Day 33–Mon., Feb. 7, 2011–Auckland, NZ

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It is common knowledge that sheep outnumber people in New Zealand.  The actual numbers, however may astound you.  With a population of 4.3 million people, NZ boasts a sheep population of 45 million.  In the 1850’s, the first large-scale wool producing operation was established in the Wairarapa Valley on the southern part of the North Island.  With the advent of refrigerated shipping, the first of which was a ship called the Dunedin that sailed to England in 1882, a booming meat industry began to replace wool as the primary export.  Modern farmers often have flocks of over 2,000 animals.  To help manage the flocks, however, the shepherds do not turn to science.  Instead they turn to the intelligence of their highly trained sheep dogs.  The ability of these dogs to manage the animals is truly amazing to see.  We haven’t seen sheep yet – more on them from Napier.

     We slept in a little later than we wanted to today as we wanted to catch the 9 AM shuttle bus to Kelly Tarlton Antarctic Experience.  With a little rushing, we made it.  This is the shuttle van!

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     This was an amazing time.  We got to see penguins, fish, shark, sting rays and lots of other sea life.

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     After a thoroughly enjoying morning we took the shuttle back into town and did some shopping.  We dropped Ray’s eyeglasses off at an eyeglass place in the mall.  They said they could send the glasses out and have them returned by 3.  We then walked around the mall bought a few things and had lunch in the food court.  As usual Ray enjoyed his Chinese food.  I picked out a chicken & rice dish but you could not recognize the chicken, so I didn’t eat it. 

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We did some more shopping outside of the mall and then returned for the glasses.  They said they were on their way and would be in at 3:45.  All aboard was 4:30.  At 3:40, Ray started walking back to the ship and I was going to meet him by the street.  At 4:05 I left without the glasses and they said they would bring them to the ship, at no cost because of the delay.  When I got to the street, Ray was not there, so I walked on to the ship.  He was waiting for me just inside Security.  I went back to the street to wait.  Luckily there was a tour bus out so they weren’t raising the gangway.  I thought they would be driving the glasses but I looked up the sidewalk and saw the salesgirl rushing towards me.  I met her and she still wouldn’t take anything.  I don’t even know the name of the store.  It was 4 letters.  I had given them my card so they could mail the glasses.  When we got on board they were having the life boat drill for those that just got on the ship.  We had 5 minutes to spare but the glasses are fixed.  We did love Auckland!  When we got back to the room, Ray was able to watch the recap of the Super Bowl.  Because of the time difference, it was shown at noon today.  They were serving hot dogs and munchies in the Queen’s Lounge.

     After dinner we went to the show and enjoyed “Laughs from London with British Comedian, Jeff Stevenson”.  We have seen him before and had a good laugh after a tension filled afternoon.

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“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure.  There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawharial Nehru-

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