Customs and Immigrations was not as difficult as the pamphlets suggested. We were allowed to bring in all our processed food. Dave (a friend from way back when I was in London, 1984) met us at airport and took us to their house. They (Dave + Christine) had just finished building an annex to the garage where we could stay. The weather was sunny and dry and we could sit outside on their large deck and enjoy the sunset. How different the weather was compared to Holland. All the trees were different confirming that you are on the other side of the world. In the evening more members of the Ebury Street Gang” arrived (Libby, Karin & John) and Dave cooked up some great tasting lamb and chicken on the barbeque. Old stories were told and we had a great time. Later the Kiwi Godfather”” Tony dropped in unexpectedly. He had managed to have a business reason to come over from Sydney. What a surprise.
After some minor arm twisting I took up Dave’s offer to go out fishing, while Jamaliah and Christine visited Auckland. We had a full afternoon in the bays around Auckland. Dave had his secret spots for scallops and mussels. We filled up our allowed quota’s in no time. The high tide made diving down to the scallops a bit too deep for me (5 m) and I could only bring up one compared to Dave’s 39. Fishing was also very successful with some 25 snappers of which only 3 were of the legal length to take home for the evening meal.
The next day we all got into the car and drove down to Mount Maunganui (200+ km) where we dropped in to Henk and Gemma to pick up the camper. After some refreshments Dave and Christine left and we started packing in the camper. Gemma cooked a nice Asian meal and we enjoyed getting to know each other. To try out the sleeping arrangements in the camper we decided to sleep in it on their driveway.