City of Art Deco
Wednesday 27 February 2008 - Wednesday 27 February 2008 24 °C
Since having returned to Wellington a few days back, looking up all the activities and sights offered on the North Island (in addition to much needed laundry) has been the order of the day. So much to choose from. How to get it all in…
Alison and I picked up our Hyundai Getz – an itsy bitsy teenie weenie sub mini compact economy something or other – I’m reluctant to call it a car yet. We did manage to get all of our luggage in, which was an event on its own. This buggy does have A/C and power toys, although the placards and the owner’s manual are written in Korean – not a lick of English. At least the pictures in the manual are understandable since they transcend language. Still haven’t figured out yet how to set the clock and other selections on the dash. We’re basically just ignoring them, hoping that there’s nothing really important. For those of you still wondering, ya… I’m still turning on the wipers when I’m making a turn – ‘Dumb Guy’.
The whole gang left yesterday from Wellington to visit Murrette’s mother in Masterton (us in our Getz, Murrette and Gavin in their Lexus). On the way, we stopped at a bunch of wineries in Martinborough. Dropped a bundle on various pinots and chardonnays. Gonna have to drink them all since I don’t think we can bring them back. Tough life.
In Masterton, we met Murrette’s Mom, Maeve, who graciously provided us with dinner and a place to stay for night. The next morning, it was time to say ‘so long for now’ as we continued our travels north and Murrette and Gavin headed back to Wellington. A few tears were shed (Alison: yes, I admit it!), as we gave our good-bye hugs and kisses. Then, it was on the road to Napier, about 3 hours north.
We made a coffee stop at Clinton (Alison needed a ‘flat white’ at this point). Clinton is the closest point to Cape Kidnappers, where there are colonies of gannets (otherwise known as boobies). There’s supposed to be 20,000 of ’em. To view the colonies requires a hike along a beach front trail that’s only accessible when the tide is low. Unfortunately for us, our arrival there coincided with high tide. Rather than wait until the tide turned, we decided to continue on to Napier. So, don’t ask us what they look like, since we never saw them – google it if you’re interested.
Napier is a pretty interesting town. The town was leveled by an earthquake in 1931 and ensuing fire. The buildings were rebuilt over the next two years, all in art deco style which was all the rage then. That’s why Napier is the most uniformly art deco city in the world. We spent the rest of the afternoon, exploring the town, enjoying the architecture and marveling at the construction that was done in so short a time. Things can get done with 1000s of out of work people during the depression.