What a long day! Pete and Nadine took us out of Napier to get us on the right road and we said our goodbyes and thankyous and started on our way. It was a very good, if winding road, up via Taihape, up over the Ruahine range of mountains to see the fantastic scenery. We did get a few bits of gravel road, but not much. Back on the main road we came across a military museum in the middle of nowhere advertising their VERY CLEAN TOILETS AND BRILLIANT CAFÉ, in large letters so we stopped for tea and scones and a very quick look round.
There were 2 possible roads for the final stage of our journey, and guess which Rich chose, the winding gravel track, along the Whanganui river road from Raetihi via Jerusalem, London and Athens, would you believe. All these also have Maori names. Following the river gorge was spectacular, if scary, especially when we wanted to pull over for a photo and something came the other way. We were surprised just how many other idiots were doing the same route and all commenting on the amazing views.
I was surprised to see the swathes of verbena bonariensis growing wild all along the roadside. We decided to go on to find our B&B in Paloma Gardens before we did anything else and what a reward we got. We had supper sitting in the sun surveying the most amazing garden outside the little red house/shed which was our home for the night. See tomorrow for the next instalment……!