We had a day in sunny Otaki today – or it should have been. After all, that’s what the sign said. In actual fact, it was a cloudy day, but without any pesky wind. The first European settlers were ex-whalers turned traders. In the late 1890s the large areas of alluvial soil at Otaki began to be used for market gardening. In 1912 Otaki was created a town district and was constituted a borough in 1921. The name is said to mean “the place of a staff stuck in the ground”, when the tohunga Haupipi-a-nanaia was on his way southwards in search of his wife, as an indication that he wished to rest there.
Otaki is a 20km drive from home and has turned itself into one of those popular “Outlet Towns”. People come from far and wide to visit a number of the big name brand stores which line the street. Bendon was one of the first companies to open an outlet in Otaki, which is now one of their busiest stores in the country. (And yes, I just had to go into this intimate apparel shop and came away with some of their good quality bargains. And new shoes as well, lucky me). As it was Friday, the streets weren’t too over-run by shoppers, but it certainly would be a different story over the weekend.
And we couldn’t visit Otaki without a visit to Harringtons, an interesting butchery which specializes in hand crafted small goods. We came away with black pudding, bacon, and Cranksy sausages. Yummy, there will be several nice cooked breakfasts out of that little lot.
After all this shopping, it was soon time for lunch at one of the local cafes. Big breakfast for him, and pea and ham soup for her – all very tasty, even more so with a Gold Card discount. After a quick phone call to see if our friends Geoff and Eileen were home, we whiled away another hour or so with them, before heading back home.