We really needed a break from the city, so we booked a great bach overlooking Whale Bay just outside Raglan for the weekend, dragged George into the back of the car, and formed a (2 car) caravan with friend Zach.
It was a great place, huge deck, big spa, freshly refitted everything.
Spent the weekend bodysurfing at Ngarunui Beach and kayaking in the estuary, or eating at the various places in Raglan. On that note, if you find yourself in Raglan and wanting dinner, give the Harbour View Hotel a wide berth, I don’t know how they got the awards on their walls – they served me the worst steak I’ve had in a very long time indeed.
Tongue & Groove is as good as ever, their bruschetta is great, and they do a pretty good breakfast. Vinnies had very friendly but patchy service, with my pizza being only very average.
Waikato Draught, which I felt bound to buy a case of due to it being the local (well, sorta) brew, is pretty crappy.
The booze didn’t help me with our poker night, but I still kicked ass to the tune of about five hundred fake dollars. (Lesson learned, Claire is a great bluffer, but if you know when to fold you can keep hold of your winnings for much longer and keep your bank growing.)
On the way back we took a quick side trip and hiked through the bush to see Bridal Veil Falls, pretty bloody impressive, and some really weird geology – 55m high, falling over a bizarrely carved out rock face. The top viewing platform is directly beside (directly!) the falls, you can then hike down a steep trail (thankfully with formed steps, it was pretty slippery even so) to the pool at the bottom. The churn was quite something.
Anyway, Raglan was good fun, George had a great time on the beach, and so did we. Plus, I’ve come back with a great idea for a painting.