WEDNESDAY to THURSDAY, 12th and 13th October
I waved goodbye to Welly at 10 a.m. and then had a change at Palmerston North. I thought we won’t leave Palmerston N, because the bus didn’t want to start. That what happens, when I travel too much, but when the technical support came, the bus started after the push. There were no more adventures for the rest of my journey to Napier. The eastern landscape of the North Island was a little different from what I got used to on the west. The hills were taller, roads were narrower and worse and there were more sheep than cows on the hills.
I arrived in Napier after 4 p.m. and stayed again at the BBH hostel, Andy’s Backpackers. The girl at the reception, who was German with a Polish name, said that the hostel needed some renovations. It did. Someone told me once that while YHA hostels are almost sterile clean and tidy, BBH hostels have their own character. I find it to be true. And people are different. Sure, you have to look after your stuff in the kitchen more carefully, but they’re more open to talk and I guess there’s this sense of sharing. 😉
I left the luggage and went for a walk. The town was quiet, like every other smaller town in New Zealand after 5 p.m. when the shops are closed, so I had time and space to admire the art deco architecture. But I didn’t take any photos then, because I was getting hungry and was on the hunt for some fish & chips. I found them at the Breakers. They were more expensive than usually, but I got so much food that I had enough for dinner for the next day.
The beach in Napier was so different from the ones I had seen in Paihia or anywhere else. No sand but pebbles and the closer the ocean the smaller they were. It was dangerous to swim there, but it was very pretty.
Napier was destroyed by an earthquake on 3rd February 1931, many people died. Many buildings were rebuilt according to the contemporary architecture fashion which was the Art Deco style. I took a long walk around the town on the next day. I think Christchurch will need more time to be rebuilt, especially when the earth is still shaking from time to time there.
This building was one of not many buildings which have Maori motifs. The other one is the ASB Bank.
At Deco Centre you can watch for free a short documentary about the city.
I had a coffee at Cappadonna, which according to my guide book was the best one in town, but after Midnight Espresso and Fidel’s in Wellington, every coffee is not good enough anymore. Next time I’m in that area, I want to stay in Hastings, try BJ’s pies and have a tour at one of the vineyards there.
These fellas, when they saw me with my camera, wanted to be photographed and they made sure I was going to put it on the Internet.
Going back to the hostel, I visited the beach once more, which wasn’t that difficult, because it was right across the street from the hostel. The sky was clearer and I could see the cliffs on the south and more land on the north. I was overwhelmed by the size of the Hawke’s Bay!
I was going to go for a walk in the evening after dinner, but it rained heavily, so I stayed in the hostel and finally caught up on what had been happening on Shortland Street. 😉 And got angry at what has been happening in Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and the rest of the Bay of Plenty for the last couple days. The oil spill from one boat made so great disaster for the wild life and those beautiful towns and cities, that I can’t imagine what could have happened if the deep sea oil drill were put into motion and a disaster like at the Mexico Gulf took place. All what New Zealand is now, would be lost. “Rena” just proves the point of the Greenpeace and Te Whānau-ā-Apanui fighters. John Key is so going to lose this coming election.
I had already booked a hostel in Rotorua. I’d been thinking of going to Coromandel or Tauranga, but since there’s no good bus connection between Rotorua and Coromandel, I think I’m going to go to Tauranga to see the mess myself and even if I don’t end up as a volunteer to clean up the beaches, I can always take some photos and spread the warning news.