseboard and chocolates.  With each course there was a different Church Road wine.


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.


Peter and Jane    Doug and Liss    Gag gifts were distributed, starting with Peter & Jane and Doug & Liss


Henry    Dick    Bob and Barb    Then Henry, Dick and Bob & Barb


 Tim and Alison    Tony and Mary    Richard and Vivienne    Then Tim & Alison, Tony & Mary and Richard & Vivienne


 Gerry and Maggie    Gerry was funny as ever    Vern    Then Gerry & Maggie, and Vern


 Jack and Gladys    Ken and Pat   Sara    Then Jack & Gladys, Ken & Pat, and Sara


 Janet    George    And finally Janet and George


Gerry looks fetching    Fiona gets teased    Gerry looks lovely while Fiona gets teased


February 23rd – Monday – Napier to Auckland


We drove from Napier to Auckland – our last day as a group.  The drive was uneventful, and we arrived in Auckland around 3:00.  We checked into the Copthorne, where we had begun our journey five weeks ago.  It was still the same somewhat ‘tired’ hotel that we had left, unfortunately.


At 6:30 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 Coromandel Town.  It was a backpackers place with a café a few kilometers outside of town.  The coffee and roll were good, but I have to admit I wondered about the great unwashed lolling about, especially the one rolling his joints.  Guess I’m a little too conservative for that kind of demonstration.


The Coromandel Peninsula    The Coromandel Peninsula is truly beautiful


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 New Zealand at this point.


Moggie hits 5,000 miles in New Zealand    We stopped for lunch just as Moggie hit 5,000 miles in New Zealand


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 Auckland for the final leg of our stay.  After we checked into the Copthorne, we packed up our suits and towels and went to Orewa, which has a very nice beach.  We didn’t actually lay on the beach – we laid on the grass in the park next to the beach, but it was warm and lovely.  The water was typically cold.


The dreaded question    Even the COWS ask that dopey question


After we returned to Auckland, we had dinner at a place on the wharf next to where the
America’s Cup training boats are moored.  They take people out on day trips, which we’d love to do. 


Tomorrow we turn Moggie over to the shippers for return home.


February 27th – Friday - Auckland


We left the Copthorne about 9:00 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.


Ugh, in the box again!    Moggie goes back in the box for her trip home


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 Auckland.  Most New Zealand cities aren’t all that interesting, because they are relatively new.  Auckland is OK, but I sure wouldn’t come all this way just to see Auckland.  There are some nice spots, good views, nice parks, museums, etc.  But it isn’t a destination city.


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 Auckland War Memorial Museum.  It is very well laid out – the ground floor is New Zealand history, the first floor is natural history, including a reconstructed Moa, which must be at least 8’ tall.  The top floor is a memorial to all the Kiwis who have fought in various wars – and they have given more than their share.  We stopped by the gift shop on the way out and I bought a replica Maori weapon out of wood.


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 Auckland in earnest by late afternoon – it was truly awful.  There were supposed to be Dragonboat races in town, but they have been canceled because the weather is so bad.  As a matter of fact, the remnants of Cyclone Ivy are due to hit NZ tomorrow.


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 Auckland was scheduled for the early evening – that meant that we had the day to do a little more sightseeing – by this time, tho, we were ready to head for home.  However, we had a good day exploring the New Zealand National Maritime Museum, which is just across the street from the Copthorne.   We have found that the museums in NZ can be excellent, and this one was no exception.  One area of particular interest was the European immigration section.  Basically it was a recreation of the living conditions of the people immigrating to NZ in the late 1800’s.  They certainly didn’t travel in luxury.  Additionally, there was a super exhibition about a round the world race involving a Kiwi crew headed by Peter Blakely, who then was tragically murdered a few years later.


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 Seattle and collected our luggage just in time to make a running dash to catch the bus back to the Lakewood Towne Center.  Tom is in better physical condition than he would normally credit himself – he was able to dash ahead with luggage cart and detain the bus so I was able to catch up.  We had our cell phone with us and called Doyle in advance so he was able to meet us at the Towne Center.


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.

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