All of a sudden we are here! At last! Finally landing after 33 hours travelling! We complete complicated bio-hazard security forms and have to declare that we are both wearing hiking boots with (shock horror) soil attached. We are scrutinised by an impassive maori officer. Eventually we make it out of the airport and into the sunshine to meet Ursula! Now that sounds simple enough in itself, but for years Catherine has been regaling me with the story of how Ursula forgot to pick her up when she was tired and pregnant at Houston airport. Reinforced by Ursula’s own admission by email that she was panicking about remembering us, I had started to feel slightly worried – but she made it!

We start the 2 hour drive to the coast. We happily chit chat for an hour, then meet Peter (Ursula’s fiance) at the shopping mall. It’s lovely to meet the man who’s made her so happy. We continue to the beach. Then disaster strikes… I seem to be jinxed when it comes to cars of late. Ursula’s car breaks down (despite having been serviced the day before). We all get out, examine it, wave away help from surfers headed for the beach. Eventually Peter returns to pick us up and contact a local garage. The garage is just down the road and they have a big sign up saying 24 hour rescue recovery. We discover this is 24 hour rescue recovery as and when the rescue recovery guy hasn’t gone to the beach – as he has today. We abandon the Honda on the roadside and continue on in Peter’s van. Their place is gorgeous – idyllic in a beautiful secluded area opposite a beach and cove. We change straight into swimming cossies and head for the beach. It’s wonderful! We swim and surf on the boogie boards and take stupid pictures of each other and have a thoroughly refreshing time. Then walk along the beach and head back home finally for BBQ, salad and cold sauvignon blanc. After dinner we start to watch a movie but by 8pm I’m suffering. I’m in danger of dropping the coffee Ursula has given me because my eyes are closing. Ursula and Peter relent and allow us to bed at 8.30pm.