Barry, who is quite elderly, spoke to us at length about his beloved railway, with pride. He is foremost a potter and there are examples of his work, and that of visiting potters from around the world, along the railway line and in his on-site pottery. Barry and his helpers maintain the railway and build and maintain all the carriages themselves.
Our next stop was a Kauri forest. Kauris were felled by the thousands in the 1800s, creating problems for the people and the land in those times. A Kauri forest regeneration project is now underway and our guide Sunny, who is a passionate advocate for this project, had us imagining what the forest once looked like when a legendary giant, 4,000 years old and 8 metres in diameter, was the star attraction. We walked through the forest and saw fairly young trees that are 2 metres in diameter as well as saplings only a few months old.
Day 1 of
our cruise saw us return to the beautiful Bay of Islands. We were there in
April so we spent a couple of hours in Paihia visiting the markets and having
coffee, then returned to the ship. That night we met our dining companions: two
couples, one from Sydney and the other from San Diego and we look forward to getting
to know them. The evening’s show was a violinist from New Zealand who played
Bach and Queen and everything in between. Her name is Yoomia and she is