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December 1st 2018
Published: December 1st 2018
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1st December

I had a fairly random breakfast of a boiled egg, weet-bix and half a sausage which do could find room for last night. I get myself sorted fairly quickly this morning and park up at the cafe, grab a coffee, and read my book until 1o when the museum opens.

I find myself putting the world to rights with the chap who chats to me I the museum, I have been doing a lot of that, putting the world to rights.
Decisions, decisions, where shall I go? I consulted with the trusty map, abd decide upon Kawhia, it is on the coast, so there should be a campsite there.
Whether you are in the northern or southern hemisphere some things do not change, the 1st December is the first official day of summer and it gives rain for the day. I head off with the idea that I will pull over if I see something that takes my fancy.

The terrain us not too taxing driving wise and is beautiful sheep country but there are not any places to pull over and take in the view. The truth be told is that I just want to pull over abdcwalk across the pasture land, but there is no right to roam in New Zealand and no public footpaths like in the British countryside.

I get to a place call Piopio and stop for coffee, opposite the coffee shop is a gallery so head over and do a little retail therapy. The heavens open as I exit the gallery so I drop my buys in the van and pop into another shop and bought some more goodies. No sign of the rain easing off, do I continue my journey, the next place I stop at is Olorohanga, I head to the information centre but it closed at 12, in fact most of shops are closed. I do find a small grocery store open and buy a few bits and I buy a pen from the stationery shop; because a pen is obviously going to improve my painting!

I carry on my journey in the rain, feeling in need of coffee I pull over at a place which is one stop for everything, garage, fuel, post office, cafe, shop, public toilets, ATM ( the last one for a while the sign says, and rather randomly a collection of about 30 bikes hanging on the fence on the opposite side of the road.

I had coffee and garlic bread as I was peckish. I asked about the bikes, apparently it’s a thing that people just leave their bikes there if they don’t need them anymore. Of course, makes perfect sense, what else would you do with your unwanted bike in the back of beyond.

The rain gets worse the higher the altitude, in fact I think I am just driving through cloud at one point. I pull over as it seems that every time I look at satnav the distance left dies not seem to change. I am getting a bit stiff and grumpy being cramped in the driver’s seat for what seems like forever. I pull in at a picnic spot for a rest and a review of the map, I feel tired and hungry. I realise that I have not had a lot to eat today, so I finish the pasta salad I made yesterday and grab a banana. 20 minutes later I feel much better.

The thing with this rain that the rain us heavy but it is so hot that you can see it evaporating as you drive along.

I eventually get to Kawhia, and the bay is beautiful, I follow the signs for the campsite, it looks a bit busy for my liking. I remember seeing a sign for the only beachside campsite in Kawhia, so I turn back. It is lovely, I am a bit concerned when the girl at reception ask whether I am scared of water when she is picking a site for me, I have no idea what she has in mind, anyway she says just to pick my own pitch. I basically have the site to myself, there are few people in the cabins but no other campers.
I have just missed orca in the bay apparently.

I make a cuppa, and do a quick painting before picking up my book. It is an improvement on yesterday’s attempt. Practice makes perfect I guess.

I cook the hoggat chops and heat green beans in the microwave, I was supposed to have potatoes as well but I forgot to turn the ring on. Never mind, they can go into a potato salad. I climb into bed about 9.


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