After breakfast it was but a quick jaunt over to Hastings and Rapaki Alpacas, run by Peter and Sarah. I know Sarah as she is on the Health and Education subcommittee with me. She is also a former scientist, with a PhD in Neuroanatomy. We spent the morning looking at their ‘paca and chatting. It was all very pleasant. They showed us how to put in the brass ear tags, which we wanted to see done before we tried it ourselves on Hankyo and Hyouki. It seems a quick and relatively painless process if done right. At least I hope its painless, as that is one heck of a ear-ring you stick into their ear! We also discussed our plans to buy/rent/lease a male of our own next year, and looked at one of their boys who might fit the bill.
Afterwards we drove over to Napier for lunch. Napier is the Art Deco city of New Zealand. The whole town fell over in a huge earthquake 75 years ago, and so it was all rebuilt in the early 30s, and it was all done by an architect with a great sense of style. Unlike our visit in 1999, it was not raining, so we could actually walk around town and admire it all. On the way out of town we dropped by a big tannery and scored some wonderfully cheap off-cuts and seconds of sheepskins, both adding to the barbaric splendor of our home decor, and providing more comfy places for cats to sleep as winter approaches.
From there it was the long windy drive along the cost towards the Mahia penninsula, where we had booked a room. Magnificent hill country. Fun drive. When a road feature is called “the Devil’s elbow” you know it is a twisty road.
The place in Mahia was adequate. Floppy bed. And the shared kitchen in the middle of the building meant we had food smells and cooking noises fairly late into the night. But the lovely sunset across Hawke’s Bay while sitting on the beach and listening to the gentle swish of the surf was well worth it.
We had planned to load up on food at the supermarket in Wairoa on the way to Mahia, but it had closed at 4 PM! A subtle hint that we were moving away from the 24/7 lifestyle of the bigger cities, and out into the Wops.