Sunday 22 December 2013

Petone and Hutt River Trail (2)

Apart from the 10 km ride in Tawa last week to get to my 1,000 km milestone, we hadn’t done a proper ride since we came back from our Hawke’s Bay holiday. The weather has been indifferent and rather windy. But yesterday was beautiful, though still quite windy.

We did quite a nice long ride, along the Petone Foreshore, from the motorway to the bridge, and then up the Hutt River Trail, as far as Stokes Valley and back, 32 kms in total.

In Petone, the pohutukawas are flowering along the Esplanade, and on each side of the cycling track. They are flowering right on time for Christmas (the pohutukawa is often called the NZ Christmas tree, because it flowers around Christmas).

The pohutukawas are flowering – right on time for Christmas

Between the end of the Petone Foreshore and the Waione Bridge there is a small reserve – the Hikoikoi Reserve. The path here goes up and down a bit, and along the edge of the estuary it is quite narrow, with a fence on one side and a drop into the river on the other. I don’t like this bit of track very much. But it is quite pretty along there. The tide was out, and there were mudflats and algal mats which we hadn’t seen before.

Cabbage trees in the Hikoikoi Reserve (photo by John)

Stunning green algae and black swans on the mudflats of the Hutt River estuary (photo by John)

Once on the Hutt River Trail, we rode without stopping until we got to the Stokes Valley roundabout. There was a brisk headwind, but that no longer worries me as much as it did, though it does make the going harder.

It is surprising how quickly one can lose fitness. Just over two weeks without cycling, and after only 15 kms, I was wishing I could inject some lubricant into my knee joints, and I wouldn’t have minded some extra padding on my saddle.

We stopped for a rest in the park just before the roundabout. We noticed that there was a gully, with a stream running alongside the park. We hadn’t seen that on previous rides to this area. The stream comes from somewhere up in Stokes Valley, and joins the Hutt River a bit further down.

The park near the entrance to Stokes Valley

On the return trip we went under a railway bridge, where some people were in the process of creating a mural on the bridge side. The man standing on the scaffold was using a paint roller on the end of a rather long handle, very tricky to manoeuvre. I wondered whether they were going to also cover the graffiti on the bridge pylon.

Creating a mural – and graffiti on the bridge support (photo by John)

Again, we rode without stopping – a much swifter ride with the wind behind us now – until we got to the dairy on the Petone Esplanade, where we paused for an icecream. We had been out for two-and-a half hours, and we had covered 32 kms.

Friday 20 December 2013

Leonard Cohen, open air opera, and other delights

In the past fortnight we have attended two contrasting musical performances. One was L’Oca del Cairo, this year’s offering of the Opera in a Days Bay Garden, which we attended on Sunday 8 December. The other was last night’s concert by Leonard Cohen.

I know neither of these have anything to do with cycling, but they were both so enjoyable, in their different ways, that I wanted to share the experience. I hope you enjoy reading about these events. Of course John took photos on both occasions (though only at the end of the performances), and I've posted the best of these.

While on the whole, John and I like the same kinds of music, these two very different genres show where we differ. I like opera, and John came along to the opera to humour me. John likes Leonard Cohen, and I bought the concert tickets for John for his recent birthday. I was not at all sure I would enjoy the concert, but I must admit, I was blown away – it was brilliant!

The two evenings contrasted on all levels: Opera outside, but it was disturbed by rain showers; Leonard inside, and a beautiful clear moonlit night, which we enjoyed while walking back to our car. Opera with a picnic dinner; Leonard preceded by a very good dinner at Pravda Restaurant. Opera on an intimate scale, with an maximum of 200 in the audience; Leonard in the TSB Arena packed to capacity, with an audience of something like 4,000.

Outdoor opera

Opera in a Days Bay Garden is an annual event, organised and produced by Rhona Fraser, a singer herself. She owns a beautiful house in Days Bay, with a wonderful garden which lends itself admirably to small outdoor opera productions. The “stage” was the partly covered terrace in front of the house, the orchestra sat in the living room, with the sliding doors open, and the audience, which was limited to 200, sat on chairs on the flat area in front of the terrace. There was time during the intermission, for people to have a picnic dinner on the lawn in the lovely garden.

The “stage”. The white construction is supposed to be a tower from which the two women had to be “rescued” (photo by John)

The “auditorium” is slowly filling up (photo by John)

The opera, L’Oca del Cairo, was a two-act opera by Mozart, sung in English. In a way, it was a NZ première, as Michael Vinten, orchestra conductor and librettist, took two incomplete Mozart operas, and combined them into a single opera.

