|HAPPY ANZAC DAY
It was pouring with rain when we woke up so we now had to make a huge decision. We had planned to take the scenic road via Gisborne and around the East Coast. Well there was just no point as we weren't going to see what nature wanted to show us. It's well known for the beautiful beaches on this wild coast and there are small rural Maori communities scattered along the coast.
We stopped in Gisborne for lunch at one of the very few cafe's that were open - its Anzac Day and there is nothing else open. It this was anywhere else in the world - it would be business as usual! Mind you they slap on a 15% surcharge for this service. It is great that everything shuts and almost everyone gets the day off ... except when you are a tourist!
So we headed inland making our way up to the Bay of Plenty and landed up in Whakatane. After we left Gisborne, I phoned a friend of mine to let them know we were not only in the country but now just a couple of hours drive away from them! Nothing like short notice hey. Jim (Harms) and his fiance, Robyn, are currently staying with Jim's dad, John, before heading to Australia in June. It was just fab that they were home and we got to see them. I haven't seen Uncle John since we left Zimbabwe in 1981 so a good 25 years ago (I was just a kid)! I have seen Jim since, back in 1990, when he and friends were travelling through Africa. Even that was by chance as Jim and friends went to watch the dolphin show at Durban Aquarium where my sister, Terri, was working at the time and happened to be presenting the dolphin show. After the show Jim went to see if Terri was 'the Terri' and it was the start of a mad but fun two weeks with him and his mates staying with us. (Now I still have to ring Jim's sister, Debbie, to see if she remembers me - we hope to pass through and see them at the weekend).
We arrived at their house around 4pm and didn't stop talking until around 10pmish. As the next day was a working day we let them get to bed as they had to be up early for work and we camped out in their lounge for the evening. Thanks for putting us up guys and it was really great to see you again.