The day I met a fellow blogger Jill…

There are some days during a trip that stand out above all others, as a highlight, a memorable occasion. Our day in Napier was one of those days. It was the day we met fellow blogger Jill and her husband John.

They are intrepid travellers and Jill’s blog has been on my list of must reads since she recently started taking us on journeys around her world in New Zealand and beyond. She has a way with words that describe her travels so well they make me get itchy feet and want, no yearn, to visit the locations and adventures she shares. In fact her descriptions are so good she has been asked to write a guest post on “Travel Gumbo” Take a look, you will be entranced with the country of Laos that Jill and John recently visited.

So when I asked Jill what she could recommend for us to see in her home town of Napier for the few hours the cruise ship docked there. I received a very special reply from Jill.

 “How would you like a chauffeur named John and a map reader called Jill?”

Wow, would I ever. I immediately replied and that set in motion a very special day.

I have been to Napier several times (take a look here for the last time we visited)

The Oosterdam docked in Napier on Good Friday. A perfect Autumn day, warm and sunny and when we met it was like greeting long time friends. That sort of instant rapport. We never stopped chatting. 

They took us on a half hour drive into the countryside around Napier to Te Mata Peak.

Napiar Jill and John PC 022_4000x3000
John was the ideal chauffeur, patient and accommodating of 3 photography tragics. Obligingly stopping as we ohhed and ahhed at the green lush scenery so we could hop out cameras at the ready.
Then we reached the narrow winding road seemingly reaching to the sky.
A straggly line of people appeared, trudging toward the summit. It was a poignant reminder that this is Good Friday as they paused to let us by.
Napiar Jill and John PC 019_2341x1913
Then we were at the top…
Napier Jill John JC 018_4000x3000
Look carefully you will see the narrow road with a vehicle like a matchbox toy coming up. The Heretaunga Plain stretches to the ocean.
Napier Jill John JC 012_4000x3000
What a view it is breathtaking. But Jack is busy with his own version.
“Look at me” he calls…
Napier Jill John JC 013_4000x3000
“Got ya'”…
As well as the road there are also walking/running tracks crisscrossing the slopes.
Dog walkers

Dog walkers

Napiar Jill and John PC 016_4000x3000Napiar Jill and John PC 018_4000x3000

I could feel her exhilaration at making it to the top.

Napiar Jill and John PC 007_4000x3000

We had this magic place almost to ourselves with only a few other runners and walkers and another couple of cars. But time to move on. As John carefully backed out he is stopped and told to wait as 3 tourist buses are on the way up. We wait for one, then they let us go before the other 2 come up.

I  thank Jill and John and the wonderful connecting world of WordPress. Those 3 buses are bringing fellow passengers from the Oosterdam. Imagine 3 x approximately 40 on each bus milling around…

Napier Jill John JC 072_4000x3000

Back down we look back to the formidable Te Mata Peak towering 399 metres above us.

Napiar Jill and John PC 027_4000x3000

The scenery changes to lush green and the sheep are scattered across the paddocks.

Napiar Jill and John PC 029_4000x3000

Napiar Jill and John PC 025_4000x3000

On the way back to Napier Jill and John still have a couple of surprise to show us.

Napiar Jill and John PC 033_4000x3000

Te Awanga Beach, hopefully for a coffee, but being Good Friday it was shut. No worries Jack is still talking, maybe telling about the one that got away!!!

Napiar Jill and John PC 038_3832x2799

One last place was up to Bluff Hill Lookout where we gazed down on the Oosterdam seeming to take up the whole harbour, dwarfing the tiny tugboat waiting to guide us out.

Napiar Jill and John PC 040_3512x2661

As we walked toward the shuttle bus that would take us back to the Oosterdam these characters approached us asking if we would take their photo on their cell phones. Of course we took their photo on our cameras too.

Napiar Jill and John PC 043_4000x3000

Just what were they doing we asked. Just having fun and making people smile they said…

What a great ending, the whole day has been about connecting and smiling. The few hours we spent together with Jill and John is a tribute to the strength of the WordPress community in sharing and connecting world-wide and is one of the aspects of this media that is so appealing.

