All packed and ready to go. Does she seriously think I am going to fly? Every scientist will tell you our species lost their wings centuries ago! Nah! We're not flying - but she promised the front seat. Who said it would be right up by the driver?
Three hours later we arrive at Kauri Park Motel. Little Brown Kiwi is so excited at the prospect of meeting relatives but is quickly squashed when promised a Kiwi Breakfast. Vivid dreams of cannibal kiwis kept me restless all night so I was relegated to the suitcase with the lid closed but it reminded me of the dark forest floors of my relatives so I'm all smiles.Breakfast is definitely not standard worms and wetas (a grotesque beetle type insect that lives in the undergrowth of the forest). Cornflakes and Golden Queen Peaches!! Lunch was much safer - seafood chowder looked really delicious but I wasn't allowed to do anything more than poke my nose at it. She gobbled the Takarau Maori Bread really quick so I did little more than smell that :-(
And after travelling all around in the daytime with nary a glimpse of any relatives what do we find but this sign! She found her relatives but I must admit they aren't dwindling in numbers like mine! Actually the true story is that I took my elderly Mother to revisit the remote areas where she had been brought up in forestry settlements. My grandfather was a sawmiller of native forests and these areas of land have been milled out and planted in pine forest now. At each of the five places we visited her childhood homes have been totally obliterated and are now either pine forest or farmland. The great oak trees that were to have been the markers of one of the schools were no longer twin oaks but a whole grove - the result I suspect of children playing with the acorns and spreading them around! We did find a cafe built out over the waters of the Hokianga Harbour which produced this excellent flounder and many stories from Mother of flounder expeditions at night with her Maori school friends.With her eyesight rapidly degenerating this is likely to be the last visit north so it was good to go, to meet the cousins still living there and Little Brown Kiwi provided some light relief!