Being driven around New Zealand by Mark’s parents has meant we’ve seen a few towns we might not have seen otherwise. Napier, with its quirky Art Deco town centre, is one of the ones which might not have made it onto my itinerary but was interesting to see along the way.
We had two nights booked here in a private room, which I’d chosen back when I thought I’d have some freelance work to do. Unfortunately the project never came to fruition, but it was nice to have our own space for two nights.
On the evening we arrived we decided we couldn’t be bothered cooking, so went out for a Domino’s pizza instead. New Zealand has a cheap $5 range, unlike the UK where people have to remortgage their houses just to afford some circular bread with tomato, cheese and toppings on it. We sat in the park with our pizzas and listened to the birds as the sun went down, which almost sounds romantic when I write it down like that. It wasn’t, but the sunset was very pretty.
The next day we wandered with no specific plan. We went along the waterfront, then back towards the town centre where we bought a portion of chips (or ‘chups’ if you want to say it with the NZ accent) for lunch. It didn’t take long before we were back in the town, trying to take photos of the Art Deco architecture while cursing the ugly shop signs they allow people to put up underneath it. We spotted a few really cool murals on walls, one of which was by an artist who we already know of and love his work.
It was mid afternoon when we got back to the hostel and we decided it was time we got on with our postcard orders. There was a TV in the hostel lounge with a huge variety of DVDs, most likely from a rental place which had gone out of business. For the next few hours we made postcards and watched Wreck-it Ralph, The Secret Life of Pets and I, Robot.
After spending hours drawing we decided to go out for a drink as a reward. Unfortunately we didn’t realise our baby faces were going to be a problem and didn’t pack our passports with us. Like the UK, New Zealand bars require you to look 25 when buying alcohol regardless of the legal drinking age being 18. As a 31 year old woman I’ve been legally allowed to buy alcohol for 13 years, but apparently I don’t even look 6 years younger than my actual age and therefore we were refused service at the pub. The most annoying thing about the experience was that we were trying to chat to a girl working there who was also staying at our hostel. Before we could even start a proper conversation her colleague jumped in and asked us for ID, completely destroying the moment and making it really awkward. After that I couldn’t be bothered going back and we just had an early night instead, which saved us some money too.
We left Napier the following day after a lovely night’s sleep.