Auckland Day 2

2/17 Auckland is surrounded by some beautiful islands and volcanic preserves that are easily accessible by ferry. So we headed out early for a full day of exploring Waiheke Island.  The island is filled with rolling hills topped by beautiful ancient trees.  The bus can take you all over the island and the drivers are friendly and helpful.  First we stopped at the beach at Oneroa Bay which gave us a good initial stretch of our legs and plenty of shells to examine.  We were able to get some good hikes in between the 3 wineries that we visited – Kennedy Point Vineyard, Goldie Wines, and Stonyridge Vineyard.  All had long driveways to inviting outdoor tasting areas with beautiful visas of vineyards and the ocean.  Lindsay and I walked about 9 miles and were happy not be to delivered place to place by van, taxi or helicopter.  A great introduction to lovely New Zealand wine and landscape.  On the bus back to the ferry, I had my first interview with an New Zealand octogenarian.  He felt very supported by the NZ health care system.  His only complaint was sometimes a wait for non- urgent surgeries, but he reported that he was quickly seen for a cardiac event with extensive workup and treatment.  He noted a physician shortage in his rural area but feel well taken care of by the nurses that were involved in all of his primary care visits.  Our 2 days in Auckland acclimating to New Zealand were delightful and now we are ready to move on and set up the homebase for the research project in Wellington. 

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