Tuesday, 12 November 2019

From the Bay of Plenty coast to Kapiti Coast - and home

From Opotiki we drove to Papamoa which is not far from Tauranga - an interesting journey as we could see the changes from seaside bach communities to beach house communities. The difference between a bach and a beach house can probably be encapsulated in this table:
Beach House
Old and basic
New and plush
One bathroom
En suites and a family bathroom
One or two bedrooms
Three or more bedrooms
Old furniture that is being re-used from the family home
New furniture, purpose bought
Mismatched china and cutlery – re-used from the family home
Dinner sets and cutlery newly purchased - all matching
Cars parked on the grass
Cars parked in the garage or on the driveway
Plenty of room on the lawn for tents
No room and no need for tents
Sleeping bags and other bedding airing on the clothesline (or fence if there’s no clothesline), alongside togs and towels
Clothesline discreetly around the back of the property, there’s a dryer in the garage
Dress standard: casual to scruffy, obligatory to wear the same clothes (apart from underwear) for days; alternatively only wear togs and a t-shirt
Dress standard: casual to smart casual

Ohope has transitioned to being a beach house community, with just a few bach holdouts - three cheers for them! That's not to say that the beach houses are out of place, but it does show the demise of the locals' accessibility to being a bach owner close to their own communities when big city money comes in and buys and knocks down baches to build fancy places.

Can you tell I don't like beach houses as a general rule?

Apart from the winding narrow road at the start of the drive between Ohope and Whakatane, I enjoyed the relatively wide and straightforward journey to Papamoa - I'd had enough of winding narrow roads as we travelled from Napier pretty much all the way to Opotiki.
Somewhere on the journey that day we ticked over to 15000 kms - considering we've only done just over 3000kms in the new car, it is clear we are using the motorhome far more!
We stopped for lunch at the parking area overlooking this spot on the way from Ohope to Whakatane.
The reason for staying overnight at Papamoa was to spend time with my nephew Jonny, his wife Debs and their two little girls - they came for a swim at the beach and then for dinner with us. Six people around the motorhome table would have been a problem so I cooked in the camp kitchen and we ate in the camp dining area. As we were parked right across from them, it was easy peasy.
Jonny and Debs and their girls Charlie (closest to the camera) and Eva. They were quite tired at the point I took this photo, but perked up in a manic sort of way when they had icecream for dessert - they don't usually have sugar, so they went home on a high. Poor Jonny, who was in charge of bedtime as Debs was heading out for a walk with a friend ...

We are not sure how this Jucy rental van ended up down on the bank between the carpark and the beach (did they drive it down the bank, or did they not put the handbrake on or leave it in gear, so it rolled down under its own steam?), but there was no way it could be driven up and out ...  If they had tried to drive it down on to the beach they would have got bogged down in soft sand once there. It was still on the bank the following morning, so I did wonder where the renters had slept. They were lucky it hadn't rolled as it was on quite a slope - both it and the bank!

Papamoa Beach Resort is a lovely camp, but pricey. And I would recommend sacrificing the view of the sea on windy days, because windows, roof vents and doors slam wide open or shut. Better to park down lower, closer to the dunes where the wind goes overhead instead ...

We moved on to Tauranga the next day to catch up with Barry and Pauline who have featured in the blog often - they spent several weekends with us onboard Waka Huia when they lived in London.

We had a Zero Degrees dinner at theirs but without a quorum, so no meeting minutes were required or taken. Yes, we have a minutes book. But running a meeting with that quorum is like herding cats. We always start with a health update - and that is getting longer and longer as we age - not because we speak slower (we don't!) but because there is more going wrong! This time, there were 8 of us: B&P, David and I, Alan and Helen from Kati Kati, and Jenny and Chris from Kinloch - all of us lived in the UK in the early - mid 2000s, where the Zero Degrees Club was formed.
This is Chris and Jenny's dog who has his own basket for travelling - he was very tired by the time they departed. On the floor you can just see the bag of lemons and avocados provided by Alan and Helen - I also had some for us and some to deliver to Adair.

