Taking the long way home through New Plymouth was to catch up with Robin’s old school mate Gary. And the fact that these were Robin’s old stomping grounds made the visit even more worthwhile. We had arranged a lunch date with Gary and Glennis, but before we went, Robin just had to have a good look at Gary’s pride and joy. It was a classic Chevy, and there was plenty to see and admire under the bonnet.
Then it was off to lunch, down to the harbour to Gusto. We had a great table looking out over the breakwater. Our choices were lovely, two big breakfasts, eggs Benedict with salmon, and mushrooms and bacon on toast. Looking through the windows we could see plenty of seabirds resting on a rocky break-water.
After lunch we strolled along the water-front, enjoying the sun shine and the fresh sea air.
Paratutu beckoned, that large rocky outcrop which fit and active people climb right up to the top. Not us though, we were content to drive to the base, and look up in wonder. The track is so steep that you have to haul yourself ever skywards with the help of a wire rope. Both Robin and Gary had climbed Paratutu in their youthful days, it was no trouble at all, back then. Paritutu and the Sugar Loaf Islands are remnants of a large volcano that was active nearly two million years ago.
Saddleback and Motoroa islands are eroded remnants of the volcanic activity. Upthrusts from the volcanic layers formed the landscape both above and below the sea.
Returning Gary and Glennis back to their home, they showed is some holiday snaps of their last overseas trip to Los Vegas, a side trip to the Grand Canyon, and back to Hawaii. What a great trip, something we would like to do too – must get our Passports renewed. Then it was back to camp, where we are still “Nigel No Mates”, with not a single caravan or camper to keep us company. Mt Egmont was playing hide and seek under the cloud cover, hopefully we will get a better view tomorrow.
Time to move on - next stop Wanganui.