Waiheke, though only a short ferry ride away from Auckland city, is like a different world. We spent twenty-four hours there, visiting the Heartsong Retreat at Rocky Bay on the south side of the island.

Planned as a special occasion, being our first trip away from home since Brian’s cardiac collapse three months ago, it turned out even better than we hoped it would be. Following violent thunderstorms on the previous night, the skies cleared on the voyage out, and the weather stayed sunny throughout our stay. We had lunch at Vino Vino in the main village of Oneroa, on the deck looking over the sea, before catching one of the ancient buses for a bumpy but scenic ride up and down hills covered in vineyards and native bush. Every aspect of Heartsong was lovely: our comfortable private cottage with its flower gardens and ocean views, the spa pool surrounded by palm trees, the walks down to the beach, the hot stone massage, the friendly cat and dog, the delicious meals brought up to us by the welcoming and caring staff.

Spiritual teachers and self-help experts say that our well-being does not depend on circumstances and surroundings, because true happiness comes from within. I am obviously not highly evolved enough to appreciate this, having felt so much more energetic and relaxed while on Waiheke. Hopefully the benefits of our “mini-break” will be sustained through the next round of hospital appointments and period of domestic routine.

Here we are at Heartsong, with the beach huts at Rocky Bay in the background.

B & J @ Heartsong Retreat.jpg


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