I Heart Food and Pies

Coromandel Travel Blog

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New Years Day was spent sleeping in really late and general recovery.  When it got too hot outside we plopped ourselves on the couches in the lounge and watched the second half of Australia, er, I mean, Baz Lurhmann's Epic Film: Australia (Ozzie advertising is always SO over the top!).  It was on tv and sadly, there was nothing better to watch.  That movie was a bit too CGI-tastic for me, and a part of me is a little sad inside now that I've lost about an hour of my life to that shameless attempt at being an Oscar-winning gold mine.  I digress.

We left first thing the next morning and attempted our toughest hitch-hiking leg of the trip, from Whenuakite to Coromandel Town.  There were two ways about this:

1) Break the trip down into sections along Hwy. 25.  We'd have no problem getting from town to town, but it would definitely be the long way around.  It would have the bonus of being on a paved road.


2) Attempt to hitch a lift across Road 309.  It would be a much, much shorted distance to cover, and it would be a more direct path to our destination, but there was a reason no one was heading up that road.  For the most part, the road is very narrow, very curvy, and mostly unpaved.  It traverses the mid section of the peninsula around forested mountains and it starts with a sign recommending 4WD vehicles only. 

Of course we wanted option #2, but there was very little traffic heading up that way.  We were almost ready to give up and switch directions when a truck pulled over.  It was full, but the nice family offered us a lift - in their flat bed!  With a resounding YES we tossed our bags in and sat down.  Rod just looked at me and said "you might want to hang on". 

It was bumpy, and dusty, and dirty, and twisty.  We were sitting backwards with our backs up against the rear window so it was also a bit mind warping.  For 30 minutes we clung to the sides of the flat bed grateful we had the foresight to slather on loads of sunscreen that morning.  My sunglasses were a Godsend as Rod couldn't get to his and the dust kept getting into his eyes.  Too bad for him cuz the scenery was lovely!  Like I said before: curvy, forested mountain road!

As gorgeous as it was, I was happy when we go back on the highway after about a half hour.  I was starting to feel sick with all the bumpy, dusty, dirty, twisty, driving - not to mention that intense sun.  They dropped us off in the middle of town and we took a break at a picnic bench under a tree to rehydrate and have a small snack to settle our stomachs.  We then checked into the backpacker and set off to explore the town.

I love the old colonial, small town architecture you find in these places.  I'm sure all the tourists get charmed by the quaint, lovely shops and cafes.  As we headed to the main strip though, we both got distracted by a sign: Pies.  This sign was tucked back around the bend of some long driveway attached to a dull looking building and obscured by another dull looking building in front of it.  No matter.  Pie radar is always on, especially in New Zealand.  Of course our logic went something like this: if it's tucked all the way back there and looks kind of dingy then they've GOT to have good pies!  We went in and to our shock and horror all the pies were sold out.  It was noon.  Sold out at noon?!  These pies have got to be AMAZING!  Severely, disappointed, we vowed to come back first thing the next morning.

We noticed a massive amount of traffic on the main road in town and there were many parked cars along the side of the road.  We had already passed through the town a week ago on our way up to Matarangi, so we knew this was not normal.  Turns out the annual New Years market was happening and the entire population of the Coromandel peninsula had come.

I was impressed.  This is a very small, sleepy, laid back town, but the market they had on was ginormous!  There had to have been thousands of people there.  Tons of rows of stalls selling clothes and local products were followed by a big stage of live music acts and behind that was the food stall section.  Oh food.  I love food.  Especially street food.  We gorged ourselves on masala dosais, freshly squeezed juices, meaty paellas, and ice cream waffle cones.  I'm getting full just remembering it all.

sylviandavid says:
Oh... And I'm getting hungry hearing about it all... I may make a meat pie for dinner tonight.... fun read.. Love the ride you took... sylvia
Posted on: Jan 29, 2010
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Coromandel Hotels & Accommodations review
Friendly Backpacker/Motel
We stayed in the backpacker dorms which were clean and comfortable. Each bed had a private reading lamp which was bonus, and there was a second door … read entire review
photo by: Bellsie