Kiwi Utopia

Trip Start Nov 30, 2010
Trip End Mar 14, 2011

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Where I stayed
Fran & Parry's lovely beach apartment

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Saturday, January 22, 2011

From Wanganui we went to Palmerston and hosts Fran and Parry who are friends of our neighbours Lorraine and Peter, they have a beautiful house in the country and treated us like old friends.

Napier 18th January

Frances took us to Napier and we had a lovely time. We stopped on the way for lunch at a winery, Elephant Hill, and then stayed at a hotel on the Harbour overnight; we ate in a great Laos restaurant and experienced an earthquake tremor. (5.5 somewhere near Rotoroa, apparently a common experience and nothing to worry about until the tremor is 6.6 or more!!)

The next day we went for a walk around Napier which was devastated by an earthquake in 1931 and rebuilt in Art Deco , Jazz Age and striped classical style. All the buildings have character and they have an annual Art Deco Festival where apparently everyone dresses up 30's style, out come all the vintage cars and music hits the street, sounds great fun and right up our street. Pity we'll not be here for that one.

We ate icecream at Rush Munro’s ice-cream parlour, New Zealand’s oldest ice-cream maker (that is since 1926, which is history to young New Zealand!!) he was of course English!

A lovely meal out at a steak house, prime New Zealand beef, the next day we went to Paraparaumu Beach to Fran and Parry’s lovely beach apartment, overlooking the Tasman sea across to the island of Kapiti, Parry honoured us with his barbecue skills and the girls thrashed the boys at Trivial Pursuit. (no surprise there!!!! Fortunately for me Fran is brilliant on sport.) The next day Colin and I took the boat across to Kapiti island (Fran & Parry had got us a special permit to visit it as it is a bird sanctuary) There we walked to the top of the peak and back and on the way we met lots of Weka, henlike birds that like to share your lunch, a couple of Kereru (New Zealand pigeon, much prettier than ours) a couple of Hihi, colourful finch like birds, lots of the New Zealand Tui birds,  Toutouwai, which our like our robins but black, very inquisitive, a couple of fantails that like to chase each other at great speed and whizz past your ears and several Kaka parrots that not only like your lunch but have been known to unzip your backpack and help themselves!!!!!  A beautiful day.  Fran and Parry now voted the most wonderful people in New Zealand have let us use their beach apartment for a whole week while we sort ourselves out and prepare for the second half of our Kiwi experience in South Island so we have a full week of living in comfort by the beach…glorious.
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Malcolm Bridges on

Morning Kay & Colin, You are obviously still having a great time while the rest of us have to work! Have you swapped the campervan for a car now? Napier is a quaint place but unfortunately when we arrived on Christmas Day everywhere was closed, apart from a couple of restaurants which had finished serving lunch, so we bought some sandwiches and cakes and a couple of coffees from the Wild Bean cafe in the local BP station and sat in the car on the beach and that was our Christmas lunch! Napier was of course still closed on Boxing Day so didn't get to do much there. Perhaps next time. Just trying to sort out flights for our next visit in December.

Have fun

Malcolm & Mary

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