Cunninghams On Parade - 2017 New Zealand: Return to the Shire travel blog

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Napier, New Zealand (night 2)

TRAVEL QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Take only memories, leave only footprints.” -Chief Seattle

Woke up to showers still on the roof of the van. So Art got up at 7:15 but let me roll back over and sleep till 8:15. Nice! By the time I got up, it was starting to break up a little bit and look like the weather might get better but still it was showery. Got dressed. No breakfast in the house because of the *#&$*@ refrigerator, so we needed to head into town anyway. Packed up and drove into the city of Napier proper about 10:00. It’s a very nice and neat town. They had a huge earthquake here in 1931 that pretty much destroyed the whole town. They decided to rebuild and decided to make their buildings art deco since that style was in vogue at the time. What a treat it is to see these buildings; reminds me a whole lot of Miami Beach. Art deco buildings right on the ocean! We found a place to park on the street and walked through the town in search of sustenance. Stumbled upon the Angor Wat Kiwi Bakery which looked right up our alley and was busy which was a good sign. We went in and got a steak and cheese pie for me, a bacon and egg pie for Art and an apple and fresh cream bun for me; plus the usual flat white for Art and pot of tea for one for Penny. As it turns out, there were signs there for being an award winner in the yearly pie contest for NZ - who knew? I should have read the fine print and gotten their mince and gravy pie which they won for; maybe next time. We shared the pies and both agreed that while good (and the bacon and egg one was the better one) they weren’t in the same category as Patrick’s from yesterday. Still, it was good and filling and a nice brunch at 11.

Walked around as the showers began to lighten up and browsed in some stores. Found a souvenir spoon and two shirts in a Hospice second hand shop that we got. Walked some more and eventually made it back to the camper about 12:30. Decided to go on and check into the campground and so drove about 5 minutes out of town to that. By now, the sun was shining and it was getting pleasantly warm for sure. We stopped at a New World grocery store on the way to the campground and bought some water bottles, milk, 2 Malteaster bunnies (remember those?), and some toilet cleaner that will hopefully do since Shelley didn’t give me any. Then we checked into the Kennedy Park Resort; $48 for a powered site for 2. Kinda expensive but it’s big, nice and quiet, free showers and wifi and the location is good. Our spot was good and we pulled in to see if the fridge would work on plugged in power. It does.

The sun was coming out for sure and the weather was looking better all the time. We had seen a museum of Napier when in town and we decided tomorrow would be good for biking so we’d better go to the museum today. Drove back into town and parked in the exact same spot as earlier. Walked to the museum and had about 2 hours there. Watched a movie of 30 minutes on the earthquake; saw their earthquake display. Saw a display on the NZ losses at Gallipoli in WWII. Saw some Maori display too. It was a pretty smallish museum but had some interesting things to us so it was worth the $10NZ each entry.

When the museum closed at 5, we sat outside and looked to see if any breweries were close by, nope. Decided to stay in town and so walked back to the camper, moved it to another parking space and changed clothes. Walked back into downtown and went to Indigo Indian Restaurant for supper at 6:30. It was a more fine dining Indian place than we usually go to. It was good, not great, despite the glowing reviews on Tripadvisor. Had the chicken madras hot (pretty good) and the prawn malabar curry (ok) plus a garlic naan that I liked but Art did not. Came with rice too and they gave us complimentary poppadums (too staleish) with some lime pickle, onion salad and mango chutney. It was overall a good meal, just not great. Tab came to $50.50 .

Walked back to the camper and came back to the campground by 8. I went and got a shower - hurray! There were lots of good things about this shower: the lights never went out, the water was hot, there was no timer on the water, good shower cubicle with lots of hooks and a bench seat. There was only one bad thing: the shower only had 2 settings- off and fire hose! I mean it - no hyperbole - the thing was a bloody fire hose!! I could barely stand underneath it and when I was done, my stomach and thighs were pink from the pounding they took...LOL. Obviously, I can never be satisfied with showers, huh? Whew…..

Back in the camper, I caught up on journal duties and Art was over at the kitchen building putting the bikes together. He does such a great job at that; it is really terrific to travel with your bike mechanic!! He finally finished and brought them to the van at about 10:00. Got his stuff and then went to take a shower too - he’s earned it. He too found the firehose a bit offputting but he managed since he also had to deal with the lights going out, cold water off and on and just generally a not quite satisfactory shower I thought it was always just me….

Came back and then it was 11 so I finished with putting the journals online and then was just done. I turned in about 11:45 after looking on my phone for a while and Art worked on the pictures until midnight. Looking forward to biking tomorrow and great weather!

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