We stayed in the Tauranga Tourist Park where we moored up last time - a really nice place, not fancy, but friendly and it has really good facilities. I got the sheets washed while we were there - in the interests of lowering the carrying weight, we'd left behind a few things on this trip - the BBQ, limoncello, spare towels and a change of sheets. I'd managed to wash the sheets at Chris and Willie's place but I really wanted to give them another go in Tauranga - not sure what is so sacred about changing them once a week, but ...
The mountains on the Central Plateau as we drove down the eastern side of Lake Taupo

It was imperative that we stop in to see John and Adair in Pukawa, so we had a long lunch there on our way south. Good to see them both, and on our next trip we will stay over.

Ruapehu from the Desert Road

Ngaruahoe from the Desert Road. The only one I didn't get a shot of was Tongariro which is in between them.

We were keen to get to Palmerston North quite early the next day, so we headed  further south before stopping over at Taihape - at a campsite that isn't a campsite yet but is going to become one. It's an old Catholic school site, most buildings gone, and not at all salubrious. But it was fine for an overnight stop and we had a view of paddocks and trees - a bit of a change from sea and coastline. They would not have been possible in Taihape as it is close to the centre of the North Island ...

I had promised Dee that I would make BLTs for lunch on our arrival in Palmerston North, so being a couple of hours closer to PN meant I didn't have to get up at sparrow's fart.

Dee and Murray's son Kurt is getting married in a couple of weeks, and Murray may not be able to go because of the risk of infection and because he may not be feeling well enough to travel 3 hours each way. So David is going to video the wedding. However we also want to livestream it so Murray can see what is happening, and so that he can talk with people attending. So I did a bit of trying to live video. Very funny and accidentally, given I thought I was sharing to Murray's FB account, it also posted on my timeline. Some of my so-called friends are so rude in their comments... 😛😙😏 Others of course were their usual lovely selves. And those of you who are also FB friends (?) all know which group you fall into!

Dee had another puzzle ready to start - when we stayed with them on our way up, she had one of a painting with Sydney Harbour Bridge in the mid-ground, lots of people on shore, lots of sea and bloody huge amounts of sky, dammit. I hate jigsaw puzzles - well, I don't really but you'll be surprised to read that I don't have the patience for them. However it is good sitting doing them when chatting with Dee, or walking past and doing the odd bits as they catch my eye. (Note to self: purchase a 500 piece one at a charity shop and give it a go on my own and see if I have improved in the patience stakes. But 500 pieces max, so I don't set myself up for inevitable failure ...)

The puzzle this time was a Wasajig - where the box shows you the background and characters (all cartoon style) and the finished puzzle is of what happens next. (Note to self 2: Do not buy a Wasajig puzzle to try alone.)

And Dee gets quite bossy when doing puzzles: pieces set aside in the lid as sky or water are not allowed to be worked on if she doesn't want to. How she got so bossy, I don't know. She is 7 years younger than me but MUCH MUCH MUCH bossier. Yes, I know it's hard to believe, but it is true!

(Jonny came down to stay the weekend with them and he and Dee finished the puzzle - Dee sent me a photo in triumph. Pah!!)

We came home on Saturday and have blobbed a fair bit since then. The trip we did was 1599
kilometres, i.e. 1000 miles. Not really a lot but, while it's not harder driving the motorhome than the car, it's noisier and the contents rattle. About 700kms of this trip was on winding narrow roads. But maybe, it's just that I am getting older and more easily tired - yes, that sounds more like it!


deb said...

Phew, by your table, what we call our 'beach house' is actually still a bach. We only fall down on the number of bedrooms and bathrooms - and even then I could argue that the 'house' only has 2 bedrooms, the others having being added in a separate cottage and in the garage. No en-suites but 2 bathrooms - although from 3 of the bedrooms you have to go outside along the cottage veranda or across a porch to the house to get to a bathroom. And we still use tents.

I think I need to add that rather than perfectly tidy minimalism, a bach is filled to overflowing with books and jigsaws and board games and has at least one quirky decorating scheme that only makes sense to the family (we display our family travelogue up in the rafters in the form of flags).

We never did manage to meet last summer. Maybe this season - will you be in Waikanae over Christmas/New Year?


Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Hi Deb,
Lovely to hear from you again!
Yes we will be home over Xmas and New Year - and I am pleased your bach is a bach, just bigger!
I agree about the collection of jigsaw puzzles, books, games - add multiple packs of playing cards and that was our bach too.
Let's make sure to get together this festive season.
Cheers, Marilyn (marilyn@cherswud.com)