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Published: November 30th 2018
It rained in the night but it was dry by the time I woke up. Tea and toast for breakfast. Dressed and van packed up, and set off for my walk before 9.
I am getting organised you know. Had a walk along the beach, still not sure about this black sand. I set the timer on my phone for 30 minutes when I set out as the beach was so vast there was no natural point to head to. Luckily no sign of decomposing whale carcass. All was going well until I got to a point in the beach where it looked like solid wet sand that I had been walking on then all of a sudden I started to sink a couple of inches in. This happened twice, time to turn back.
Got back to the van and rummaged through the pile of leaflets and decided to head to Hollard Gardens. I also swapped by book for another from the bookshelf in the kitchen and deposited leaflets that I no longer needed. I set sat nav and off I trundled.
Hollard Gardens was lovely, the garden was created on what was dairy farm by
Rose and Bernie Hollard over the whole of their lives and was gifted to the New Zealand version of the National Trust but is no run by the local council. It is free to enter, has a brilliant playground for kids and a kitchen and barbecue area you can use.
There are also lots of tips about growing food at home. I chose the longer walk around. When I finished I helped my self to The free tea on offer and settled in an armchair to plan my next point of call.
It was about 12.30 so when I got back to van I made myself a sandwich and read a book. Suitably refreshed I set sat nav for Pukeiti, another garden run by the council. The journey was rolling countryside instead of the normal roller coaster and there were lots of dairy farms.
I was beginning to get weary as the road started to turn into a rollercoaster again, I misjudged a couple of bends and gave my self a fright. Time for coffee. I carried on but no sign of a cafe, I was feeling exhausted so decided to pull over at the next cafe
or layby and have a nap. No picnic spots turned up, so I pulled over at the side of the road, climbed in the back of the van, set a timer for 10 minutes and had a nap.
Feeling refreshed I carried on following sat navy’s instructions, that was until she told me to take the 4th exit at the next roundabout. The she sent me on a loop around familiar terrority, passed the layby I had napped in.
Finally make it to Pukeiti, in desperate need for caffeine so head straight to the cafe and order a latte. I take in the view from the balcony whilst waiting to be served and pondered over the map to see which walk to take. As ever the coffee was great, I have not had a did one yet.
Feel refreshed I head back to van to get my walking pole, no sooner than I had licked the vab up, the heavens opened. I had a look around the exhibit and got chatting to a local, well she is originally from the area and has worked abroad a lot and this is her first visit back in 20 years, she tells me she is impressed with what the local council are doing. The are planning to start predator control at the site to give local wildlife, such as Kiwi, a chance to thrive. We both decide that this rain is not going blow over.
I head back to the van in reach of a campsite. I get my self booked in about 4 and have a walk along the beach and hand wash a few bits. I have left over pasta, broccoli and tuna for tea. The rest if the evening I pretty much watched the world go by between reading my latest book, The Saboteur by Andrew Cross, and climbed into bed about 9.
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