Tours and our reclusive lifestyle

The mad season is upon us

Mid September, emails are coming fast and furious. Phones are ringing. Just 2 weeks ago all was quiet. How things change and fast as the spring weather kicks in.

Yesterday we dropped a tour group back to Auckland for return to China. A very long day starting with a 6.30am start as we needed get to the Bay of Islands in time to get our tour party on the 4 hour dolphin boat cruise. Unfortunately no dolphins seen which is unusual but apparently all enjoyed themselves. No English spoken by any but fortunately the boss (Xiaoli – my wife) was with me as interpreter.

A good lunch at King Wah restaurant in Paihia. Strange for me living in the far north but I had never previously actually eaten at that restaurant. Normally just direct Chinese tourists that way. But I would give it a pass for both food and service.

We arrived Auckland in rush hour. Fortunately I had pre planned my route to skip the city therefore avoid most of the rush. But it was a late finish of the tour. 6.15pm. Then poor Xiaoli and I needed head home. A short 5 hour trip. Haha. But just too busy to stay a night in Auckland then still face that 5 hour drive in the morning. Plus Li Li our little Pomaranian dog and tour mascot was with us which makes staying over hard. If we find our tourists love our animals when they tour the far north then often little Li Li joins us but only if guests are happy.

We have 3 20 day tours for groups of up to 19 from England confirmed November, December and January which is great. Enquiries received from several China travel consultants we visited last month. This morning declined a French consultant wishing us to plan self drive tours for their customers. For us we are just too busy arranging our own tour groups which is our specialty, to spend time planning self drive tours.

Just last night on our trip home we had plenty of time to discuss where we are headed including where we may in the future relocate our base to. Our accommodation business Ninety Mile Beach is on the market and we need think what we do if and when sold. Often hard for Xiaoli and I with what we do to get quality time to discuss ‘us’. I know to a lot of people that sounds strange but we run accommodation, I do tours around the country and we have a farm.

Our base can be anywhere literally as business is done through the computer or over phones. From there its meet the tourists where-ever the plan dictated we should meet. Our locality has nothing to do with the physical business other than a base for us. At this point of time it does need be the far north of New Zealand why we still run our accommodation Ninety Mile Beach. But we must plan for when that day has past and that business sold.

We both agree we want yet again a small farm. We love our animals but more importantly we love our reclusive lifestyle when we are away from tourists. When you are in front of people 24/7 when working an escape is needed. A place where we can have ‘Peter and Xiaoli’ time away from prying eyes. A place we can let our 4 beautiful dogs just enjoy being around us and not having to be penned up in their own areas. They are our children as our own are grown up and long left the nest. Home is our space and we protect our solitude so it always stays our recluse with only family or close friends invited. Selfish yes but given I do up to 25 day tours on the road, living out of suitcases and sharing my days 24/7 with tourists on my tour, then our own space is essential for sanity.

I apologise for our accompanying photos. Its not that they are bad but I do now have the drone but yet to use. A session booked this coming Sunday to get professional guidance on how to fly.

The beach is at Pahia in the beautiful Bay of Islands, far north New Zealand yesterday.


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