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November 25th 2018
Published: November 25th 2018
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24th November

I and getting at this getting away for 10am lark; the key seems to be preparation. I pack my clothes for the next day in my rucksack and put a teabag in my cup. This way when I get up to go the loo I can make a cuppa on the way back. I then have breakfast and sort the van out. Then head for a shower, and drop my washing up in the kitchen on the way. Wash up after my shower, put the stuff back in the van and I am ready to go. It has only taken me two and half weeks to figure it out.

The plan of action for today is to go to the Farmer’s Market in Gisborne and then head towards Napier.
I get parked up as the Farmer’s, Market, although sat nav seem to take the long way around.

Disaster! I dropped my card that is preloaded with New Zealand Dollars, I know it is in the van somewhere as I hear it the plastic when I dropped. Picture the scene, me moving stuff out of the way desperately trying to find the card, trying to figure out what I will do if I cannot find it, as there is about $2000 on it. Phew found it, well I can see but can I reach it. Yay! GOT it, panic over.

I head for the market and buy lots of goodies, bread, cheese, pate, honey, tomatoes, apples, mandarins and cucumber. Lovely.

After the market I set sat nav for Napier, on the way I see a sign for Mania Beach, now that brings a bell, agh yes, one of the places I must see as described by the enthusiastic lady at the information centre the other day. So I took a left turn, sat nav started moaning at me so I switched her off. By the way roads have been their normal roller coaster ride at one point there was a sign showing a 11% gradient for 2km.

Unusually , the sea was to my right not my left. I was feeling in need of coffee. Vowed to stop at he next cafe and grab one, the next cafe was actually at my destination. I parked up on the see front and walked over to the cafe and got a take out coffee. it was almost lunchtime, so I made a sandwich from my farmers’ market goodies and sat down to take in the view. At this point a little black poodle spied me from a garden and decided that I might be invading his territory and came charging towards me barking much louder that expected for his size. He gets to me, takes a sniff if my hand, decides I need a wash and then wanders back to his garden.

I decided to take one of the walks that had been suggested, I realize that in order to get to the walks I need to drive on gravel roads, only one problem my insurance is good on gravel roads. Although I have not had any driving related incidents so far, I can guarantee that if I go onto a gravel road then some numpty will send me flying down a ravine. Not worth the risk I decide, even though legally I do need insurance to drive in New Zealand.

Start to pack the van up and the black poodle turns up with a tennis ball in his mouth, obviously wanting to play ball with me, only problem is I have no idea what his command is to give me the ball. I try drop, give, sit, ball, nothing seems to work. He is keen to play but I am not taking a ball out if the mouth of a dog I have just met he lets me pet him, but I still cannot get him to drop the ball. Eventually, fed up that he cannot get this dotty English woman to give him the right command he heads back to his garden.

I turned back from whence I came and continued my journey to Napier, oh i forgot to say that there had been a landslide on the way out, so I needed to go passed it again on the way back.

I have been travelling through sheep country again and signs of houses are very few and far between. There is evidence that there had been more people in the past, as ever so often I see an brick fireplace and chimney stack in the middle of a field. I also see goats in the field and then a sign warning me of goats in the road, they are not kidding, I round a corner and there are about 20 of the damn things in the middle of the road.

I carry on driving towards Napier and there very few placed of interest, the views are amazing, but no walks that I can do. I decide to carry on to Napier today but first I am need of coffee.

I pull over for coffee about 2.30, I ask the lady about the goats, thinking they either farm for milk or meat. Neither is the answer, they are considered to be vermin.

There was a coach at the cafe, I got chatting to the driver, her route today was Gisborne to Napier and back , I really cannot imagine driving a coach along the roads I had been on so far today. Apparently yesterday she had to do it with a double decker instead of a coach. Oh my god.

I get to camp site just before Napier about 5 and I am exhausted, as I have said before, you cannot afford to go on to autopilot on the roads over here.
I get chatting to a lady who lives on the site and make a fuss of her dog oand cat. I have a bit to eat and put my feet up. I head to the beach for a walk but find it tough going as it is a shingle beach and I sink about an inch with each step. I give up and take in the view instead.

I update my blog and read for a while, Rosie the cat also wanders over for a fuss, and am tucked up in my bed by about 8.


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