R & P are old friends of mine. I have known them almost from the day that I first set foot on NZ soil. Even before I emigrated back in 1997 they helped me. They are Dutch and still live in NZ. We both lived in Morrinsville for a while. After a year I moved to Auckland and they stayed. These days they live in Waimate. Without them my early days in NZ would have been a lot harder. Hence there was no way I would skip visiting them. SO had met R in 2007 when we traveled the North Island and agreed with me that we had to visit them. We’d agreed with them that we would arrive after lunch as they had some errands to run. As Dunedin is only 2 hours from Waimate we had some time to kill.
What does one do in Dunedin with time to kill? One goes up Baldwin street The steepest street in the world. It is not a long street just incredibly steep. The pavement are stairs So after some sweat and cursing we managed to tick this one off our to-do list. We walked, we really did. Most people take a taxi, car or even a stretched limo up that hill. Whimps! We the real tourists walk! And we were not even the champions. There were people on bikes and people running up that hill. We bow to thee. But the champion of all was the old lady we saw. She took that hill very carefully, one step at at time, with her walking cane to support her. Now that is what I call a true supreme winner. Hats off to her. But you know. We too got our certificate and we are damned proud of it.
On our way we stopped in Oamaru at theWhitestone Cheese Company. We had to get ourselves some cheese and nice things to give away. Around 14.00 we arrived at R&P’s place. Their son was over from the Netherlands too so it was a fun time that evening As So said; he could completely see why and how I had spent so much time with them in my first NZ year. All afternoon R and I were yapping and sharing memories and catch up on our lives since I left NZ. The men simply listened and had fun poking fun at us. It was P’s birthday and we gave him a nice bottle of red wine that did not survive the evening.
I had not seen their South Island residence as they’s moved just after I had left NZ. It is a very nice place. Large, airy and spacious. The the question how long were we going to stay 1 or 2 nights. Well R decided that 2 was the minimum she’d accept as they felt they wanted to show us something. Who are we to say no then? So that was a go. In their car a day trip around their part of the South Island and with them as our guides. Their son was assigned to dog-sitting duty and that was sorted. Any resistance would have been futile and we all knew it :-). looking forward to a great day.