Maturui BayLet's be a bit back to front about today. Brian and I ended up at Waipu Cove after a long and exciting day running around Northland. Sitting in the local fish and chip shop (having a ham dinner, they'd run out of fish and had to be persuaded not to close and to give us something,anything, else!) a familiar face wandered in. It was my old friend Netti from the UK, looking for dinner, she's staying in a bach just down the road from us. This is a very small country!

Mangonui continued to improve this morning with a visit to the other restaurant for breakfast (coffee and scone). Lovely place sitting in the sun watching the world go by. We finally left and after chats with a lovely old lady from Wellington who's been living in town for 30 years and a couple of other folk we headed out of town.

Our first detour was out to the Maturui Bay an its nearby bays. This is a fabulous spot, truly awesome and well beyond my slender grasp of the english language to do justice to. Sadly as with the rest of the world the locals are working hard to bring it to others by installing a new sub-division and allowing a huge number of new houses to be built. No doubt once this is done the caravans will have to go as they will be lowering the tone of the place. Let's call this progress.

Maturui BayFrom here we set forth to Kerikeri for lunch and by now the weather was in full reverse, warm and sunny at last. Liners out of the gear and lots of ventilation required! The afternoon was spent traveling out to Kaikohe (this may be a step above Dargaville but it was a Thursday so it may be that Dargaville is full too. I'd give them both a wide, wide berth. The back road down to Maungatapere is another, no traffic, high(ish) speed run through lovely country. It just doesn't get much better.

By the time we got near Whangarei Brian's bike was blowing what seemed to be quite a bit of oil although the levels were still high. The very friendly Suzuki dealer in Whangarei was easily found and gave it a swift once over and looks to have reseated the seal that was weeping. Would that all problems were so simple.

Our final excursion was around Tutukaka and Nungunguru finishing at Matapouri, all of which are simply fantastic spots for a beach holiday. At one point I dropped one of my ear plugs but Brian finally spotted it on the road although how it had rolled so far is anyones guess.  If that's the worst thing that goes wrong then we can live with it I guess.

Tutukaka?Getting a bed was more problematic than the other nights and after several tries we found a clean and modern but expensive and rather sterile motel in Waupu Cove. This would not be the place I'd choose for a holiday, small white painted rooms looking out onto a corrugated iron fence. The sea is definitely within earshot but no sign of a view from the back rooms where we were put. By the time we got there we were getting cold and tired so the rooms were most welcome regardless.

As mentioned before dinner was nearly a disaster for us and unfortunately by the time Netti arrived the chef had gone so dinner was no longer an option. As it turned out we were able to have a good meal and we met up for drinks  with Netti and her friend Lyn afterwards. All in all a splendid end to a great day and always good to catch up with old friends.