Today we were leaving Napier for a bit of a holiday – away for 10 days and cramming in lots of things during that time – so we were quite busy in the morning sorting out packing etc.

Around lunchtime we set out from Napier to drive to Paraparaumu, on the Kapiti coast, NW of Wellington. We were going to visit a friend, Jack, whom I met when I worked at Racal Instruments in Slough, UK (13 years ago) and his wife, Debra. They now live and work in NZ.

On the way there we stopped at a nice café near Palmerston North with great views, for a coffee and cake.

When we arrived at Jack’s we met his very friendly mother-in-law, Sheila, who was over for a visit from the UK. We visited Jack in 2006 and their beachside place has been transformed into a very impressive modern home. Jack very kindly presented us with a bottle of “Tigermoth” Riesling from the Otago region to celebrate our going solo in a Tiger Moth. 🙂

We had a very pleasant drink out on the deck, eating Jack’s homemade hummus (yum), looking out at the sea and Kapiti Island, before driving out to Wellington airport to collect Debra from her flight down from Auckland.

Wellington airport had been invaded by creatures from the Hobbit. Very impressive and lifelike. Well, ok then, the birds were lifelike, not sure you could say Gollum was lifelike unless you have dodgy-looking neighbours! The pictures below are not great quality as they were taken on a cheap phone but they had significance when there was an earthquake 3 days later…see blog of 20 Jan.

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After meeting up with Debra we drove off to a restaurant called The Larder, Miramar, Wellington. I’d definitely recommend this place – very delicious, well-presented food and friendly staff.