Today I rode out to Cape Kidnappers, a point about 20 miles south of Napier, New Zealand. I didn’t quite make the point as you can see in the map of my ride. The tide was rising and I would have had to sneak between waves to make it around to the next bit of beach and thought it probably wasn’t worth it. There were tide charts posted, but their most recent month May, which didn’t do me much good. I waved over one of the dirt bikers as they were passing me to see what the tide was doing and discovered that low tide occured a hour ago, so I had one more hour before the tide would hinder my retreat. I made my way off the beach at 1:55. On my return home I stopped at a lovely cafe that had views of the ocean and nice outdoor seating in the sun. The weather was perfect, it had been a little cloudy on my ride out, but cleared up for lunch and my ride home.
Last weekend I got up early and took an 8am bus to Wellington (I was sooo close to missing it, and would have, had it not been for Chad’s mother who miraculously showed up at the wrong bus stop where I was located and transported me to the correct bus stop with seconds to spare). It was a marvelous trip. The weather was constantly changing and very windy so I didn’t get my camera out as much as I probably should have, but I got a few of the landscape. It was a great change of pace to have hills around and definitely uplifted my spirits. Napier is terribly flat, which begins to feel a little boring after all the pictures I’d seen of New Zealand prior to arrival.
So after my hectic start I arrived in Wellington and wandered in the direction of my hostel. I got a little off track when someone gave me faulty instructions, but due to this I happened to see a well presented Bakery and wandered in for lunch. It was most excellent.
The hostel was only a block away, so I got sorted and then went back out for a wander. It was raining, but I brought my camera anyway and set off for the closest interesting street. It was a strip of bars/cafes, some of which looked pretty nice. I took a right and meandered a short while before noticing a sign for Mt. Victoria look out. This sounded
perfect, so I set off in search of the next sign. I followed them to Charles Plimmer Park, where I left the road and walked up some mountain bike/hiker trails to the top. It wasn’t very far, but it was nice to walk up hill, and came with entertainment–a few downhill bikers zooming down a parallel track (I looked into rentals, but didn’t have time). It was very very windy on top.
I took a different route which spit me out onto a steep hilly side street which led me to the waterfront. I then spotted a cafe with sheltered outdoor seating and sat down for a snack. It was very pleasant. It was still raining and turning dark so I retreated to the hostel for the evening.
Sunday morning I got up early again and went back to the bakery. They had written the breakfast menu on the wall, which I noticed on Saturday, and I couldn’t help but return for French toast with bacon, banana, and maple syrup. It was perfect. I then went to the Te Papa Museum, but arrived before they were open, so I ventured to the cable car up to the botanical gardens. After getting lost returning to the city on footpaths I found my way back to the Te Papa for a quick tour, ducked into the City Gallery, and finished my stay in Wellington at a restaurant along the waterfront in the sun.