Good bed. Nice sleeping. Got up at 7:00. Had coffee. We left here about 8:15 and drove up to the parking area for Cathedral Cove. It was a 50-minute walk with some pretty tough uphills and downhills and stairs. But well worth it. It is absolutely gorgeous. We got down there 9:30 and the light was soft and great. Sun not fully exposed. You can see why this is a big attraction for this region. If it were the only reason to come here, it’s worth being here. Took lots of images, of course. Then did the long walk back to the car park. While we were at the cove, there were only two other people there. On the way uphill, there were droves of folks descending. And today is much warmer than what we experienced on South Island. Actually could get down to just two layers – t-shirt and long-sleeved shirt over it.

Drove back downhill to the Hahei Beach Café for a delightful brunch around 11:30. While the weather forecast had predicted rain, this whole morning was filled with sunlight. Went to the general store nearby and got cheese and wine. Then back to our accommodations to download and work on today’s images … and it rained cats and dogs for quite a while. So, we were lucky to be out at the cove for the early morning light, good weather, and to miss the crowds of folks we encountered going down as we were going up.

Problem we’ve encountered is with what restaurants are open. Many close for the winter season. Many close Sundays and Mondays. Today is Sunday. Tomorrow is both Monday and Donna’ birthday. Found out we can drive about 15 minutes from here to ferry landing. Take a short ride across and go into Whitianga and there should be stuff open there. Made a reservation at Salt there for D’s birthday dinner tomorrow.

Oh, and one thing I forgot to say earlier is that with the Mazda crossover we have, if you stray a few km/hr. over the speed limit, a female voice says “You are over the speed limit.” I try to use cruise control where I can to avoid being chastised by a car.

While is was dusk, we drove to the ferry landing 14 km from here. Ferry crosses a narrow channel to Whitianga. Otherwise, to get there, one would have to drive all the way down the peninsula and come up and around the other side. We walked through town thinking we were going to a particular place, but it was closed. Went to Sangam, a northern Indian restaurant and had one of the best meals on the trip. Engaging young waitress Nadia attended to us.

Ferry driver takes a break from 7:30-8:30 (and he came into the place we were eating for his dinner). We walked back to the pier and waited about 15 minutes until the appointed time and came back across and drove back to our abode.

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