June's Sabbatical travel blog

Today was Russ' birthday. He was 84 years young but certainly did not look it. His wife Cath was a "Steel Lady" which judging by the huge diamonds on here fingers she was very successful at it! Marg made a chocolate and raspberry cake and we sang happy birthday. W said our goodbyes and made promises to keep in touch and we dispatched with a piece of cake for our journey. Having already consumed a hearty breakfast of eggs on smoked salmon cooked by our host, we had no room to eat cake. So we set out for a marathon walking day. We started off in town and visited the site of a working gold mine. The excavation of the gold was by blasting and sifting through layers of quartz and rock to separate it. The walk consisted of walking around the rim of this huge crater through gardens and scrub area. We eventually ended up back in town and had a coffee before walking around all of the shops in town. We found a lovely art centre and had a good rummage. Marg had recommended that we had lunch at a winery in the Karangahake Gorge so we took a scenic drive and made many stops with the camera. We decided however not to stop for lunch as we really only wanted a snack and to move on to our next recommended walk, which was Waihi Beach.

The beach reminded us both of a beach we went to as children Camber Sands, but with a lot less people. After a little beachcombing we then tackled our final walk to Orokawa Bay, which can only be accessed by hiking. It was a very long walk but well work the effort. The beach was almost completely empty and quiet, with only the roar of the waves pounding the sand. We had to hike all the way back of course and we reckon we had walked about 10 miles all in all.

Before returning to Poets Corner we stopped to have our evening meal and were treated to some of the best scallops we have ever had. Jan followed up with a chicken main course. I think the chicken had been in the gym before he had been prepared for the table as it was the biggest chicken breast we had ever seen!

Back then to Poets Corner where we changed into our PJ's and set about sorting out some washing in the main house. We had forgotten that an Italian couple had arrived during the day and the husband was horrified to see Jan and I mooching about, drinking coffee in our bath robes and slippers(I think he thought he had joined a harem! - or as Jan suggested was about to be gang raped)He sat outside with his back to us huddled over his laptop for about twenty minutes then ran for cover into his room.

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