So we arrived in Auckland, New Zealand, early in the morning. The exact time was unknown, missing the last day and then a change in day light savings time in New Zealand meant we had no idea what time it was. After getting our bags and getting through customs with a special Rugby World Cup 2012 stamp we headed for the nearest information point to find out the actual time.
It was an hour earlier than expected at 5 in the morning. John’s Uncle Mike who moved his family over to New Zealand 20 years ago was to meet us at the airport and take us to Hamilton, where he lives, to stay for a week or so.
Mike had been at the New Zealand game where the All Blacks had beaten France 37-17. He spent the night in his car and arrived at the airport lounge in his shorts and Lions top (bright red). We jumped in the car and headed back to Hamilton via the power station where Mike worked to pick up some work stuff. It was the first time I had met him and John hadn’t seen him for a good few years so these next few days will probably be spent having a nice catch up.
John has never been over to New Zealand to see his uncle, aunty (Lynda) or his four cousins. Periodically, they had been over to England apart from two of his cousins who had recently moved back to England.
The family home is located on the outskirts, well the country side, to the west of Hamilton. After a one and a half hour drive, we were met by the dog Ruby who was crazy excited to see Mike and meet new people. It was jumping up and almost knocked me over! The house was amazing with a long driveway, land at the front which used to have cows in and a garden round the back. Inside, it has an open plan design and is very homely! Just what we needed after a 12 hour flight!
The first thing Mike did was cook a huge English breakfast with baked beans, sausages, bacon, eggs with tea (proper english tea). Amazing! We’ve missed this! We were so full and then we sat watching English football highlights (well John did) as the family woke, John was loving it! We also met John’s two cousins James and Elizabeth when they were up. It was so nice to be in a family home and we were made so welcome. We were very very grateful!
Having barely slept on the plane and with the time difference against us we managed to stay awake till midday and then headed to bed. We had the spare room to stay in which had a comfy double bed. It was one of the best afternoon naps ever until Lynda came banging on our door at 3pm to get us up! (we told her to get us up if we weren’t up by 3, just in case we couldn’t sleep that night).
In the evening, we broke out the selection of wine we brought over from Chile and started to make a dent in the wine selection.
Mike then started on the evening meal. Around 18 months ago John’s sister, Lucy and her boyfriend Kev backpacked around the world. They also spent time in New Zealand. During their stay at Mike and Lynda’s they helped to feed and maintain two cows at the house. Since then the cows had been killed and butchered, and most of the remains were still in their freezer! We ate them in a tasty BBQ which Mike made that evening and they tasted amazing! Well done Lucy and Kev!
After a couple of glasses of wine, we watched some TV but we started to fall asleep on the sofa and headed for bed around 9pm! Good effort I say!