The body was very creaky when I woke up at 6:30am today.
Mahalia is definitely not a morning person.
This is what I found when I went to wake her at 9am 🙂
I pottered about until the others got up.
Then while we breakfasted and packed I caught up my blog.
Donna headed off to work – after some photo fun 🙂
The kids packed put he car for me.
We locked up and then headed off to Papamoa cuz I wanted to do some shopping there.
After a few false turns we found our way and I got the clothes I wanted.
Esquires was close by so we got some chillers.
But they were so horrid that they made us feel sick and we never finished them.
Won’t be repeating those 😦
Carried on towards Whakatane.
There were heaps of massive road constructions happening around Papamoa – really interesting to try and work out what they were doing.
We drove through Te Puke, talked about the kiwifruit industry there but didn’t stop.
The road followed the coast, Mahalia was taking photos out the window as we drove.
She was complaining because the scenery was too flat and boring compared to the hilly windy roads we have navigated.
Then found this cute wee place – Maketu.
Large wetlands area with this river flowing beside the road – someone has a sense of humour 🙂
We drove through Whakatane followed the iPhone maps and it took us to the middle of somewhere in the suburbia so we rerouted ourselves and decided to head over Gorge Road to Ohope Beach.
I stopped at the top and Mahalia hopped out to take some photos of the view.
Later I found one of the view and 3 of her!!
We drove right towards the end of the ocean road and found this cutting down to the beach.
Azzan didn’t want to come so I left him in the car and walked down here to see the sea.
It was so pretty.
The beach went forever each way.
Whale Island in the background.
Mahalia came down to see the sea too and she was so excited by the loveliness of the place she was dancing a jig 🙂
Azzan came to see where we were.
I was really anxious as I had left my bag in the car with all my money etc in it.
He said he had locked the car but from past experience I knew that I needed to check that the windows were all up and everything was safe as the vehicle was just out of sight.
I turned to run back up the track, caught my toe on a piece of driftwood that was hidden in the sand and went flying flat on my face.
I sat stunned, covered with sand, and my toe and shin aching from the impact.
But the worst thing was, I had my camera in my hand and it hit the sand with a wallop and is now no longer working.
So the above photos were the last ones I took on it.
I borrowed Azzan’s camera for the rest of the day, which has no telephoto lens and is of lesser quality.
But at least I had that plus my iPhone.
We decided to head back to Ohope for lunch.
I was feeling somewhat fragile so we sat indoors and ate wedges and sour cream and drank copious amounts of cold water as the day had come out quite hot.
Then we drove to the western end of the beach and parked up so we could walk over the hill to Otarawairere Beach that everyone told us was very beautiful.
I wanted to do the walk so we set off towards the steps.
It was mostly a manmade step and boardwalk track.
Quite steep in places.
I made it all the way up to the top.
The views were lovely along the way.
But when I went to start walking down the steps on the other side of the ridge, my knee put me into a pain orbit.
I just knew there was no way I could get down there and back up again with that amount of pain already.
So I opted to sit up top and wait for the kids.
But they decided not to go down and just wanted to help me back the way we had come.
I was aright as long as I had the railing to hold on to.
But where there was no rails the kids provided shoulders and hands to assist me.
I felt so bad that we couldn’t do the walk, but they kept reassuring me that it was okay.
We managed to get back to the beach and had a wander in the surf.
It was really pretty with the tide out leaving patterns on the sand.
My two darlings who looked out for me today – sweet ones 🙂
We headed back to Whakatane and went to The Hub to look for a swimsuit for me and some shorts.
Mahalia found herself some shorts but there was nothing I liked.
Drove to the next wee place and fueled up and then carried on south to Rotorua.
It was quite cool going through new landscapes.
Dairy farms, forestry and then over hills and along beside the lakes.
Then we arrived in Rotorua and checked in at our motel – The RotoVegas.
Nice wee unit.
Azzan made himself at home immediately.
Margaret arrived to visit with us.
She had been wwoofing for us earlier in the year so it was lovely to be able to catch up with her again.
Kids went off for a quick swim.
Then we all walked down the street to the Thursday evening markets.
It was such fun.
A great atmosphere with locals, many different ethnic groups providing wonderful choices of food & crafts, tourists mixing with locals.
We found a table and chairs to sit at and I chatted with a couple of young travelers.
Alina from Israel and Rahel from Germany.
We exchanged names and contact details and will probably see them again when they come to the South Island.
Azzan was pretty rapt cuz he found the Pommie stall.
The lady was selling all sorts of food and drinks from the UK.
Azzan bought the last can of Dr Pepper – as you can see he was buzzing even before he drank it!!
We began wandering back to the motel around 8:30pm.
It was such a lovely mild balmy night.
I love the leisurely relaxed feel of night like this.
So calm and peaceful and in another way exhilarating.
Kids came back to the unit and I popped over to Countdown to get some yoghurt for breakfast.
And now it is time to hit the pillows.
Tonight I get the single bed and the kids are sharing the double.