The drive to Napier was brilliant, with seriously windy roads through the mountains and as I was driving and impatient to see bex, I decided to test my formula 1 skills.This was hampered slightly by the fact that there was a Ford Model T convention going on, and getting stuck in a convoy of those babies at a torturously slow pace of 28km an hour on some of those peaks meant an extra hour on two tacked onto the journey.
Napier was super - an art-deco town on the edge of the East coast in the heart of Hawkes Bay wine region.I don't know if we would have stopped there if it wasn't to see Bex, but I am SO glad we did.Its seriously pretty, with an air of Miami Beach surrounding it, full of art-deco buildings and coastline.Bex took us on a tour of the massivehill that sprung up after the1930's earthquake and we drank local vino (well Bex didn't, she's preggers) in one of the old woolsheds that's been turned into a fancy waterfront resturant.
The next day Reubs and I explored the local sights, and if theres ever a place I'd like to settle its Napier/Havelock North.Theres a cheese factory where we had a picnic of local products out on the lawn and got tipsy on more local vino, an award winning pie shop that got my business, and a plethora of winerys and vineyards.It was also seriously warm and had gorgeous views. Happy days!
The next day was even better, as Nick and Bex took us for a drive in a mule (like a 4 wheel drive golf cart) along the beach to Cape Kidnappers and to see the gannet colony that live there. After enjoying a short hike (well, walk up a hill) we headed to Chill Pill, which is a Sunday session at one of the local vineyards.Theres a dj, a pizza man, tons of wine and a great great vibe.Children seem really welcome here, and there were loads of rungrats running around amusing themselves while their parents got slowly pissed.It had such a friendly attitude and was just a fabulous experience.I couldn't imagine other vineyards being so kid friendly, the cheese place was like it too.And although I am not known for being massively fond of sprogs, I really liked the fact that it was so family oriented.That night we went to Cleves gorgeous family home up in the hills (he was there for Easter weekend too) and had a long, fun, drunken dinner with his family. Recuperated the following day with astroll on the beach and a spot of rockpooling after an awesome pub lunch in the middle of the countryside. Hospitable and laid back seems to sum up this awesome place!!