Call it fate, or karma, but just a few hours after we got the fancy new gas bottle cradle installed on the caravan, the gas hobs came to a spluttering stop while we were cooking dinner – we had run of of gas. That gave Robin the chance to prove that the new fitting was so much easier and simpler to use than the previous one. I was out there in the dark holding the torch, Geoff came from his van to oversee, and Robin had the job done in no time at all.
The next morning it was time to leave Hamilton and the delights of the Jukebox Diner behind us. Geoff and Eileen were travelling north to visit family, and we decided to take the long way home, via New Plymouth.
Goodbye Hamilton and the Jukebox Diner
First stop was Kihikihi, to visit the laundromat and attend to some long overdue washing duties. There were washers and driers galore, small ones, big ones and monster sized. In went our large bag full and we sat outside in the sunshine while we waited and watched the world go by. While I read my book as the laundry was spinning around, Robin walked down the road to the local bakery and came back with a couple of pies for our lunch. Not just your “run of the mill” pies either, they were very fancy pies indeed. He arrived back with a scallop and prawn pie for me, and oxtail and red wine for himself!
Study of a patient husband
Across the road from the laundromat was a monument erected to the memory of Chief Rewi Maniapoto. Governor George Grey proposed that the Chief live in Kihikiwi as a gesture of Maori and Pakeha unity. During his lifetime Chief Maniapoto was a custodian of harmony between the two peoples and held steadfast to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
To the memory of Chief Rewi Maniapoto
With the laundry interlude finally over, it was time to get moving along again along SH3, when a “Historic Place” sign got our attention. Haurua is certainly a very historic place as it was here that the first Maori King was confirmed in 1857. The sign says:
“At a meeting of the Maniapoto tribe held at Haurua in the year 1857, they announced their confirmation of the selection of Potatau Te Wherewhero as the first Maori King and it was also confirmed that the kingship of the Maori people was to be hereditary in his family”.
Haurua, site where the first Maori King was confirmed
Our destination of Piopio (pronounced Pewpew) wasn’t too much further on. The name Piopio relates to the now extinct native thrush.
Welcome sign on entering Piopio
We are staying for the night in the grounds of the Piopio Cosmopolitan Club, tucked away behind the trees. The very friendly bar manager welcomed us to the club, and showed us around. By good fortune, the restaurant is open for business, so there will be no cooking done in the caravan tonight.
Staying the night at Piopio