Starting our Christmas holiday, we set a course for Napier. Along the way, we encountered several small towns.
This sculpture, which was probably meant to resemble reeds, instead instilled in one's mind a sense of spaghetti. The larger-than-life pasta sprouted from the earth, and though it was only young, one day it would produce branches of cannelloni, bark that formed from sheets of lasagne, and leaves that fell to the ground as farfalle.
We also saw a memorial to the inhabitants of Featherston who died at Galipoli.
We stopped because we saw a roadside fruit stall. This became our dinner later that evening.
Having heard that Mirabelle Cafe in Carterton was worth a visit, we drove there but it turned out to be closed. Instead of settling for something mediocre, we drove back to The Cuckoo Cafe in Greytown.
The setting was quaint and quirky, and we savoured the smell of garlicky pizza bread as we waited impatiently for our lunch.
The cider was rich and the pizza tasty. We followed it up with Italian orange syrup cake accompanied by ice cream. Our bellies full, we carried on.
After being settled by Danes, Dannevirke has come to be known as "that place with the Viking sign".
They seem proud of their heritage, with names like Norsewood and Denmark Street.
The first leg of our journey ended in Napier, where it was pouring down with rain. Perhaps we offended Thor somehow.