A very big THANK YOU Jill and John for your generosity and giving us an unforgettable tour of your beautiful part of New Zealand.

Jill posted about our visit shortly after the event. It is written in Jill’s inimitable style, take a look here. 

But wait there’s more…Napier Jill John JC 104_2292x1832

Napier Jill John JC 098_4000x3000

As we arrived back a 4 piece Dixie jazz band greeted us and a row of vintage cars with their owners dressed in the style of the era gathered to wish us “Bon Voyage” 

Napier Jill John JC 114_4000x3000

It was a very appropriate and emotional farewell to Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand. I had a lump in my throat as they played “Now is the hour” and waved goodbye as the cruise liner slowly pulled away from the port.

I took a rather shaky video of the moment. There is rather a lot of back ground noise as the tour director on board welcomed us back and started to tell us what we had in store for the evenings entertainment.


Categories: cruise, Napier, New Zealand, Oosterdam, photos | Tags: , , , | 56 Comments

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56 thoughts on “The day I met a fellow blogger Jill…

  1. What delight to get back to reading about your travels. I was pretty much absent from here except for some postings. Wasn’t reading much. What a lot I missed out on. Determined to catch up. So glad to know that you’re keeping fit and fine .:-)


    • G’day nice to have you visit, pleased you enjoyed your look around. So much to see on the WP sites, I’m addicted to the community aspect of it.


  2. I am always so uplifted by stories of bloggers finally meeting each other and yours was delightful! Great photos too and such a different adventure from the others on your cruise.


    • It was one of the best days on the cruise. We found so much to talk about, it was like we had known each other for years, and I guess we had through the WP world. Jill and John are lovely people.


  3. Pomme – this is wonderful – I was so excited to read that you hung out with Jill – and I immediately had wished I was there too. Ah maybe someday – but how cool that she was around the day you were in town – and it sounds like you also hit that hike at a good time – before the buses unloaded. nice.
    the ending video was also nice – gave us a flavor for their talent – and who nice that there are groups like this… that go out to wish bon voyage – and dress up in period clothing. I bet they are very happy people,


    • It was a very special day Y It was lucky that we were there on Good Friday as any other day and they would be working and so we wouldn’t have met.

      Liked by 1 person

      • what perfect timing – and when I saw the two of you togetehr I felt a little left out- liek I wanted to be there so bad – ha! surprised to feel that way – but that is how blogging buddies go – and I am glad the four of you connected and then shared about it.


        • It would be really good if our close WP communities could all have an annual get together. Now wouldn’t that be a great time…

          Liked by 1 person

          • yes – even every other year – ha! but seeing the two of you was like – I want to be there hiking too – and I did not expect to feel that! good thing she is a map reader and her husband can drive (ha)


  4. You look so happy together! I suspect a lifelong friendship has been forged, Pauline 🙂


  5. What an amazing day you had. I love your send-off video. I’m sure you have so many happy memories of Napier and your meeting with Jill and John. 🙂


  6. What a wonderful post. I love Napier and I’m so glad you got to share your day with Jill and her hubby. It’s such a beautiful place. Ain’t WP grand??


  7. It must be fun to meet fellow blogger… I am so jealous…


  8. I too have met fellow bloggers in their home countries Pomme, and there’s nothing better! I’ve also hosted a visiting blogger here, which was tons of fun. What a great way to meet others of like mind and similar interests.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It really is a great thing to meet fellow bloggers, isn’t it? I’ve met about 5 bloggers already, and I’ve also met people who simply read my blog but weren’t bloggers themselves. It’s a great interconnected world out there through this blogosphere. It looks like you had a wonderful time and had some escapades to further bond you together. I like what Jill says in her comments, that as time passes you will continue to bond through your blogs. Te Mata Peak and the surrounding area look fabulous. 🙂


    • The blogosphere in general is a very positive place and even though we may never meet most of our community I feel we still have a strong connection as we follow each other’s adventures and journeys through life.


