We were up at sparrow’s fart, as they say here, to get to
Wellington airport by 0720, in
order to catch our 0820 flight to .
We landed early, picked up our rental car (a RAV4, to fit 5 people in), and
set off for Tairua along State Highway 25. We stopped on the way for some
breakfast at the Pukeko’s Nest café, then drove up to find our bach. And when
we arrived, what a strange sight greeted our eyes! The bach is named Auckland ,
and this is clearly something that the owners are quite keen on. The
furnishings are quite eclectic, with drapes, tapestries and cloths hanging all
round the place, over doors and windows. The house appears to have been built
around an antique Middle-Eastern doorway of dubious provenance (the importation
of wood into Morocco
being strictly controlled by the Biosecurity Police). The living arrangements
are quite open-plan, which means a bit of planning is required for getting up,
going to bed and showering whilst preserving everyone’s modesty. New Zealand
There is also a bizarre breakfast bar-cum-sink and top unit made of stainless steel. The house is clearly lived in for part of the year, with the owners’ stuff packed away in drawers, cupboards and wardrobes. We arranged ourselves as best we could through the upstairs and downstairs areas – I’d call them bedrooms but that would be too limiting a description. We explored the grounds, which include a creek (for which a dinghy and kayak were supplied) and a back garden across the bridge which included a vegetable garden, from which we were exhorted to help ourselves. We lunched in a café in Tairua, then explored the town, including the i-site where we booked ourselves onto the Cathedral Cove trip; and went for a walk and exploration along the beach, as well as stocking up on supplies from the local
In the evening we walked back into the thriving metropolis, there to dine at a restaurant that had caught our eye earlier, Gauguin’s Shells. We arrived and ordered, and had a bit of a discussion about the steak I’d ordered:
“The steak takes 40 minutes”
“Why? It does’t take 40 minutes to cook a steak?”
“The chef’s French…that’s how he does it”
“OK, but please don’t keep everyone else waiting – can you bring their meals out when they’re ready?”
So we ordered some wine, and chatted amongst ourselves for a while. The while grew longer and longer, and nothing was appearing from the kitchen, so we got up to ask. At this point the maitre d’ goes into the kitchen, and emerges looking very flustered.
“I’ve got some good news and some bad news” he told us.
“What’s the bad news?”
“The waitress forgot to pass your order into the kitchen. It’s only just been handed to the chef.”
“So what’s the good news?”
“I can offer you 50% off the cost of your dinner, and bring you some starters and bread on the house while you wait.”
Well, by this stage, it was late, we were very hungry and also somewhat annoyed. So we got up to leave. At this point he said he would like us to come back tomorrow night, and he would still offer us 50% off the cost of main courses.
We walked home, and ate a dinner of buttered toast and crumpets, with honey and fig & ginger jam raided from the larder at the bach.