A day trip...well almost
I had a dreadful night's sleep last night and was up in time to catch the sunrise over the sea, photos to follow. I did go back to bed (or should that be bench) and read for a little bit before falling asleep again. So it wasn't a particularly early start to the day when we did both finally surface. However, we decided we would go out in the van and for no reason other than it seemed within a drivable distance, I chose Whangarei as our destination.
Whangarei is north of Orewa so we set off north with Stan guiding us as always. About 30 minutes outside of Orewa we saw a sign for a Honey shop. Now, we had previous with honey shops as we had seen one on another journey and full of excitement had stopped, dusted off our bank cards and walked full of hope into Benny Bees World of Honey. To say we were disappointed would be the understatement of the trip. Benny's was basically a dodgy cafe with a few honey products on his shelves sitting next to baked beans and other nefarious tinned goods. We left clutching a bar of chocolate and a bag of sweets each! So understandingly suspicious of any sign proclaiming "honey" we pulled into the car park.
This time we were pleasantly surprised. This time we had arrived at a cafe/restaurant, shop and apiary and having not eaten that morning we decided to eat before venturing into the shop, it's always best to eat before shopping! We didn't want anything too much so I just had a roll and boy was it good; full of fresh salad leaves, chicken and a wonderfully fresh roll. It was perfect after days were vegetables had been a rarity. We sat outside surrounded by woods on tables and benches made out of unfinished trees. Unable to put off the shopping any longer, we avoided the temptation of the homemade cakes (although not for long) and made our way into the shop. I was fairly restrained but someone, who shall remain nameless, was asked by the shop owner if she wanted a basket as she struggled around with her arms full of goodies.
Whilst I was waiting I got talking to the owner who asked me where I was from, when I said Reading he laughed and told me that when he had visited England years ago he had got stuck in Reading when he was trying to get to Wales. Var finished shopping and we had a great chat with him, about England, Scotland, New Zealand and of course the rugby. On the way out of the shop the cakes called to us and we gave into the temptation and bought some to have later.
By the time we left we realised we didn't have time to drive to Whagarei and get back before dark and so we turned south again and headed back to the campsite!
It was a disappointment that we didn't get further north on this trip but we knew before we went that we would never get to do and see everything we wanted. Next time......