  10. This post Pauline made me think, what a wonderful world.
    New Zealand and its people have always been special to me.
    As it is more intermit and can feel like stepping back to another era.
    Pristine places, positive people, that out of a disasters,
    like the earthquake in Napier they build an art deco city.
    Notice how the views are accessible and not obscured.
    There are a minimum of barriers and fences, so prevalent in places where the councils are paranoid about being sued.
    Kiwis are an example of taking more responsibility for our own actions.
    Love this post as a reminder of sharing the joy of life. _/\_


  11. I was laughing my head off as I read this post, Pauline, just like on the day itself. Photography tragics – yes, that is exactly what I am, now. Luckily, John doesn’t seem to mind holding my purse, my jacket, and anything else, while I try for the perfect shot.

    When I was standing up at Bluff Hill watching the Oosterman leave the harbour I felt as if I’d known you for years. The thing is, that if – not if – when we meet up again, it’ll be just the same. And we won’t be picking up where we left off, because we’ll have continued to share and explore and learn through our blogs. It’s an incredible thing! I’m so very glad you messaged me right back at the beginning when you were planning the trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pauline, I just had to come back to add, that while I was writing my first comment, I noticed that you’re using the Adventure Journal Theme – what a perfect title!!


    • It really is a joy when you meet someone and feel that you have known them forever. I think that being part of the WP community gives us a head start on friendship. Now it is your turn to come over here so I can introduce you to our favourite places…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. What a marvellous day Pauline, I remember you writing about Napier before, a place I’d love to visit to see the fabulous art deco architecture. And it is a wonderful experience to meet a fellow blogger and be shown around their locality as you see things you probably wouldn’t have come across. You had the best weather it seems to make the most of those views and I still cannot get over the extraordinary colour of New Zealand’s oceans.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had never been to Te Mata Peak, didn’t even now of it, till Jill and John took us there. Lots here for you to see Jude


  13. This is a beautiful post Pauline, made even more so of your description of the connection you made. I’ve yet to meet a fellow blogger but anticipate the day. Thanks for the peek.


  14. What fun! One of the joys of blogging is meeting up with fellow bloggers, something I’ve been blessed to accomplish a number of times, even overseas. Glad you had such a great time.



  15. What a wonderful day, personalised guided tour, great scenery and a lovely friendship!


  16. What a lovely day Pauline with special people in a stunning place!


    • I always think that the people you meet when travelling make the journey so much more memorable. That was certainly the case when we met Jill and John


  17. Wonderful Post Pauline.. loved that you were able to meet a fellow blogger.. Wonderful captures and memories for you all to keep.. 🙂


  18. Thank you so much for this post, Pauline! Loved the scenery, your references over to Jill, and your special video ending. Enjoy seeing people dressed in the era of their vintage cars, and the music was a great extra. What a lovely group, and a most memorable day!


    • G’day Del, I know the fashion is something you would enjoy. It was so special ending the day like that. Napier is a very friendly place. Even though it was Good Friday many places opened for the cruise passengers.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. What a meeting, splendidly described, by both of you. I’ve met up with a couple of bloggers. HeyJude stayed with me for a few days, sight unseen, on a recent visit to Australia and the instantaneous link was as you describe. And I first met Christine when I booked a yoga retreat with online and then checked her out on her blog dadirridreaming. We lived a few beaches away from each other and had just begun to develop a face to face friendship when she moved on from this life. Blogging friendships are extraordinarily real and somehow our blogging personas seem to reflect our real selves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meg I’ve read Pauline and Gills posts about their lovely day and I have a big ache in my heart now.


    • So sad about Christine I was looking forward to meeting her when we house sat for her son. It was a terrible shock for every one when she passed away 2 days before we arrived in Canberra for the house sit. I look forward every morning to open the computer and enter the world of the blogging community and have a chit chat with them. Some times to the detriment of jobs waiting to be done…


  20. poppytump

    A memorable day all round Pauline, how lovely to meet up with a fellow blogger friend 🙂 A personalised tour like that must have been perfect … your little video at the end seemed to be a real throw back to another era ! I can see that would be a popular park for visitors, just look at it rising up there out of the plain, kind of reminds me of home here 😉


    • I wished I had some streamers to throw down to them. Very reminiscent of the good old days…and a great way to round off a memorable day…


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