Irregular Posts: New Zealand 1,

Thursday Feb 6, 2014 G’Day Mate, “Off the grid awhile!?” “For sure.”  We picked up our “Mighty LowBall Van” in Auckland on Sunday afternoon. It says “Mighty” on all four sides quite prominently. No mistaking that this as a touring van. Turns out all companies van’s and campers are very visibly marked; some in your face – “Don’t you wish you were as juicy as me?” on a green and white Juicy Camper Van. “Perfect for 2, comfortable for 3, and a party for 4.” Perhaps I should have chosen to be Juicy? but Mighty is quite OK. Manual 5speed shift with the left hand drive on the left. NO PROBLEM at the first roundabout and down the highway to Hamilton where we are to spend a couple of days with a couple that Meg met in Spain a couple of years ago. John and Janine G. are semi-retired educators from Waikato University. They have a house lot fruit orchard and their own bee hives. So they have a lot of fresh fruit, jam and honey all year long. John hooked up his tow trailer with a 4 wheeled ATV and off we headed to the beach house in Kawhia, on the Tasman Sea. The house is a 1950s beach cottage. They own the cottage but lease the land from the Maori of Kawhia. The bay has filled with sediment and no longer allows a vibrant fishing industry. But it is the site that the first Maori landed for a permanent settlement of the island. Their waka ( ocean sailing canoe) was buried facing onshore to symbolize their permanence....

Irregular Posts; NadiTown, Fiji

Thursday January 30, 2014 Bula Vinaka, Take off in the dark from LAX and heading for Fiji. Dinner was an unexpected treat at 10:30P. First time I had poached fennel for an airline meal. I was not going to eat before I went to sleep but the food smelled good and my stomach growled at me to “Get the chicken and fennel and no coffee”. I wasn’t planning to supper since we had had a nice Korean lunch in West Los Angeles with our transplanted friends Peter and Elsie Wu. Elsie also had planned for a mutual birthday cake. Mine on first and hers on the second of February. It is good luck to celebrate “big number” birthdays early so as to fool the badluckdemons. Dozing off is easy on the plane for me. I dozed, woke, and dozed and dreamed and woke and dozed for I can not tell how many hours. It was disorienting. My watch had LA time on it and I didn’t know when we were to land. Out of a dream I heard a female voice say “breakfast would be served in an hour.” That was supposed too be near landing time. The Captain announced that there “was a low pressure over the airport so it was raining heavily and 25C.” We landed, 7 times zones west of Boston and not too jetlagged. Yup! Torrential rain. Warm and humid torrential. In the dark at 5:30A, we waited for our shuttle. Damngoodthing walking to the hotel was not chosen. When we got out of the air conditioned van my glasses fogged with the humidity. Best to...