Last day in Hawkes Bay area

Trip Start Oct 17, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Today was our last day of holiday in the Hawkes Bay area as we return to Wellington tomorrow. We slept in and then spent a couple of hours wandering around Hastings and Havelock North. Most things were closed which we thought was strange because it was Jan 2. not New Year's Day. We visited a Te Mata Cheese factory and tasted some yummy cheese and ended up buying some cumin gouda cheese and some crackers to have for lunch. We had previously shared a tasty banana split at Rush Munro's Ice Cream Garden in Hasting.
I saw in the Rough Guide that there was a guy named Barry doing tandem paragliding rides off Te Mata Peak and decided I needed to go up. Luckily for me we called Barry the previous evening and he had space and the weather was lovely. Te Mata Peak is a gorgeous hill about 1000 feet high that provides gorgeous 360 degree views of the surrounding area--well worth driving up. It was $140 for a 15 minute ride. Paragliding is not cheap, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I ended up getting closer to a half an hour ride because we tried to land on the peak but conditions were too strong and had to land below. Barry was a nice guy and even did a couple of fun maneuvers (one called a wing over). I would recommend the experience.
After paragliding, we decided to stop for a cup of coffee for Aron and tea for me at the little cafe just below the peak. There were nice views, but Aron said his coffee was lacking (a strange thing in NZ) although my tea was fine. It was quiet and peaceful out on the patio until a family with two little boys arrived. At one point, one of the little boys who was about 5 years old, ran up from downstairs and said, "I did a piss!" (outside). The parents didn't seem phased and just asked if he washed his hands. We found this amusing.
We did a bit of geocaching after that, but the one geocache we arrived at was apparently destroyed and the others we looked at were too far of a walk and we were too lazy. :)
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