16-26 December 2012:
Visit to Robert and Kathryn in Baylys Beach/ Ohope / Bulls
In December 2012 we planned a big sightseeing tour throughout New Zealand. Our first family get-to-gether was in Baylys Beach with Robert and Kathryn. Our flight from Singapore to Auckland had been overbooked, so we flew to New Zealand a day later than was originally planned. We had to drive a long way after 12 hours in the plane! About 6 hours of driving on the left side of the road, in an automatic car. When we arrived (about 6 o'clock pm) it took us a further half hour to find Robert and Kathryn’s house because we had transposed the address of the house (the correct address was 34 instead of 43 Ripiro Drive). We finally arrived very tired, but Robert and Kathryn were so kind and Kathryn had cooked very good meal which was finished off with Pavlova as the dessert. The pavlova was excellent and I vowed to myself that I would make them when I returned back to Holland which I have done several times and also in France. It was so good to see each other in the flesh again at that beautiful location. The next day we had a walk on Baylys Beach with its cliffs that look a lot as if they could be from a cowboy movie. Very impressive they were. We were more relaxed that day after a good night’s sleep and continued our tour to the north, seeing the famous 2000 year old Kauri Tree and on further to the Bay of Islands, which was on our itinerary that we had booked before we came. We said our farewells after our very pleasant short stay knowing that we would meet up again in Ohope in a few days’ time.
Robert and Kathryn had invited us to stay in Ohope, from 20 – 23 December. They had rented there a holiday-house, where we all could stay for a few days, just before Christmas. The house had been nicely decorated for Christmas season. It seemed strange that we would experience a Christmas in the summer, but that’s what you get in December in New Zealand and other southern hemisphere countries. Quite an experience. Robert took us on a trip to the surrounding area where we saw a lot (his house in Ohope and the holiday house which was close to where we stayed and also where he had worked Opotiki). We finished the day having a bite to eat at the strawberryfarm. On one of the days we were at Ohope Megan came over from Papamoa to accompany us on a very beautiful coast-walk (the Kohi Point walk from Whakatane to Ohope). During the walk it was high tide, so we were not able to walk on the beach at the Ohope end without having to go through some quite big waves !! This was all part of the adventure, but Ineke did get wet. When we finally arrived at the Ohope Beach end of the walk Robert and Kathryn were waiting for us in the car and we all had a lift back to where we were staying where we then had a shower and washed and dried our wet clothes and shoes. Some friends of Robert and Kathryn who live at Ohope right on the beach invited us for a barbecue-party. Their house had lovely views on the beach and the volcanic White-island. So we enjoined very much our stay in Ohope.
A few days later on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas – 26 December) Robert had organized a lunch-time meeting with other Schlotjes family-members, at Bulls towards the south of the North Island. It was there that we met René and Esmee for the first time and also, Robert and Rene’s mother Annie and of course Robert and Kathryn. The weather was really hot, over 30 degrees (Christmas!). We were on our way to Wellington. The meeting was a highlight of our visit: everyone had little presents, the food was lovely, and we were proud of having seen so many members of the New Zealand family!! Mother Annie visibly enjoined the get-together and to speak and hear the Dutch language. I thought that she was very alert and full of vitality for her age. After a few hours of lunch, we had to leave and we continued further to Wellington and our trip then onto the South Island. On the way to Wellington at Foxton, we visited a Dutch windmill, which sold a lot of Dutch products!
Robert's impressions of that visit:
I was very delighted that Jaap and Ineke made the decision to visit us in New Zealand and looked forward to that for months in advance. 2012 was a difficult year for us. We moved to Baylys Beach, north of Auckland and were not living any more in Ohope but to arrange a place for us to be able to stay together was one of my last pleasures in Ohope and also the BBQ at friends place not far from where we stayed was a highlight along with the Strawberry farm and Opotiki. For you it would have been the Kohi Point walk with Megan and the high tide that ‘swamped’ Ineke. For me one of my biggest regrets of your visit was not meeting you at the Airport in Auckland. This was not what a host should have done. Your plane from Singapore had been double booked and you were not able to stay in Auckland for a night which meant a long day (from Singapore via Auckland) to Baylys Beach on some awful roads, which you would not have been accustomed to. I wish that we had ignored your request not to meet you. You were both very tired when you arrived at Baylys. I remember the pavlova that Kathryn made and no doubt you do too.
It was good to meet up again in Ohope and spend time with you and also Megan and again in Bulls with Rene and Esme and my mother.
It was also good that you and Anna were able to meet in November 2013. Her recollection from a personal note was that she felt that you were as ‘grandparents’ to her. You spoilt her and she saw Holland, en Meerweg 16 which was a family home from 1942 to around the year 2000 when oom Thon moved to a retirement complex. Your hospitality to her increased our bond of friendship.
All in all, I think that the contact has strengthened for me the bond of family that we have. I am pleased that you met my tante Rietje and oom Maarten in Meppel. I would have liked it if you had met my tante Nel, you would have enjoyed her friendship and learnt more about ‘our side of the family’. Overall, I think I can call you my friend. I enjoy our skype sessions and trying to find things to send you when you have birthdays.
laatste update: vrijdag 20 februari 2015 14:48
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