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Published: July 20th 2014
We were up in time to take out the wet washing from the dryer, turn up the heating and place the washing strategically round the room on every spare chair space. Then down to breakfast. If you think this is exciting - it gets better.
After breakfast we packed our suitcases and took enough clothes with us in our roll ons for the weekend ahead. We were having a break with Caroline and Gwenlli at Paihia for four nights.
Then the exciting bit - the shopping! Not just any shopping but the food shopping. So it was off to Grey's Ave (kosher) Deli to pick up challah and wine and other goodies. Whilst we were there we met the rabbi; we are having dinner with him and his family next Shabbat. We found out that he is moving to Modi'in in four weeks time. Whist at Grey's we bought our lunch: a couple of slices of salmon and leek frittata which we took out.
Then the really exciting bit - shopping at Countdown which is like Tesco, or Mega or Publix. We bought lots of salad goodies and generally walked up and down the aisles to get a
Allegra House, Paihia NZ
Luxurious B&B accommodation in Paihia Northland, beautifully appointed and well situated for touring northern New Zealand
feel of a supermarket in New Zealand. The store knows that people have to drive and therefore has a big car park with a multi storey overflow.
We had an hour or so to kill before Caroline got back from uni so we hung around the Heritage hotel and used their wifi.
Then into the car to collect Caroline to take her to Hertz to put her onto the rental insurance and back to the flat to wait for Gwenlli. Eventually she got home and we all piled into the car to start our epic journey to Paihia well after dark, ordinarily a 3-4 hour drive.
It was epic as SH1 - the main road north - was closed after Whangarei before the main junction at Kawakawa. A detour was established due to recent storms and flooding which had caused road slips, ruined road surfaces, downed trees, etc. We foraged for food in Warkworth and found a Pita Pit just about to close. This is a chain of fast food stores started by an Israeli specialising in falafel and pita. We then set off again to complete our 6 hour journey. We followed the detour signs west, which did not offer the option of turning north mid-country to Kaikohe for a minimal detour. Instead they led us all the way from the east to the west coast of Northland at Dargaville. Although the mid-route would have added 60-90 minutes to the usual direct northerly run, we drove an extra 2-2.5 hours all around that part of Northland, including many stretches of tight twisty hilly turns. Luckily at least the weather was clear, in fact we saw a brilliant half-moon rise over the hills.
At last we arrived at our Bed & Breakfast place after 1am. We were met by our host Heinz Marti. His B&B, Allegra House, has four rooms which they rent out. The house is absolutely gorgeous and I cannot understand why they would let out such a beautiful place to strangers. We didn't spend time admiring it, as the four of us rushed into our rooms and fell into bed.
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