November 22nd, 2008 – by: Rubbertoe
Whitianga is a popular resort for backpackers and tourist because of itâ€™s proximity to Mercury Bay, where you find the famous Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove, Hahei Beach, Cooks Beach and Lonely Bayâ€¦ lovely jubbly!
I woke up with that blooming song ringing in my ears... I got my first real six-strings, bought it at the five-and-dimeâ€¦ Even caught my self doing a bit of air-guitar in the streets! Oh I hate when that happens, I knew the tune would be hard to shake off. It was too late for breakfast but just in time for lunch, so I whistled my way to a place mentioned in my guidebook, which apparently used to be an old minerâ€™s cottage a 100 years ago, CafÃ© Nina, hoping they had updated the kitchen! The meal was quite good, certainly better than last nightâ€™s sardines; and browsing through the daily paper I found a few adverts for garage sale.
I could resist my sinful weakness for a bargain, and so like an addict searching for a packet of cigarettes, I wasted most of the morning rummaging through lifeless old items, maybe hoping to find and old six-string to play till my finger bled, stop it, stop it!! It paid off, I found a stinky old portable gas stove for a fiver, an assortment of cutlery and kitchen utensils with complementary rust, a dollar-worth tool box and 2 Chinese organic lettucesâ€¦ these were free, given to me by the owner of the garage when I told her about my wwoofing experiences in OZ. Like I said before, these kiwis are really friendly people and on the same morning I approached two builders renovating a house, and borrowed an electric drill and a few other tools to complete my mini-table with foldable legs, job done.
Whitianga - Marina
In the afternoon I drove around Whitianga and found numerous development sites for retirement and holiday homes.
The marina was packed with bright white yachts of all sizes and posh eateries were aplenty, serving mouth watering fresh seafood dishes. It reminded me of Noosa and Mooloolaba in Australia, bit too rich for me, so I stocked up my pantry with tins of sardines (I am after all Sardinian :-) and drove off to Mercury Bay. On the road I turned on the radio and guess what?? Blooming Brian Adams with â€˜the summer of 69â€™ UNBELIEVABLE!! Put a sock in it mate!! Then it occur to me that actually in New Zealand it was â€˜nearlyâ€™ the summer of 69 + 40 years! Those were the best days of my life!! :-)
Nina's, the old miner's cottage converted to a restaurant