On our second morning in Gisborne we once again woke to more delicious smells emanating from the kitchen, where Sophie was making us french toast with maple syrup, plus muesli, fruit & a very good cup of proper coffee! Before we left we managed to contact the daughters via WhatsApp - it was lovely to see them & have a chat; one of the advantages of technology!
Then it was on tbe road again & off to Napier with a bag of plums from Sophie's tree to sustain us on the way. Again we drove through more spectacular scenery, enjoying the still sunny, hot weather. There's been no rain here since November, so everywhere you look it's very dry & sunbaked yellow, which somehow sets off tbe green of the trees & deep azure blue of the sea & sky. On the way we stopped at Wairoa, an old fashioned riverside town. We had tea & scones in an old established bakery from the 1930s called "Ostlers" where the walls were covered in lovely old photos tracing the history of the town & showing the devastation caused by the earthquake of 1931. We then carried on to Napier, which seems so much bigger than I remember from when we were there ten years ago.
Our beachfront motel was an Art Deco marvel & our suite really lovely; it even had a huge spa bath in the bedroom! We checked in then went for a walk along by the sea & around the town, admiring the architectural beauty of the Art Deco buildings & the lovely 1930s cars that are now used to take people on trips around Napier. Streets & streets of stunning, beautifully restored Art Deco buildings have ensured that Napier is famous as one of tbe most complete collections of Art Deco buildings in the world, & all because tbe whole city had to be rebuilt after the Hawkes Bay earthquake in 1931.
Napier was heaving with visitors from the cruise ship, "The Emerald Princess" which had docked that morning. Apparently there were about 3000 of them! We decided to escape tbe hordes & have a quiet meal in our luxurious suite overlooking the beach & try out the spa bath!!