A day in the Bay

Trip Start Oct 21, 2006
Trip End Mar 21, 2008

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Jess and Guy are really into triathlons (must be some family thing) so they charge off for training bike rides at some ungodly hour like 7am. Jane and I peel ourselves out of bed at 8, more dignified but still far too early.

We walk down to the road and follow it for about an hour and a half. The weather is beautiful - warm and windless - which enhances the ever-so picturesque countryside. Farms of lush rolling green hills are sprinkled with sheep and cows that barrell off in dopey panic as we approach.

Back at the house, we continue up the driveway to the main house where Guy's parents, Carol and Bill, live. It is an amazing old homestead with what seems like hundreds of rooms and a garden overlooking the valley that could have been pulled straight from the cover of 'Home & Garden'.

Jess and Guy straggle back, along with Jess' training buddy Naomi, so we all pitch in to help Guy cook a tasty country brunch that we enjoy on the verandah. Jane's demonstration of the life-endagering Slovak technique for slicing bread causes much amusement.

It is a very relaxing lifestyle up here (apart from the triathlon-inspired bursts of exercise) and we make the most of the opportunity to sloth around in the sun working through the weekend newspapers. In good time, Jess, Jane and I head off for some sightseeing while Guy stays at home for some sunbathing.

We drive to a place called Te Mata Peak, a mountain from the top of which you get a brilliant 360 degree view of the Hawkes Bay area. It is a clear day so we can see right around the whole region, from the sea to the mountains.

On the way back to the house we are met by a roadblock and a bunch of guys in reflective vests. Apparently the rest of the road is closed to traffic due to some big car rally race going on. Luckily we aren't far from the house so we just park the car by the roadblock and walk the rest of the way.

In the evening we head back into the 'town' of Havelock North for dinner with a bunch of Jess and Guy's friends. The restaurant is a place called Pipi's and it is rather kitschy and odd but extremely popular. The tables are a motley collection of kitchen tables, park benches and even what appear to be school desks. Because our party of 12 is too big for one table, some of the group have to sit on a much lower table than the rest, which is a bit strange, kind of like a kiddies table. The chairs are of the park bench variety too, which fits the decor but becomes quite uncomfortable over the course of the three and a half hours we are there. Jess and Guy's friends are very nice but we are a little tired and probably not as much fun as we would normally be. Also, it gets a little monotonous telling your whole story separately to so many different people.
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