First impressions driving in the North Island. Every bit as beautiful as the South. More mountains, rolling hills, thousands of sheep and more varieties of cow than I knew existed. We had to wonder if they actually talked to each other. Or does a big "MOO" here and there suffice? You think of these things on long road trips...
Arrived at yet another Top 10 Campsite. These are reputed to be the best sites in NZ - and we stay at them whenever possible because from our experience they have been cleaner, better showers, facilities, etc. for the same price as all the others. Only this one far exceeded the others. It had a Sky Cinema room! So we broke open some of our Sauvignon Blanc then adjourned to the cinema. Huge screen, surround sound, comfy chairs. We were in heaven! We didn't have the place to ourselves so we were forced to watch the latest James Bond film (with Pierce Brosnan and Hally Berry) which was actually better than I thought it would be. Liked the place so much, decided to stay another night.
Next morning, we stopped in the town for some lunch. Napier is known for its Art Deco architecture, which was a result of the town burning down in the 1920's and then being rebuilt just when that style was en vogue. Therefore, all of the buildings are painted in pastels, named with the type of writing you normally find in diners. Reminded me alot of Miami, only not nearly as pretentious.
The main reason, though, for staying in this town because it borders an area called Hawke's Bay, which is known for its production of red wines. So we embarked on the journey to find the perfect bottle of red wine.
Like Marlborough, the wineries were spread over long distances and L had to drive. So we went to 4or 5 - enough to realize the wine of choice there was Pinot Noir. I liked quite a few of the ones we tasted, but L prefers the richer, deeper Syrahs and Cabernets, so he was disappointed. Turns out we found our perfect red in Australia. Oh well, it was a fun journey.
Retired to the cinema again that night and watched a really bad movie with ex Saturday Night Live stars. Didn't matter much, at least we had entertainment for the evening.