Little did we realise

My daughter was staying for a while as she is directing a stage show in Auckland, and suggested that she could mind Ninja, our tabby, should we wish to have a few days away. “Hawkes Bay,” Kerry and I said in unison and set about looking for accommodation. We booked a cottage in Clive, which is equi-distant between three centres; Napier, Hastings and Havelock North. Fabulous beaches, bike trails, wineries and food abound in this region ā€“ a five and a half hour drive from Auckland. The cottage was new though named Colonial, as it was built to look like the small wooden homes from the late 1800s. It was delightful, inside and out and the bed super comfy, especially since Ninja wasn’t hugging our space (don’t tell him).

Our Colonial Cottage, School Road, Clive.

Next day, we grabbed hire bikes from our hosts, donned appropriate gear and set off along the bike trail towards Cape Kidnappers and cafe Hygge, which advertised a cracking lunch. The ride was easy and most enjoyable as the day was pleasant and not too hot. Long story short: the food was not what we’d expected. Not all was lost however, as on the return we came across Clearview Estate Winery advertising tastings that day. Perfect for cleansing our palate after the very fatty food we’d just consumed! A snooze back at the cottage was called for, then a sortie to the nearby town. Every time we come to ‘the Bay’, we are amazed by the orchards and the beautiful fresh fruit which is available. We took back a big bag of apricots and cherries from a stall. Delicious.

Ocean Beach

The following day was beautiful with blue skies and sun. A perfect day for a swim, so off we went to Ocean Beach, approximately half an hour’s drive from Clive. Let’s just say, that although I did change into my swimsuit, I basically watched Kerry body surf the waves, while I bravely waded through the sea almost up to my waist!

Afternoon, we showered and changed, as we were heading to Havelock to visit some relatives of mine. It was still very hot, and I was pleased I had my favourite green dress to wear. Drinks, nibbles and lots of catching up with Dave and Ian, whose family I stayed with as a teenager. They lived in Hawkes Bay then, and have never moved far away.

I mean, why would you?

Next day was drizzling with patches of bold sun striking through at times. Mm, a good day for sketching I thought and sat on the veranda. As beautiful as the high leafy hedges were when standing, when sitting, all I could see was the undergrowth. Undeterred, I sketched the spindly growth, with strong dappled shadow thrown against the veranda. You may see some light lines where I’d planned to pop in some green leaves at a later stage. I did that yesterday. My sum total of holiday sketching.

We did venture out for a fabulous meal at The Old Fire Station Restaurant in Napier. The BEST food, great decor, and very nice staff.

That night it rained. And continued to rain. But what we didn’t realise, until my daughter phoned early Saturday, was that the wider Auckland area, and further north, were declared disaster areas, as torrential rains (the equivalent of the last two January’s rainfall in 24 hours) had caused severe flooding, with hills subsiding, houses destroyed, cars abandoned, and people drowned.We journeyed home on the Sunday finding, to our amazement, that there were no road closures the whole way. The news that evening showed us a very different story however, of people’s lives in total disarray and homes and livelihoods destroyed. In today’s paper, for example, it was reported that 612 flood-damaged cars (write-offs) were removed from Auckland streets, with 194 still to be removed, and some of these were in the Devonport area.

Hence the heading for this post ‘Little did we realise‘ on the very night we were having such a good time.

12 thoughts on “Little did we realise

  1. Fortunately you managed to get home safely. How dreadful for those families whose houses and belongings were destroyed. Hopefully the government and society will help to relieve some of the anguish. Glad to read that the rains have stopped, at least for this moment.

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  2. What a delightful area to visit and that cottage is pure heaven! I am missing a beach holiday this year. Happy to know that you arrived home safely. So many areas of disaster in the world lately. Stay safe!

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  3. A lovely holiday story Viv! Hey I’ll be in Auckland from 15/2- 6/3 and would love to catch up. Let’s organise a lunch somewhere šŸ˜

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