Saturday 24 March

When you land in a country, get shuttled from the airport to your final destination, your impressions of a place are governed by what you see on that airport shuttle. On our trip we drove through urban scrawl of Auckland City, which is a pretty big expanse, and being country bumpkins I think, in hindsight, this was the major contributor as to why we felt overwhelmed when we landed. To be clear we have never been to Auckland before….oh hang on, we’ve never been to NZ before! The reasons as to why we came here will weave in and out of my posts, I am sure.

So after Fridays’ shock and awe, we were still feeling overwhelmed, but a contact with a friend of mine, Sally Mitchell lifted our spirits. Sally kindly offered to take us on an orientation of The North Shore area, specifically, The East Coast Bays, the collective name for a series of suburbs north east of Auckland City.

The Bays, from North to South, include Long Bay, Torbay, Browns Bay, Rothesay Bay, Murrays Bay, Mairangi Bay, Campbells Bay, and finally Castor Bay (in the Milford suburb). We are currently based north east of these bays in the middle of the bush about a 20 minute drive to my work in Milford. Given we only want to have one car and prefer to use public transport, we’re thinking that we should be in the bays area. Plus there seems to be a real community feel in these bays, and more importantly places to run The Spaniel, when she arrives…

Today, as I actually write up this post, is Monday, and this week we will be looking for small flats in the bays area. Rentals are apparently hard to get at the moment, for several reasons including an influx of people from Christchurch after the earthquakes, plus dogs are not really accepted, so we will have to some charming – I may leave that to the good Mrs.E.

Sally and “Bloke” took us on a tour of the bays, and our hearts lifted. These areas are beautiful considering they are essentially in a city! Unfortunately, I cannot remember the names of the bays, but piccies are below. Those clouds give the impression its cold and minging weather, it wasn’t- it was pretty warm. We’ll keep you posted on our rental search, but hopefully we will be close to one of these bays. Apologies in advance, as I cannot remember the names of the bays, I’ll leave that for a Kiwi-ophile to comment.

Finally, a special shout out (thank you) to Sally and Martin, we had a lovely time – thank you for your kind gesture and answering all our questions 

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