Sunday 16th – I now own jandals!

Survived the night and welcomed the new day with more peanut butter and jam sarnies and the first coffee from the new coffee maker – there was a travel one in the Sunflower Lodge and I knew I had to get one!

There were hot showers, but $1 for 7 mins and on advice from Tori I knew the 7 mins started as soon as you put the coin in!

There was loads of condensation inside of the tent so hung it up to dry before packing it away.

We were finally ready just after 10am checkout and drove back to the supermarket for a more relaxed shop and then over to Warehouse for sleeping mats (thankfully we’d slept in nice grass last night), jandals, and in theory plates/bowls, but they were cheaper in New World so popped back to get them!

Finally got on the road properly and drove to Cathedral Cove, where we experienced more DOC timing craziness, which is described in the Lonely Planet, as a ’45 minute walk but for anyone who’s not on a ventilator will do it in 30′ to the beach. The tide was out so we could walk through the arch and to the beach beyond. Everyone raves about the view here, it’s pretty, but to be honest, it’s no Bermuda – my first NZ disappointment…..

After a warm (less than 45 min) walk back up to the car park we headed for Hot Water Beach, back down the coast. Natural hot spring is here and 2 hours either side of low tide you can dig a hole (in the right area) and it will fill with hot water (mixed with sea water so you don’t burn) and you have your own outdoor hot tub. I managed to accidentally park in the surfer beach car park, but it turned out to be a bonus as, despite having to walk 5 mins rather than 3 to the correct bit of beach, it was free! We arrived at low tide which worked to our advantage, people had obviously already got bored and left as we managed to acquire someone else’s hole and then upgraded to a bigger one when another couple left!

You can see why they say within 2 hours of low tide as before long the sea water waves were doing their best to make it into our pool, eventually the waves won the battle and we decided it was time to try out the tea room….. To get to the village you had to cross a stream and were rewarded with a coffee and a yummy brownie.

After sitting on the deck overlooking the sea and stream, coffee and brownie firmly finished it was back through the stream, past the fast emptying pools and back to the car for a sneaky change into dry clothes and to make a plan as to where to stay for the evening.

Omokoroa was randomly chosen as was the Kiwi Holiday Park there, but both excellent choices. Beautiful place and lovely place to stay. Sue, who’d worked there for 10 years, checked us in and kindly warned us there was a party of teenage rugby players staying! Turned out to be great fun, they were from Dunedin and they’d been in a big competition and come 2nd and 3rd, so everyone v happy and coaches v proud.

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Our tent was tucked away from where they were staying but we happened to be eating at the same time as them – somehow our supernoodles did not match the pizzas they’d ordered in! Sue had pointed out where we could buy some wine, so that did compensate.

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Even better was the warm apple sponge with Neapolitan ice cream we were given as their way of apologising for the noise!

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But they were no trouble and kept us very amused with a game of ‘I love you honey but I just can’t smile’.

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