We had a tremendous time in Napier.
On Wednesday, the group of us went roller skating down the boardwalk along the beach. It took me awhile to get used to my blades (the quads they had were too small) but, since I had a pair when I was younger, I was able to roll around with relative ease. Indi had rented some quads and tried to make it work, but they were just too small. We skated around for about an hour, up and down the walk. I felt like I was back in middle school again. The sun was warm, the wind was gentle, and the waves added that final touch of pleasantness to the afternoon.
Thursday was a busy (fun) day. Indi has been enjoying sleeping in, but my internal chronometer keeps waking me up early. Troy (CAN) and I drove a few kilometers out of town to a small brewery called The Filter Room. We ordered a small tray of six various ciders and beers to try and sat out on the patio sampling them. We had:
1. Pure All-Malt Lager. Weakest sauce of the bunch. Coors Light has more flavor.
2. Black Duck Superior Dark Ale. What a surprise! It tasted like a dessert, very rich and flavorful and a *hint* of chocolate at the end. It was like a gift.
3. Special Reserve. This was the Everlasting Gobstopper of ales. Citrus/honey/cinnamon flavors swirled around each other splendidly. A nice palate cleanser, too.
4. FORCE Premium Lager. Yeah, I just got this on name value. It’s more of an anti-Force, as it’s pretty light. Not as light as the Pure stuff though. I’d buy it for a dollar.
5. Perry. Best pear cider I’ve ever had. Bought a bottle for Indi. It had quite a crisp flavor.
6. Ballydooly Red Cider. Goes down smooth and packs a late punch. Also better than expected.
That night, we drove about 30 mins outside of Napier to the nearby Te Mata Mountain and gazed at the city and stars. When we were getting ready to leave, about a dozen bicyclists showed up after having pedaled all the way up the dang road. It was difficult to DRIVE. Instant respect.
Yesterday we said goodbye to our friends in Napier (possibly to meet up in a few months in China, whee!) and bussed to Auckland. Due to some fortunate financial news, we decided to splurge and stayed at the Sky Hotel downtown for one night, which is attached to this HUGE space needle attraction. I can’t seem to escape from them, as we stayed @ The Stratosphere in Vegas.
We found a nice backpacker near the docks and our next week is going to be here in Auckland. It’s huge. Can’t wait to tell you all about it. Later, of course. 🙂