We dropped down into the Hawkes Bay area, the landscape changed from rolling hills full beef and dairy cattle to level plains containing vineyards, vegetable farms and fruit orchards. This was the start of the famous Hawkes Bay wine producing areas. We stopped to fill up with petrol (our little banger was very economical and the hire firm Jucy is to be recommended) and then drove along the coast to Napier. We now had getting accommodation down to a T, we just headed straight for the Tourist Information building (always well sign posted and with plenty of parking), we stood in line (quite a few looking for accommodation ) a lady came from behind a screen and asked if we were looking for a place, she took us behind the screen (normal punters are dealt with at the counter, but we got preferential treatment, in a matter of minutes we had our motel booked, paid for and we were on our way, it was one street behind the main beach front and within easy walking of the shops, pubs and restaurants. Again it was a very nice motel (Fountain Court) and had Wi-Fi, great for keeping in touch with the world in General and posting my blogs in particular.
We got our bags into our unit and decided that we would go to see the gannet breeding colony at cape Kidnapped, we now seem to have the knack of getting the timings wrong, the only access to the breeding colonies is along the beach (or you pay an exorbitant price to travel through private lands on a guided tour), so we parked up at the furthest one can travel and popped into the café, we both had nice flat white coffees and Linda had a citrus slice and I had very nice ham, egg and onion quiche in a filo shell. We retraced our tracks passing through loads of wineries (vineyards) with names that I had until now only seen on labels of Hawkes Bay wine labels.
Some of the numerous Art Décor Buildings in Napier
We then went shopping as the next day was a longish trip and we had decided that we would have an early breakfast and the head off and have a picnic lunch on the way. We brought a big tray of cooked shell on prawns, a tub of mussels in garlic, a pot of Aioli and 4 seeded rolls. That was us settled for the morn, but what about this evening?
I went to the bar and asked if they had any dark beer (the sort of dark bitter that I remember so well),the barman then insisted I taste each of the beers on tap, but when none of these came up to my expectation, he said, “try this sir, I think it will be just what you’re looking for” it was. It was called Mac’s Black Mac, very nice, full bodied just the job. We got the menu and even though the waitress (a US girl working her way around NZ as she is studying wine, she worked at a winery during the days and waitressed during the night) told us there were various specials on tonight, one being venison filet wrapped in bacon, we had decided on fish and chips.