Thursday 29 December 2016
After breakfast we pack the car and say adieu to Martinborough. We have a 1¾ hour drive the Kaipiti Coast on the West Coast just above Wellington.
After a brief stop at busy Featherton, we head off up and over Rimutaka Hill to Upper Hutt being on the other side and then vie off to the West to Waikanae along Akatarawa Road. I have selected this route rather than going further towards Wellington and coming back up the coast road to see more of the country side. HUGE MISTAKE! Thankfully H is driving today cause this route is the most hair raising I have even been on. There is 31 km of nerve racking twists and turns, around thousands of blind corners on a road barely narrow enough to take one car. One side is practically vertical rock and the other side dense scrub dropping quickly away. The worst thing is never knowing when another car would come from the other direction.
The funny thing is (Kiwi sense of humour again) the speed signs saying 70 km per hour – H is doing about 40 and its too fast. When we come to the section that is 50 km per hour. We are terrified of what to come! And yes its worse. Afterwards H asked if I took any photos, my reply was that I was too busy with my death grip on the passenger door. Oh and did I mention it was raining?
Then suddenly we are on a main road in a near traffic jam, trying to navigate through road works, not knowing where we are going, in the rain! Its more than Howards nerves can handle and he pulls over and hands me the keys. He is out!
Luckily we are literally only about 5 minutes to our next lodging a studio right on the beach at South Raumati Beach, which I found on www.bookabatch.com.nz. This website is a must for anyone travelling NZ. I nabbed Seafront Raumati 1 – a studio right on the beach, well just above the beach it turns out.
Following my emailed instructions, we turn down a long driveway and park in the 3rd garage. Down the steps and the key is under the mat. Wow what a great find, nice work Janet!
Its literally one large rectangular room with the wall facing the sea entirely made of glass, with huge sliding doors opening up onto a private beck complete with an outdoor setting. Its right above the beach and we can see the waves rolling gently in against the seawall.
Its just stopped raining and the sun appears. Have you even noticed how a bit of sunshine can totally change your perspective?
After unpacking the car and settling in we jump back into the car and see what the area has to offer. There are a series of beaches all merging into one long relaxed community. From what I’ve read lots of people live at the beaches and commute by train to Wellington to work each day. At Paraparamu Beach we stop and buy a few groceries at the Four Square and a snack from Bens Buns. Another stop at Raumati Beach reveals a small collection of fashion shops, cafes, restaurants, the pub, bakery and assorted other shops – everything we need. Of particular note is a French Patisserie L’Amour where we invest in a very good baguette.
Back at the studio we relax in the sun for a while and then I hit the beach to stretch my legs. H is exhausted after our harrowing drive and opts to nap on the sofa. It’s now low tide and the beach is a long, flat and wide black sand beach. On the sand is a large variety of shells, clams and driftwood. There are houses perched on the sand dunes and families playing in the gentle surf. A perfect day for a walk on the beach.
At 6:30 we walk the 1.3 km down to the Raumati Beach shops where we are having dinner at D4 in Margaret St. The air is brisk but not overly cold. Dinner at the restaurant is a pleasant surprise and once the waitresses warm up to us the service is good too. We opt to share the mushroom stuffed tomatoes entrée and then I get the ribs and tatties and H the fish and chips. Both mains are very generous and delicious.
After dinner at 8:30 its still light out so we check out the lush Marine Park where there are a few teenagers entertaining themselves on the kiddies playground rides. By the time we get back to the studio its after 9:00 and the sun has finally decided to set.