Tuesday, 20th November – Paihia to Whangamata

Again, nice to be able to do one’s own breakfast without having to dance to the tune of the hotel restaurant.

Long journey ahead of us – 350-odd kilometres. Set off in reasonable weather – sunnyish and about 17 degrees – but it got worse as we headed south down State Highway 11, then State Highway 1 to well south of Auckland.

Stopped at some random lookout on the way down for some pics of some nice views, although the place was inundated by a coachload of Yanks:

The rain started about 80 kilometres north of Auckland, and got steadily worse. The weather conditions through Auckland were amongst the worst I have ever experienced as a driver. Absolutely torrential rain, with some associated hail, the outside temperature showing around 11 degrees. At times, I simply could not see out of the windscreen and the wipers could not cope with the deluge. Slow going, and quite stressful.

Finally it eased up, though we had recurrences of very heavy rain throughout the rest of the journey. Turned east on State Highway 2 and headed towards the Coromandel peninsula. The coastline is extraordinarily complex around these parts.

The drive up over the hills behind Whangamata would have been spectacular if it wasn’t for the low cloud and pissing rain. Steep, very volcanic, country in these parts.

Finally got to our destination – a B&B called Brenton Lodge. Temperature no more than 10 degrees, but a lovely setting:

Our hostess, Sallie, made us very welcome and the room is very nice – light, airy and well equipped.

No posh dinner tonight – we made do with some of the food we purchased in Paihia because we couldn’t be arsed to go out. Besides which, one needs bread and cheese now and again just for a change and to realign one’s values…..

The weather forecast for tomorrow is also looking a bit grim, so any decision about what we do in this lovely area will have to wait until tomorrow. Early night in prospect as the B&B stops serving breakfast at 9 a.m.!!! Bloody hell – sparrowfart!!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: