I decided to give the job front a miss today as the weather was so lovely! The landlords (Liz and Alex) had popped over yesterday to invite us to a champagne breakfast on Christmas morning, evidently a bit of a tradition for them! Champagne at 9.30 am, haven’t been drinking that time in the morning since I visited a French base many moons ago while I was in the RAF! I’m sure the sun will be over the yardarm somewhere in the world though, so we’ll be fine. We will probably carry on with a bottle of wine down on the beach afterwards for a stroll anyway!

While Liz was here, she mentioned that the Otaki shops were quite good to visit as they’re mostly Factory Outlet style shops on the main street. So, off we went shopping! I wasn’t holding out too much hope, as we’d driven through the town centre when we tried to find Otaki Beach – where the houses were not exactly top notch……….

When we arrived about 20-30 mins later at Otaki, we thought we’d grab a bite to eat and a coffee before having a wander. I did take my camera with us, but I’d forgotten to take the SD card out of the laptop…….DOH! However, good old Google saves the day! I did take a picture of the cafe on the camera, but can I work out how to get it from the camera memory to the SD card – Nope! Some geek I am! Beaten by a camera……………….so far, anyway!

Otaki Capture

Despite any earlier misgivings, the shops were great and there were quite a few bargains too! We had a wander for a while, as you do, but when Louise went into an underwear shop, I decided to beat a retreat for a sit down by the I-Site (tourist information centres – but usually a lot more friendly than the UK ones!), having picked up a few leaflets. When Louise joined me about 10-15 mins later, we both remarked at how nice everybody in the shops in NZ were. It always feels like a pleasure going shopping here (as long as it doesn’t last too long fro me!), people say hello when you walk in, and mean it. We did find one furniture shop where we were pounced on like you get in the UK, back when we were looking for a bed a couple of weeks ago, but even he backed off and left us alone once he realised we were investigating only – and did it with a smile and a joke!

We’d visited one gift/curio shop on the main street and they were offering out “”truffles”” to customers. They looked and smelled lovely, so Louise and I both had a rum truffle, and VERY Rum it was too. Note to self, don’t drive for a while!

Otaki Capture2

We decided to leave Otaki about 5pm and head back home after a lovely afternoon out. We must come back sometime soon too, but with walking shoes, as we found that the Otaki gorge was a film spot for the hobbits leaving the Shire in the LOTR films. Seems a shame not to go see – even if it does involve a couple of kliks worth of unsealed roads!

We’d both been looking forward to seeing the film Avatar when it was released, and Tuesdays are bargain days – a bit like Orange Wednesdays in the UK………..except there’s no Orange………….and it’s a Tuesday! So, we popped into Coastlands on the way back, picked up some tickets for the 7.45pm show knowing that we now couldn’t change our minds and have a night in. We grabbed some chips from Raumati Beach on the way home (had some bread for chip butties), dropped the shopping off and made our way back out again.

Reading cinema Coastlands

Well, what an awesome film!! We both agreed it would be brill to see it again in the 3D version (I’ve looked it up since, and the nearest 3D showing is in Wellington, so we can go have a look at the Christmas “”tree”” lights at the same time!), it was that good! This time there was almost a full house for the film, each one of the four screens seems to sit about 120 people, and there must have been about 100 there.

When we got back home, we found a police car flashing its lights brightly right next to our drive. By the looks of it, some youngster had been pulled over for speeding – Haha!

Louise put the kettle on while I did the weekly night-before trip down the 75m drive to beat the bin-men at their own game.

Category: Emigrating
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