Summer is starting up here and I'm loving being barefoot again! Had 2 pretty full days in Auckland with my parents, my sister Priscilla and her 3 kids, Johanna, Jacob, and Daniella (and husband Sjoerd) and catching up with Jenny. Went to Priscilla's new property where they have just built a small house which they will live in while building a bigger house. The property is 25 acres with a lot of NZ native bush up on a hill near the Hunua Ranges south of Auckland. Thursday I drove south--so nice driving the WRX again! It was a stunning day in the middle of the North Island and Lake Taupo looked awesome with snow clad Mt Ruapehu in the background. Just south of the lake I picked up a hitchhiker and got out to help load her bag in. The road was so hot it was melting and now I have black tar all over the soles of my feet!! 7.5 hours driving and I was in Wellington for dinner and then crashed over at crazee Caths! Its now Friday morning and I'm on the Interislander ferry--the Kaitaki. I haven't seen this ferry before here in NZ but its disgusting. All the seats are old and dirty--they have gone seriously backwards! Previous ferries have been modern and clean and nice but this is a dump. And internet access is only available in a premium lounge which you pay $40 just to get into!!
Sure enough as we crossed to the South Island the sun broke through and in Nelson it was a hot sunny day! I went straight to the beach and played some beach volleyball--even got a bit sunburnt! Then I had dinner with my sister Joanna and husband Frank and Nikki, Melanie and Benji. Was so good to see them all again after 3 1/2 years! I'm now staying at my uncle and aunties in Redwoods Valley.