September 5, 2016
Was pretty cold last night but the duvet is surprisingly warm. (We sleep on a blanket covered by a duvet which seems to work like a sleeping bag. ) The sheets would be a pain. In fact we have 2 extra duvets and blanket. We will be warm!
Decided to stay another night in Tauranga which is a part of the Bay of Plenty. Captain Cook christened the Bay of Plenty when he cruised past in 1769. This is an area of NZ that has plenty of sunshine although we are not seeing and abundance! Dan said we must hike Mt. Maunganui “The Mountain” (either around the base or to the top) and visit the town. He gave us great directions as to where to park.
Had no trouble going to The Mount. Tauranga is definitely a beach tourist hub with the Mount, beautiful new condos along the strand, lovely boardwalk and beaches. We were really looking forward to exercise today after nearly 2 days in the car. We parked about 15 minutes from The Mount but when we arrived they said the perimeter was closed because of an avalanche that had occurred over the weekend! We did not fancy climbing the 800 foot hill almost straight up so we explored Moturiki Island which adjoins the peninsula. That also had a steep ascent we decided to forego!
Was so pleasant that we parked our chairs near the beach and read for while. It is obvious that we are in a “shoulder” season as parking is plentiful. The area is the premier surfing city but we saw few surfers. Hungry, we drove into town and had to park a fair distance (15 minutes walking) from the town center. Went to the Grindz Café recommended by the Lonely Planet for lunch. It is a hip, funky café where Bob had a chicken pizza and salad and I had scrambled eggs on a Turkish bun. The eggs were so plentiful and the fluffiest ever that I brought half home for breakfast. The Turkish bun was a flat sesame seed.
Walked all over town. Compared to the new, modern, hip Maunganui nearby area, the town is struggling to get beyond Sushi/Chinese/Turkish restaurants. That said, lots of storefronts being refurbished. Never did find the art museum!
Home by 4:00 and found a washer empty so did laundry. People are so very friendly and helpful. We are finding our “rhythm” in the rig. We talked with Britz this morning hoping to switch to a MB in Christchurch as the VW drives like an old woman and lurches from gear to gear. However, we are enjoying some of the things we don’t use in our own rig. Albeit, we have far less in this rig than we do at home, we have space, window blinds easily open which makes living lighter, 3 burner stove, much larger fridge, wider bed, bigger sink. The difference is that we have 2 more seats which take up space. The big downer for us now is that when I go to bed before Bob there is no seat other than the front for him to sit. Fortunately, most of the camps have recreation rooms .
Tonight we are having lamb loin chops with a creamy shallot puree. Baked potato with the fixings! Bob is dissing broccoli or avocado salad! 2013 High Trellis cabernet McLaren Vale.