Trip Start Nov 09, 2008
Trip End Apr 02, 2009

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Where I stayed
Snapper Park, Bay View

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Thursday, February 12, 2009

All this comfort had to come to an end so we packed up and headed for Napier.  We have become fans of 'Top Ten' sites in New Zealand, which are all four or five star rated and deserving of this too.  They are very clean and have good facilities, although each is different.  As we had found out in Christchurch, the city ones can be a bit immense and Yvonne was wanting something smaller.  We looked around the Top Ten site in Napier and it had a similar feel to Christchurch, so we decided to pitch camp at Bay View Snapper Park on the outskirts of the city.  We had been warned by some campers at Christchurch, with whom D had been chatting, that if we thought Christchurch was bad, the sites on the North Island were like refugee camps!  Fortunately, we have come to think that this is because they were visiting during the school holidays and you can imagine, even as a parent, that hundreds of children running wild, as they tend too on campsites, would not be conducive to a restful time.
The campsite we chose was very quiet and had reasonable facilities.  The beach, another black/grey volcanic type, was only 100 metres from the site.  We spent a day in Napier which Yvonne was looking forward to as many buildings were built and maintained in an Art Deco style.  A lot of Napier was rebuilt in 1932, following an earthquake and Art Deco was the style of the time and most of them have been maintained in that style.  We were a bit disappointed that we were there a bit too early for the Art Deco festival week that they hold, when there are many events held to celebrate the style. 
We also visited the New Zealand National Aquarium, which we thought Steven would enjoy, however he managed to have a number of 'off-days' at this time, which involved not going to bed nicely, rampaging round places and doing little screeches in the car - very off putting, not to say annoying too!  We blamed some brightly coloured Skittles (the sweets not the toy/sporting equipment!) that he had eaten on the way from Masterson.  Cloudy apple juice is also in the frame too!
The tent fared well following D's minor adjustments to some of the elastic loops, as we had some rain and blustery wind, although we were in a sheltered spot.  As we were packing the tent away, we were visited by a huge sandy coloured rabbit which we think was wild but was very tame and we were more fortunate than our neighbours who had one of their guy ropes nibbled through by the said rabbit!  In addition to seeing the rabbit, as we were packing up our sleeping bags, we spotted what we thought was a grasshopper sitting on one of them, only to realise on closer inspection that it was a small mantis!
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