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Published: February 4th 2018
Kapiti Island from Waikanae Beach
On Friday morning after a slow start, we drove to Waikanae Beach.Here we stopped for coffee and a friand at the Front Room Cafe.Then a walk across the road took us to the "beach". There was a king tide and the water was lapping right up to the sandhills and the waves were crashing in. I was amazed at the amount of debris on the shore, many logs and branches washing in and out with the sea's ebb and flow. There was no room for a stroll so we drove along the foreshore and stopped further down only to be met with the same sight. What was impressive was the view of Kapiti Island not far offshore, rising green and stately from the stormy sea. We then decided to check out Paraparaumu beach further south. This is a much larger town and we drove to the foreshore, but again the height of the sea here was just as threatening and the wind was blowing very hard. I called Anne and we agreed to meet for lunch at Waimea, a restaurant back at Waikanae beach. We drove back and only after one wrong turn, located this pleasant cafe overlooking the
Fletcher on Waikanae Beach
sea. The tide was still in, so after a quick look at the beach we found a corner table.
We had a very enjoyable lunch here. Again the conversation flowed and the food and wine went down easily. We spent an hour or two chatting amicably and Arthur especially seemed to enjoy the time. Anne suggested we check out the lagoons which were not far away, so after farewelling them we drove to an attractive spot near the beach where the river enters the sea, but forms two or three large bodies of water before it ends. Here there was an abundance of wildlife with shags and swans very evident. We set out for a pleasant 40-minute walk around the edge of the lagoons, encountering a pair of large geese who did not blink an eye as we walked right past them. The wind was still strong but the temperature was in the low 20s so it was just right for a walk. We then drove back into Waikanae and after a brief look at the main shopping centre we returned to the motel. By this time we were not wanting to go too far for dinner
Kapiti island from the beach at Paraparaumu
and after consulting, through Messenger, a former school student, Carly (Kemp) now Bowers who lives nearby, decided against the local Indian restaurant. So I went to the New World (Coles) supermarket within walking distance and bought ham, cheese, tomato, bread and a bottle of wine and we had a picnic tea in our very well equipped room. The entertainment for the night was the Big Bash finals and after the women's Strikers team losing to the Sixers we sat up and watched the nail-biting finish as the Strikers won by one run!!!
Saturday morning we left the motel at 9-10 and drove to Anne and Arthur's where we spent an hour chatting over coffee and muffins. Then, reluctantly, we had to say goodbye. Arthur seemed to really appreciate our visit as he and Fletcher could speak about mutual friends and events and times shared over many years. We will try to come back again soon. Then it was off on the road to Palmerston North. Fletcher drove for the hour and a half journey and we easily found our way to the Aqaba cafe where George McConachy and his wife, Sue, were waiting for us. George is an old
On the beach at Waikanae
coaching buddy and sparring partner of Fletcher's and we maintain communication through Facebook. We had not met his wife, Sue, before but she is charming and articulate and we spent a couple of hours over a lovely lunch. I had the pasta of the day which was a chicken and mushroom one while Fletcher had a local fish, gurnard which he said was delicious. We drank a lovely St Clair Sauv blanc and the conversation flowed. All too soon we had to get on the road in order to reach Hamilton, so reluctantly had to say farewell. It was a great catch up.
I drove from Palmerston northwards. It was an incident-free trip through the central plateau along the desert road and into Taurangi where we stopped to fill up with petrol and grab a drink of water. Fletcher then took over and we drove along the shores of Lake Taupo which is very scenic and then onto the bypass which took us straight to Hamilton. It was about four and a half hours in all and we arrived at Debbie's door about 7-10pm. We were greeted effusively by Debbie, Criss and Oscar and given the "bridal suite" overlooking
Debris on the beach
the garden. Debbie had a wonderful roast lamb dinner waiting and we settled comfortably into each others' company as if we had seen them yesterday. We had a tasty pinot from Central Otago and watched the NZ inning in the 20/20, but after Australia demolished them and there was a rain break, we knew what the result would be, so headed for bed. A lovely couple of days with the emphasis on friendship and fellowship rather than much sightseeing.
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