Wow! Last couple of weeks have been very busy!
There is just so much to do!
Mrs B and I really appreciate all the work that Jono has done in the last year or two to kick start our Olive Grove and Farm. All by himself!
Now, working along side him, your really begin to understand: a) the effort he has put in and b) what a huge task it is to turn this dream into reality!
But we are up for it!
The last few weeks have been filled with digging on the land, ramming in stakes and then putting fencing around the olive trees (our Babydoll Sheep love eating our trees!), laying out mulch, doing the internal fitting of the shed, unpacking all our belongings that just arrived… To name but a few things!
After lots of saying goodbye to Family and celebrating friendship in Europe, we arrived in New Zealand with a quick pit stop in Singapore.
Our Friend Ann greeted us at the airport and we drove away to Waiheke in the Bass Family van. Nanny and Grandad Burdett in the meantime were busy preparing the house on the island with everything a family could wish for after a long flight. Jono did his part in providing a chilly bin and camping tables, so we could enjoy a great welcome !
Our last day of our Interrail Experience!
It has been fantastic and we want to thank all the people, that made this trip so unforgettable-through their hospitality, good will, charme and willingness simply tombe nice! There might have been others as well, but as Mr. B always says: ” They don’t exist!”
Our kids had to say goodbye to the beloved chucks and the role model garden at Fritz’ parent’s house and also to their daddy, who made is way up to Amsterdam “>
Waving goodbye to the collosseum in the morning, hopping on a train to Pisa, taxiride to the leaning tower, 10 minute photo stop, train to Florence, 30 minute out of the station to have a slice of Pizza and admire the duomo, train to Venice and Waterbus to the appartment! A great and memorable day!!
Started as a lazy day. Mrs B then waited 45 minutes in a long line to get tickets for the coloseum. Tip: if you are a European citizen – take your pasport- tickets will be cheaper ! We also booked the audio – video tour, but if there is a next time, I ‘d keep the 5 Euros and just admire the wonderful construction instead staring at the screen…
Been there, done that. Kids were happy to have seen it, but after half an hour in the heat all they wanted was an icecrem! Well- mastered that quest as well 🙂
Arrival at Bari was 10.30, so finally no early wake up call and at least the boys made the most out of it – Mrs B had to wake them with tea and cereal at 10.00 am, while the girls were already watching Baby Looney Tunes in the Truckers Lounge with other Italian kids next to their sleeping parents…
The Bus ride with bus 20/ !!! to the Train station in Bari was another great Italian experience – glad we did it : bus was chockablock full- impossible to fall … We were one of the first ones to arrive at the bus station at the port- and when the bus arrived, we intended to go up to the bus driver to enquire if our Interrail tickets are good for the bus – well, and then we realised that everybody else was just streaming into the bus as fast as possible… So we changed our action quickly and did the same : Mr B and Annie were the last to squeeze into the front door, and Mrs B and the other three just made it into the back door. A bit of shouting of Mrs B was required to the fellow bus passengers to squeeze forward a bit more- otherwise Nicholas’ backside would not have made it on board… A few stops later a typical Italian looking, very loud man entered the back of the bus and tried to sell bus tickets ( which were loosely in his pockets… ) Nobody gave him money … He tried again at the final destination, Bari Train Station – the bus driver only opened the front door, so we all had to exit via this man – and yes he sold tickets, but he let go the ones who started arguing ( like us). So we think, he is probably the bus drivers cousin or something and the bus really is courtesy of the ferry organisation and already included in the ferry journey… Bit of money on the side!
Train journey to Rome is only 4 hours- we had to reserve seats before- which was a great thing because it was a very long queue at the trenitalia counter… We booked on italiarail.com and travelled 1 Class :))) Free drinks and snacks inluded !!
Up for boiled eggs and bread rolls for breakfast at the hostel.
Then a quick taxi to the bus station for 20 euros, with Mrs B remarking to the taxi driver that he was the friendliest she had met in Greece! His one peculiarity was that this summer was too cold for him! And that he only goes for a swim when it’s over 40 degrees! We didn’t invite him to the Olive Grove and Farm… He would freeze with 20-30 degree summers!
A fantastic thing happened at the Bus Station – we asked to pick up the lost iPad from the boys. The lady removed it from the safe and the boys gave her a hand written letter of thanks to the bus driver and 20 euros. But the lady said: no no, the letter is enough! And was so moved by the letter, it almost made Mrs B cry! The losing of the iPad taught us: there are honest people out there, that simple, hand written thank yous are still treasured, and that the boys can actually survive 4 days without an electronic device!
So, 2 and a half hour trip to Patras (by Express Bus which runs every 2 hours and costs 18,20 Euros) and then we board the ferry to Bari (15 hours).
The kids are amazing travellers and have managed with their backpacks better than we could have every dreamed!