It is raining as we leave Wellington in direction of Napier. The Easter holidays are over and we are glad we managed the short skip to the North Island. There are only four days left until our flight to Hong Kong will leave and still another 730 km to drive up to Auckland. And pretty much half of it today.
We are too tired to ponder on something exciting for the last three days. Instead we rely on our good old experiences we made during 2006, when we last have been in Wairarapa: Stop-over in Greytown, lunch at the Salute Tapas – Restaurant, coffee and cake at the French Bakery and thereafter, we head back on the road to Napier.
Arriving by early evening in Napier, we are again in trouble finding any accommodation in one of the numerous hotels, lodges or even Bed and Breakfast – and need to learn painfully, that Easter holidays definitely do not rank behind Christmas holidays: The whole country seems to be on move!
Calls at our preferred Bed and Breakfast (McHardy Lodge, The Landing) illustrate fast and obvious: all booked out. So we don’t even try to find accommodation at one of the vineyard-stays in the region, yet start our search in the trendy neighborhood of Ahuriri. There are three big apartment blocks with a respective offer: The Ahuriri Quadrant, The Navigate and the Crown Hotel. At the end, we strike a bonanza at the Crown hotel, in our embosomed permanent lodging ever since 2006.
We decided to ditch the car for the rest of the day and took off in direction of Ahuriri Quays, where in the middle of the former docklands half a dozen fancy restaurants and trendy bars settled down: Such as the Gintrap, Shed 2, Thirsty Whale and The Provedore. Yet tonight all of them were completely controlled by a “wild holiday crowd”.
It’s a mild summer evening – at least for New Zealand conditions – and all of the patios are fully occupied. That’s why we took a seat inside of the Provedore. With the home-made tapas we taste a peppery Hawke’s Bay Syrah and enjoy the quiet. By the time we head home, the terraces are considerably depopulated. We enjoy a last glass of mineral water on our balcony and call it a day…
Where to find