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We’re on the move again today. Our day started at 6am due to the strong sunlight streaming through our chalet windows straight onto the bed. The day seemed too good to miss so we were up early, sipping tea and coffee whilst watching the backpackers stumble into life. A bonus was that a staff member pointed out the Saturday market opposite our rooms on the nearby car park so we wandered over to have a look and see what we might grab for breakfast. The market was a relaxed little affair selling some excellent local fruit and veg, bric-a-brac, handicrafts, plants and a variety of Asian cuisine. You could get Indian street food (Dosas ,bhelpuri etc). Chinese steamed pork buns and dim sum or (for the real carnivores) steak sandwiches. We opted for the buns & dim sun. The market was popular with people of all ages and communities and seems to be quite an institution.

We’re temporarily homeless again right now and taken up residence outside the tourist office for the next hour until the Intercity bus arrives to take us to Napier. It’s an attractive place to while away an hour, watching the world go by…


We’re now relaxing in the sun on the roof of our backpackers in Napier after a really interesting day.

When a fairly old single deck coach pitched up to take us to Napier I didn’t hold out much for the journey, but it was far better than I expected. Our first stop was at Taupo, which sits on the edge of a massive lake of the same name. It makes Lake Windermere look like a puddle! You can see it behind this rather odd tourist train that perambulates through the park.

Clearly, Taupo is a base for lots of outdoor activities and seemed a really busy, touristy place. But it wasn’t where we wanted to be. The next part of the journey was the section that surprised me. Our coach began twisting and climbing some roads that wouldn’t have been out of place in the Alps, whilst the scenery was so Scottish it’d have made many tartan-wearers homesick! The only thing that wasn’t typical was the weather, which was stunning. We had horizon to horizon clear blue skies. I gave my phone to Dawn to take a few pictures as she had the window seat. Here’s a sample.

Napier’s a lovely little place with a really interesting (but tragic) history because the town was flattened by an earthquake in 1931 that left scores dead. It was rebuilt in the contemporary architectural stye of the time: Art Deco, which gives the place a time-warp feel and a legacy of some stunning buildings. I’ll add some pictures in the next blog.