Monday, October 7, 2013

Let's finish that trip

One wild and windy day, we explored as far Hicks Bay at the tip of East Cape but we explored slowly and enjoyed what we saw.  We set out to see the church in the background but stopped to visit the beach, then saw this little graveyard.

Then wandered on to the beach to marvel at the driftwood.  I've never seen so much on a beach.  If we lived closer I would have loaded up a lot of it and brought it home. 

Obviously the local children find it good fun to play with:

 I did bring home two pieces, one of which Georgia took an immediate liking to and turned it into a gift for her cousin.

We didn't linger a lot on our way home but did stop for lunch and to walk around Opotiki.  A little church on main street caught my eye and, of course, I just had to have a look.  It's true, you never know what you will find inside a church.  Each little church is different and has its own flavour.

 Mission Church of Hiona Saint Stephen's

I always get a little thrill when I see something I've never seen before.  Not sure what this says about the parishioners but it gave me a smile.

But what really caught my eye was this:

That's something I haven't seen before.

As Chris and I were heading for home we were discussing how some of the people we had met would not exactly take top marks for hospitality.  There was a sort of wariness about some of the local people towards us "tourists", a stranger danger sort of thing.

We joked that the lady at the cafe at Te Araroa could easily take a unit of a Kiwi Host course for the locals.  And her 12 year old son could also provide a unit on customer service.

We'd arrived mid afternoon and a lad was packing up the tables and chairs outside the cafe.  We asked were we too late for lunch and, with the most beautiful smile you could imagine, he told us no, go on in and "do your order."  The cook could be seen in the background as we approached the counter and, because we were so late, we asked what was easy. 

"It's all easy!"  she replied with a smile that matched the one we had received outside.

We ordered fish and chips and sat outside reading the paper in a sunny courtyard.    The lad who had been outside soon appeared as our waiter with my order.  He told Chris with a smile that hers wouldn't be long, "She's still working on it."  The courtesy and friendliness offered by that lad was absolutely second to none.  It was something you can't teach, it's something you learn at your mother's knee.  If you want the pleasure of being served by this lad, you must call there on a Sunday, that's the only day he works to help Mum out.

And the fish and chips were first rate, best I can remember having.  That lady knows a thing or two about batter.


  1. Hello Pauline,

    Interesting to hear about customer service. The past week or so Ian and I have been out and about. The smaller the country town the better the service and food.
    Though yesterday we went to Toodyay and I had eaten most of my meal before Ian's burger came out. Go-Cafe in Goomalling is the winner all round for service and food. Chris has been there.
    I loved your little hatchlings in a previous post, hope they grow big and strong. Fox visited us last week and ate through the wire to eat our chooks. I hope he choked on one of them because we had noticed a growth on her chest.

    Have a great day Pauline.

  2. This is a great post , beautiful scenery and great observations.
    I wonder what they do get up to in that church.
    It is wonderful and a faith restorer to find people that enjoy their work.

    It may seem a bit picky or even rude but could you ask GB to get you a little spirit level for Christmas.

  3. I love small local churches versus the large cathedral - church owned churches. they are build and are cared for by the locals. always lovely inside.
    your costumer service story is great.

  4. The final day of your trip was still interesting. I was intrigued with the Governor-General notice. Glad you got a picture of it. The young boy is indeed receiving a good education on hospitality from his mom. It would be a pleasure to find that spot some day.

  5. A little spirit level it will be Adrian!

    And I must remember the cafe at Te Araroa.

  6. Such a beautiful setting for a graveyard!

  7. A most informative trip.
    Love your pictures. What a wonderful beach to play on. I’d love to have a go at some driftwood sculpture.

    We are always surprised when somebody serves us gladly and with a smile. You don’t find it very often in the UK.

    That Pardon comes a bit late in the day for the main actor in the drama.


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