Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday: Wellington -> Napier

After another delicious breakfast at Fidel's (thank you Jason for the recommendation!) I packed up and checked out, leaving my luggage at the hotel while I walked to the car rental office 10 minutes away. Got my car, and opted for the mobile hotspot which is on special for $6/day. It's not the fastest connection (4G is not yet widespread in New Zealand apparently), but at that price it's nice to have a reliable connection, both for the time on the road and in case one of my hotels has a poor wifi offering. I drove back to the hotel, collected my luggage, and hit the road.

The drive was pretty nice, with alternating periods of spectacular landscape (which I'm getting used to!) and boring highway. I stopped for a late lunch in Woodville and arrived at my hotel in Napier just after 4. I dropped off my stuff and headed downtown to wander around. Napier was destroyed by a bad earthquake in 1931, and was rebuilt in the Art Deco style. Since then they have made efforts to maintain the style. It's cute, but for me maybe a bit too cute.

View into the city centre from Marine Parade, the walk along the shore

Cute font, but really difficult to read.

Along Marine Parade (South Pacific Ocean is offscreen to the left!)

After a nice walk around town, I found the bar recommended by my hotel to have a good beer selection. I sampled three different beers over the course of a leisurely dinner; the Bookbinder Bitter from Emerson's Brewery in Dunedin was my favourite, despite the low alcohol content. Had another walk along the waterfront in the dark after dinner (saw the pretty illuminated fountain), and headed back for an early night.

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