Looking back to Thursday maybe we should have stayed in Whakatane another day as our best laid plans seemed to be sabotaged by Murphy at every step.
We looked for our next destination preferably on the coast and selected Motunau Park, Pukehina. An attraction was the cafe/bar across the road from the park was called the Hippy Pippi and had an awesome write up. Out came the tie dyed head bands and off we went in search of this shangri la. When we arrived we found the carpark two sloped and would have either all our blood running to our feet or the head all night. (The only advantage is if we peed the bed it would not have puddled.) On looking around we thought the carpark next the Hippy Pippi would be ideal but the displayed opening hours showed that it was open was in fact was closed. A name like HIPPY PIPPI and we thought that this would be a well run establishment. (Up in Smoke comes to mind)
On wards and upwards and Hiawatha looked into her oracal (NZMCA App) and proclaimed that Papamoa Domain was the place to be. Great reviews etc. etc. Off we went with a new purpose and Tie Dyed head bands put away for a future occasion. To poor to pay the $5 tolls on the new highway so took the back road through Te Puke and arrived at Papamoa Domain to find that 7.6 meters was a bit to big for the parking, the view of the sand dune was not what we had in mind (considering the photo on the app showed a sea view) and this was not a dog friendly park. Mr Grumpy was feeling a bit under the weather considering the liquid intake from the night before and just wanted to check the inside of his eye lids.
With much debate we decided that the Waihi RSA was the place to stop. Great reviews, near the sea, dog friendly and a place to eat because the chef on board Dogonit left his happy thoughts at the Hippy Pippi and was adamant that he did not want to cook. Hiawatha sent smoke signals to ensure all was well at Waihi – the return smoke had bad medicine – No motor home parking until after 8:30 pm on Thursday. Being a Thursday and becoming totally disenchanted we were debating our view on the the universe and our position in it at that point in time when low and behold the Kati Kati RSA loomed out of the gloom and was most welcoming to two wrinklies and there passengers.
Great meal and great service. The wind tried hard to dislodge Dogonit during the night but we endured.
With the complete balls up of the day before Home (dirty 4 letter word) was mentioned in the morning but sanity prevailed and we set a course to our first DOC park on our journey Dickey Flat Campsite in the Karangahake Gorge. We were there within 30 minutes and set off for a walk on the DOC tracks – Over suspension bridges and though a cave/tunnel in the rain.
This morning we left the camp early as due to the accumulation of the rain overnight we decided we would opt out for a drier place to walk the dogs and have breakfast. We headed for the Paeroa dump site (WSS) which also had a parking area along side. Contemplated staying away one more night but the we decided to drive on through to home. Mac and Rose have not missed a beat – it was as though they had not been away.