We called in to the Visitor's Info Centre in Whakatane and a delightful young lady presented me with a little booklet saying, "This is the bible for the East Cape." What a great little publication it is, jam packed with information about each and every beach along the highway. The road hugs the coast, most of the time right beside the beach with bush clad mountains on the other side most of the way. We passed through dozens of bays and little beaches and The Bible provided information about them all. Whether they were suitable for swimming, better for fishing, diving, whether the beach shelves steeply.
The Bible told us that visitors are welcome to inspect the Marae grounds at Omarumutu. Normally we, as pakahas (non-Maori), would not enter upon marae grounds unless specifically invited.
A little past Motu River, we stopped at Omaio, I was hanging out for a cup of coffee. I think it was around 4 pm by then and this was the first place we'd come to since lunch time that offered a cafe. The staff didn't seem very happy to see us arrive, they were obviously getting ready to leave for the day. I may have made them grumpier still if I'd known I'd been served instant coffee before I left the premises!
Following the advise of The Bible and the lass in the cafe we went around the corner to find the public toilets with another marae with an elaborately carved entrance on one side of the road.
and the shingley beach on the other:
We were quite restrained when it came to churches and gave in to temptation only a few times. Couldn't resist this one with daffodils alongside the road.
and a few sheep lazing in the sunshine on the other side of the road:
Chris hit the brakes and backed up when we passed this sign. Neither of us has ever heard of a pig dog training school! The Bookbinder sign below it just added to our amusement.
Ohope Beach (I'm pretty sure).
I didn't take notes of what these signify but I don't think I've seen a carving before that includes a yellow haired pakeha.
A competitor approaching the finish line at Ohope of the multi-sport "Monty's Revenge" (25 km mountain bike ride, 17 km in kayaks and final 12 kms run) We'd seen some runners passing through town and a young marshall told us where the race would be finishing.
We will arrive at Maraehako Bay soon.