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.
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 Soufflé Suisse - a crazy Gruyere soufflé 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.
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.
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.