A lazy long-black coffee in the morning sun overseeing an archetypal small time harbour scene. Motorboats and small crafts loll listlessly in the surf from the overworking passenger ferries, the useless trees on the banks of Kororareka Bay nod in noncommittal unison. The New Zealand standard and the Fern-on-Black-less-Union Jack flag flutter their welcomes at the smiling visitors making their way excitedly down the gangplanks.

Stick on cymbals. Surely not? A familiar but welcome sound in unfamiliar territory.

The pockets of cumulostratus and the formation flying sea birds add to the tranquil vista. Across the water the ranges of hills try and out-green each other.

The wah-wah guitar kicks in… Hmmm. The keyboard follows soon after.

Dinghies bob determinedly along the soft mill pool turquoise as those gulls not scrapping for bread perch goofily one-legged on the jetty awaiting the nonexistent applause.

Horns. Da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-daaaaaaaaaa!

Lemming-like punters peruse the quayside boutiques oblivious to the scene stealing score emanating from the cafe’s kitchen. As profoundly surreal travel moments go, this will take some beating….

“Who’s the black private dick that’s a sex machine to all the chicks?”

I splutter in delight of the beauty of it all….




Meanwhile, round the corner from the moment and from Isaac Hayes to Otis Redding. The view from the rocks of the bay

*Hello Rob! Hello Chris!