We were the last to arrive at Paekakariki Camp on Friday afternoon, despite being 20km closer to our destination because we had stayed overnight at Otaki. Robin was busy all day attending a refresher driver’s course with other volunteer drivers from the Cancer Society – that’s our excuse anyway. There was a bit of discussion on what particular site we would take – camping too close to large trees means that the TV will not pick up a signal from the satellite. Eventually we were in place in a more open area, and with the help of a long lead were soon plugged into the power box.
Saturday morning was warm enough to sit outside in the wintry sunshine for Morning Tea. Then we took a quick trip down to the thriving metropolis of Paekakariki to purchase a few necessities. Most of the shops are of the vintage variety including the grocery store with it's creaky wooden floor – our old friend Arkwright would not look out of place behind the counter at all.
The unmistakable sound of a steam engine had us hurrying down to the station. And sure enough, there she was, the Passchendaele engine herself, from Steam Incorporated, huffing and puffing in all her magnificent glory. The day’s trip was from Paekakariki to Otaki and return, and as the train pulled away from the station, we waved back at all the happy day trippers. There is certainly something quite magical about a steam engine, isn’t there?
We took the sea view drive back to camp along The Parade to check out the beach. The tide was right in at there wasn’t a great deal of sand available for a beach walk. But we got a good view of Kapiti Island, which is about 5k off the coastline.
The rest of the day was spent with our caravan buddies in camp, and then we pooled cars and drove back down to the village for an evening meal at Finn’s Restaurant and Bar.
The twelve of us sat around the large table, and we pondered the options for dinner. Decisions made, the friendly young waitress took our orders, and the chefs got busy in the kitchen. They did very well, as the meals all came out together – and they were huge! Choices made were burgers, fish and chips, pork belly, and sticky pork ribs.