|A volcano we saw on the way. Mount edgecombe|
Leaving Te Kahe and heading back to Opoitiki meant we were back on previously travelled ground and on our final return to Robyn and Murrays, prior to heading to Auckland airport, handing our little van back and flying to Sydney for the start of a whole new adventure.
|A developing sunset|
Opotiki was too soon to stop for the night so we carried on to a DoC site at Matata, which is a really nice camp next to the beach (although you can’t see it as it is behind a sand dune), well back from the main road behind a swamp covered with reeds. The Pukekos liked it, they could sleep in the reeds at night and come into the campsite foraging in the grass for food. There must have been a couple of dozen of them wandering around, pecking their oversized feet, using them to hold grass while they seemed to chew it and also sorting out domestic disputes by occasionally fighting between them. By the time I’d decided I should have a photo of them, they’d finished feeding and gone back into the reeds out of sight!
|What about this for a sunset!|
We took a walk onto the beach, with views out to white island and noticed the cloud formation that looked like it might give a good sunset – it did! Sometime after 5:30pm, while we were preparing dinner, we were aware of a red glow, looking back the most amazing sunset was developing, so I grabbed my camera and ran to the beach, leaving Jackie to cook! I got some amazing photos, of which these are a couple. I’m really sorry that Jackie didn’t see it, she came down and saw the latter part of it, but it was already past its best by then.
|Lunch by the sea at Little Waihi|
Today we headed off to Rotorua after reading an email from Robyn asking if we were anywhere near. It was easy for us to get there as we had a free day and it wasn’t far out of our way, so off we set without knowing what for and with no signal on the phone. Eventually we got hold of Robyn who asked if we could pick up some stuff for Murray from his accountant there, so we did that and decided to return to the campsite at Little Waihi and our beachfront location next to George and Judy, a couple in their 70’s or 80’s who have a permanent caravan here.
They greeted us like old friends, with a big hug, as we arrived and she told us how she’d been thinking about me and my hand, wondering how it was! A really nice couple and so nice to be made so welcome.
We decided to do their walk, up the road over the hill, back down to the beach and back along to the campsite as it was sunny and reasonably warm, so off we went with really nice views back to Tauronga and Mount Maunganui, then back down to the beach with views across to White Island. Just about time for tea and biscuits (no cake!), actual biscuit in the singular which was all we had left. Still dinner isn’t far away and this view is to die for!
Tomorrow it’s back to Robyn and Murray’s via the DaVinci clinic to have them check on my hand and shoulder to make sure they are OK before we leave the country, then we’re cooking for them tomorrow night, fish pie, we’ve got most of the ingredients, but don’t tell them (oh, they may have read this!)