Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 3 (Monday 4th May 2009) – Swayed and narrow road

No we didn’t swayed to the song of Michael Buble. However the car did swayed a little bit to the left, then a little bit to the right. That was how Ma Hen drove that day. AD and I bit our tongue and said nothing about it throughout the drive. To our consolation, Ma Hen did maintained the car in the correct driving lane. We passed the town of Paengaroa and reached the town for Whakatane safely about an hour later.

We followed the GPS direction and arrived at our first motel, White Island Rendezvous. Our room, nay, in a way, it was more like a two-room apartment. There were kitchen, complete with all the basic utensils and glassware; dining area; and living room equipped with television.

We saw pamphlet of Ohiwa Oyster Farm. A seafood-fanatic, I quickly agreed when the rest of the gang decided to eat out instead of cooking. Having shared our mutual concerns regarding Ma Hen driving, it was my turn to drive.

We punched in the address into the Samseng, and off we went. Before long, we were driving along a narrow winding road in the dark! I can see worries in the eyes of my traveling buddies. The route to my office involve narrow and winding roads too. Except for the a slightly higher slope gradient, the route was similar to the route to my office. So I had no problem maneuvering the car.

After making a wrong turn, we finally reach our destination. We thought we were going to eat oyster in a proper restaurant. The shop was a small wooden ‘hut’ that stood at the fringe of Ohope Beach seeming out in nowhere. There was no one else. I parked the car. We placed our order of mix deep-fried seafood – oyster, mussels, squids and fish – in batter served with fries and dips. There were benches overlooking the lagoon. We sat there to wait for our food.

While waiting for food, another car came. A middle-aged lady came out of the car, placed her order and went back into the car to wait. We on the other had, endured the cold weather and sat on the benches. To kill time, well, you guessed it, took loads of photos. Even when to food was finally ready, we took photos of the food before we sank our teeth into the hot fresh seafood. We soon finished the dips. Since we needed to pay for additional dips, we packed the remaining food and headed back to our motel.

We stopped at a designated scenic lookout. We wanted to take photo to capture the sunset and a mountain at the background. Unfortunately, the low-light situation confused the cameras’ sensors. When I finally got the manual setting on my camera right, it was already too dark to see the background. Unable to further stand the bone chilling-cold temperature, we quickly returned to the warmth of our apartment to finish our dinner – needing our chili sauce to accompany the dinner.

I slept as soon as I tucked myself in the warm bed.

Distance traveled: approx 92km

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