Napier: An Art Deco Detour

Our plans to visit Mount Doom had to be put on hold by a storm which, by the size of it and the amount of New Zealand's north island it was affecting, may well have been sent by Sauron to deter us. So we decided the best thing to do would be to head to the one sunny spot on the weather map - Napier.

We hadn't originally planned to visit Napier, a small and peaceful city on the Pacific east coast, but we were pleasantly surprised by it. It was destroyed in 1931 by a catastrophic earthquake, but was rebuilt in the style that was fashionable at the time - Art Deco. This is great for two reasons. Firstly, Art Deco is quite pleasant to look at and it makes you feel like you're walking around an episode of Poirot. The second is that "deco" in a Kiwi accent sounds a bit rude, which is entertaining.

After coffee and a doughnut that you can inject your own filling into at a place recommended to us by Steve and Ana (it's run by Steve's uncle) we embarked upon a tour of the town. It was quite nice how quiet it was - we only saw a couple of other tourists, presumably the fact that it's not on the main route between Auckland and Wellington makes it a bit more of a hassle for most.

The weather held up as promised, and camping next to the beach allowed Dina to touch the Pacific Ocean for the first time in her life. Unfortunately it was way too cold for a swim. And as for what's next on the itinerary... Our sunshine senses tell us we've got a window at the notoriously rainy Mount Taranaki - a dormant volcano that couldn't look more like how a child would draw a mountain if it tried.