(Moderate and Facilitate Online Concludes at)

Auckland's sky looked like this most of the time over the 10 days I was there. Something about a long white cloud......

After an exhilarating 35 minute ride on this

we approached Waikehe with few expectations other than we had heard tell of a few wineries....



We were set straight by a helpful islander who put us on a bus (driven by a delightful Maori woman with a flower in her hair) to Waikehe's big smoke - Oneroa. First things first, and we sat down for morning tea and made extensive plans about what to do with the rest of our day (not).

In contrast to the previous bus driver with a flower in her hair, we then got New Zealand's grumpiest bus driver who took an instant dislike to Di for wanting to get on the bus before he was good and ready! He did eventually let us on his bus, forgot to drop us off where we asked him to, and said we had 10 minutes in Onetangi before we he could take us back to where we wanted to go. He was one of those people who has the happy knack of blaming you for things they get wrong. As placid as Waikehe is, it wasn't doing him any good. His forgetting to let us off at the winery worked out as a plus though - look where we had to wait for those 10 minutes! (below)
He eventually let us back on his bus, forgot again where he was supposed to let us off, blamed us again ("you should've reminded me") and we walked back to the Onetangi Vineyard for some wine tasting and a great lunch. Cathy wondered if she could knock our wines off (see right) while we were ordering lunch but we got back too quickly. (Di's distinctive pose below right effectively disguises any sign of a double chin.)
We waited ages for a bus to take us back to Oneroa (bus timetables on Waikehi seem to be more a guide of what might happen rather than what does actually happen) but eventually the woman with the flower in the hair came by and took us back to the island's capital. We strolled around the town and the beach before a final coffee.
We resorted to a taxi to get back to the ferry (and a good thing too. We saw the bus arrive just as the ferry pulled out!) and we sat back and enjoyed the return ride to Auckland. MFO is now finally concluded and Cathy and Di promised to submit their evaluations when they got back to Australia!!!!