Day 35 Martinborough to Napier
Happy Valentines Day. A bit of a mediocre day weather wise; thought it was going to be nice when we woke up so decided to breakfast on our patio but it clouded over half way through which spoilt it a little. We seemed to be chasing the blue sky all the way to Napier and it always seemed to be just in front of where we were. We stopped for lunch in Hastings and had a lovely steak sandwich in a place that advertised itself as a café/restaurant/gaming house. We discovered that the gaming part was actually just a separate room with slot machines; the like we would normally see in any pub. Come to think of it I've not seen any slot machines whilst we have been in New Zealand so there gambling laws must be much stricter than at home, something we could emulate back in the UK in my mind. Checked into the County Hotel Napier which according to the blurb is the only 5* hotel in Napier; well it may be but although it is a very nice Art Deco hotel it isn't my idea of 5*. I know it is a boutique hotel but to be honest I have stayed in B&B's that were as good as this. We had a walk around this Art Deco town this afternoon in the watery sunshine and admired the facades of the buildings. Napier centre is all Art Deco as it was virtually rebuilt following a huge earthquake in 1929 which destroyed most of the town and raised up a large swath of land that had previously been swamp land and it has not changed much since. We then took a walk to the beach which sadly is pebbly and has a steep drop away which produces some quite impressive surf from an otherwise calm sea; certainly enough to knock you of your feet. Needless to say Bill only dipped his toes in and I declined altogether.
We had our Valentine's Day dinner at Chambers' Restaurant in the hotel which is a fine dining restaurant. The food was very good but as there were only 20 odd covers the time it took to arrive was extremely slow, we thought a couple of times they had forgotten us.
Forecast for tomorrow not looking too brilliant so will decide what we are going to do depending on if it's raining or not………….