Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Hawke's Bay Day One - Getting Medical with a Doughnut

We arrived in Napier the night before, and were greeted in the morning to cold showers. I was expecting this at a couple of campsites we visited, but not motels. Upon telling the receptionist, she said "there's really nothing we can do" as she had called the plumber. Still, it was a warm comfortable room, they provided plenty of free tea and I stole one of the little shower gel pottles in compensation. 

Breakfast was had at Milk and Honey cafe (french toast with blueberry compote and vanilla mascarpone, with an Earl Grey tea as well of course). This was in the suburby-type area of Ahuriri, which had a nice waterfront and boutique cinema.

Going into Napier proper, we decided it was only fitting to try on lots of vintage hats in the museum/tour centre/gift store. Napier was devastated in the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake and rebuilt in a largely Art Deco style, so there are many vintage stores in the city. 
Walking down one of the main streets (Tennyson Street), we found this 1930's woman waving at a matching statue of a child across the street. I won't show you the child, as the statue thoroughly creeped me out for some reason. Perhaps it was because he was clinging monkey-like to a pole with his spindly arms and legs.

Even the street signs are done in an attractive Art Deco font.

Lunchtime found us at Mister D's, where we had heard that you can inject doughnuts with fillings of your choice. To begin, I had a tasty Tuscan soup and Yannick ordered a SoufflĂ© Suisse - a crazy Gruyere soufflĂ© swimming in cream and cheese. The doughnuts were delightful. Warm and very soft, but crispy on the outside and covered in cinnamon sugar. As anticipated, we got to inject custard, chocolate sauce and jam into them. 

At the top of a hill was a lookout over Napier port. Yannick really enjoyed watching the digger type tractor machine that grabbed the logs to move them around. 

Wanting to walk off our lunch, we headed out to Cape Kidnappers. On the way, we saw a little hand painted sign for raspberries and followed it. While we were chasing them, we spotted these old water tanks which were odd enough to get out and look at. The berries were excellent.

Cape Kidnappers
So named for a misunderstanding between Captain Cook's crew and a group of Maoris looking to trade, the Cape is a cliffy outcropping that houses a large gannet colony among other marine life. Having seen our share of gannet colonies in the past, we did not take the three hour walk, but stuck to the beach. (And found ourselves some pretty great walking sticks.)

Part of the road above the beach had collapsed leaving fragments behind, letting your imagination run away with you if it so desired. An oh so popular post-apocalyptic storyline would seem fitting here. 

As we walked across the rocks, I noticed that some of them were not rock at all, but wood. Shellfish sprouted up from them and I wondered if the rock would eventually be turned to stone through pressure and time.


Waimarama is a small drive from Havelock North (near Hastings, which is in turn near Napier). We had tried to find Ocean Beach but had gone a bit far and ended up here. As it was getting late in the day, we set up camp at the campground there. 

It is a long beach, and utterly deserted when we went, much like the campground. I hear that in the peak of summer it gets more holidaymakers, but even in mid December it was empty. 

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