Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Northland Trip - Stage Four

I had the feeling that I could have stayed in Whangaroa a lot longer, but I'd made bookings, so had to move on (a whole 30 kilometres!). First stop was to take a look at Totara North, across the harbour from Whangaroa - but there is nothing there now unless you count the fish packing shed or the seagulls. My destination for the day was Mangonui.I was there in time for morning coffee! Not sure why there are no photos, because I did like the place. I couldn't help comparing it to Paihia - which has few heritage buildings, just a little horrible shopping mall built in the 1970's, complete with stucco. I don't know what was there before then. Mangonui, by contrast, has a lot of original buildings, erected in the 19th century and beatifully maintained (although the old wharf has been taken down).

Wandering the town kept me busy until it was time for lunch, which I took at the same place as I'd had my morning coffee, the Galley Cafe and Bar, a very pleasant place. Since I was still ridiculously early to check into my hotel, I made a quick trip up to Kaitaia, to do Christmas shopping and find the internet (MacDonads again did the trick). Kaitaia produced an odd exchange: I walked into a cafe, to be greeted by the counter person "You taught cells at Otago". When I made it clear I had nothing to do with any of the sciences and told her what I did do, she responded "ah, it is hard to keep track". So, it seems she has been a student of mine in the past, although it would appear to be an odd paper choice for what she studied. I should have stayed in her cafe longer: I was opposite my car, in what passes for a mall in Kaitaia, when the heavens opened. I was stuck for nearly an hour - the rain was far too intense to even think about crossing the road in it.

Back at Mangonui, I might have even gone back to the Galley for tea, because it was pretty good, but when in Mangonui, one must have at least one meal at the Fish and Chip shop - built out over the water, with an adjoining area of decking, fully licensed, it does a roaring trade in tiny pieces of snapper .



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