Our morning flight from Christchurch to Auckland was right on schedule and we were back at the Jucy rental place, this time to get a car for our one day in Auckland.
We wanted to go north to Sheep World where they had sheep dog and sheep-shearing demonstrations, but the last show started at 2 PM, so we needed to keep moving. The drive was supposed to take just under an hour and Sheila said we’d arrive around 1:35, perfect! So we’re driving on the main expressway when I notice that the fuel light is on and the gauge is on “E”! Aren’t rental cars supposed to come with full tanks of gas? So we had to find what we thought was a good exit and then search out a petrol station, which we did, but we lost 10 minutes. Then we approached a stretch of the motorway that was going to be a toll road and we did not have an “E-Z Pass” type thing! There was a sign saying the toll (all of NZ$2.20!) could be paid by phone, Internet, or by stopping at the next service area plaza, which we did. But there were no signs indicating where to go to pay your toll, so we drove on, losing 2 more minutes! Then the traffic backed up for construction! But the good news is that we made it with 7 minutes to spare!
And the show was great, one guy, who is a sheep farmer, talked about training his dogs and then gave a demo. One dog raced around on a nearby hill, circling up the sheep and then herding them into a paddock area. Rob, the farmer, showed us how 2 of his sheep dogs have different talents for herding sheep. We then moved into the barn where Rob talked about how they separated the hundreds of sheep that may be rounded up at one time. He asked for a volunteer to try to separate the sheep and when no one volunteered, I raised my hand! I had to move 2 gates back and forth letting the sheep with blue marks go one way, pink marks go another and the ones with no marks go right down the middle! I was doing OK when the sheep were filing down a chute one at a time, but then they started pushing through, 2 or 3 at a time and I lost complete control! Rob says no one can get them all separated correctly and praised my effort! It was a pretty funny experience.
Then he moved onto the shearing demo and we learned a lot. A good sheep shearer can shear 300 sheep in an 8 hour work day and earn $600 for his or her efforts.
At the end of the sheep show, Rob brought out this season’s lambs and we got to bottle feed them! What fun!
After the show we talked to Rob for a long time, getting answers to all of our questions. We then walked around the farm area, visiting with all the various animals in their pens.
We then drove east a bit to find the ocean and found accommodation at the Salty Dog Hotel and Bar in Snells Beach. We are currently sitting in the bar, where there is Internet access. The bar is quite full because the local firemen are having a raffle for meat and there are people here waiting for the hypnotist show that starts upstairs in half an hour! Love little towns!
We took a long walk on Snells Beach late this afternoon and arrived to discover a very broad flat beach, with the tide out. During our hour long walk, the tide started to come in and we could watch it creep up the beach! Very cool!
It was been a lovely day here, north of Auckland~sunny and warm~19 C.
Here are a couple shots of the inside of our Jucy Campa, when it is set up for sleeping and with me pretending to sleep this morning!
Tomorrow we will allow plenty of time to drive back to Auckland and return our Jucy car before our 3:00 PM flight back to Melbourne.
Hope you’ve all marked your calendar for our November 2 Open House!