As in most comic operas, the story is one of thwarted love, foolish men and devious women, cheeky servants and unlikely disguises, before a happy dénouement, where the fools get fooled, and everyone eventually gets what they want. Mozart’s music, as always, is delightful and easy on the ear. The orchestra was excellent, the singers in good voice and their acting was well done and very funny.

It was disappointing – for the artists particularly, more so than for the audience – that proceedings were interrupted by some showers. At the first sign of rain, the orchestra, which had been sitting on the terrace, had to scurry inside (of course they could not allow their instruments to get wet). Some of the audience headed for cover, but we stayed put, just pulling on our hats or hoods.

The rain didn’t bother us – too much … (photo by John)

Luckily the rain was light and of short duration. Once the orchestra was installed in the living room, and the rain had stopped, “the show had to go on”. By the end of the first act, it was dry enough to enjoy our picnics during the intermission.

Settling down to our picnic, with my sister Aimée (standing), and brother-in-law Neil (photo by John)

During the second act, a couple of light showers returned, and the wind got up, but the cast bravely carried on. I felt sorry for them in their light costumes; they were probably cold, but they still sang very well. It was fully dark by the time the opera finished, the cast had their “curtain calls”, and the satisfied audience collected their picnic things and headed home.

The full cast, receiving the audience’s applause
Despite the rain, it had been a most entertaining evening, a new experience, and even John and Neil had enjoyed the opera.

Leonard Cohen

For most people, the Canadian singer-songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen needs no introduction. I must admit that I have only become aware of him in the last few years. John is a fan, and one day when he played all of his CDs in a row, I found it got rather too much. So I wasn’t too sure whether I would enjoy all of this concert, especially when I read it would go on for three-and-a-half hours.

But I take it all back! It was a fantastic concert. Leonard’s deep, deep voice is marvellous. Maybe that’s why he often sinks to his knees while he’s singing – his voice is so deep, he has to pick it up from the floor! He’s really agile too, for a man of 79! He has the stage carpeted for the purpose (Persian carpets, no less, I read somewhere!).

Leonard Cohen on his knees (photo by John)

The songs are wonderful, and his backing musicians are brilliant artists in their own right. It was great to see that Leonard showed off their talents by giving them solos. The violinist was sublime, and the man who played the 12-stringed bandurria and other string instruments was astounding. The voices of the three female backing vocalists blended perfectly in beautiful harmonies.

Leonard Cohen surrounded by his backing musicians (photo by John)

The organisation of the concert was impeccable too. Large screens on each side of the stage showed close-ups of Leonard and his musicians. The sound, the lighting and the big screen images were perfect, and stage crew brought out instruments and removed them quite unobtrusively.

Halleluja” - the great man himself on the big screen (photo by John)

The violinist, Alexandru Bublitchi, was sublime (photo by John)

According to the reviews, Leonard sang a total of 27 songs, eight of them encores. He kept surprising the audience by coming back three times to do encores. Of course he got a standing ovation from the packed auditorium each time.

A standing ovation from the capacity audience

When the applause had died away, and the audience was making its slow way to the exits, the Leonard Cohen road crew was already on stage to pack everything up. When we got outside and around the end of the building, we saw at least four huge trucks waiting to be loaded with all the gear, and ready to transport it all to Auckland for the next concert.

Removal crews waiting for all the gear to come from the stage, ready to be loaded into trucks (photo by John)


Late night walk along the waterfront

It was 11:30pm when we came out of the TSB Arena after the concert. It was a beautifully clear night, with a full moon. We had to walk along the waterfront to get back to our car, which was parked near Te Papa. A perfect opportunity for John to take some night-time photos.

Full moon over Wellington Harbour (photo by John)

Lighting bollards and the footbridge over the Frank Kitts lagoon (photo by John)

“Solace in the Wind” by Max Patté (photo by John)

Lamp posts outside Te Papa (photo by John)

Sharks galore! The wall of a parking building at the end of Cable Street (photo by John)

Sunday 15 December 2013

Milestone – 1,000 kms since March!

Last Tuesday I reached a milestone. I have biked 1,000 kms (yes, one thousand), since I started biking on 12 March this year. That’s 46 rides in 39 weeks. I’m feeling quite chuffed!

When we got back from our Hawke’s Bay holiday, my total mileage was 995 kms. So on Tuesday we went for a short ride, just so we could make it a round 1,000 kms.

We went to check out progress on the Tawa to Porirua track, “Ara Tawa”. We last cycled this combined walking and cycling path in August. At that time we were able to ride from Redwood Station to the Linden Park sports ground, as the track was still a work in progress. Eventually, it will run from Willowbank Park, by the motorway entrance to Tawa, to Kennepuru Railway Station.

This time, we again parked at Redwood Station, and rode towards Willowbank Park. Most of this end of the track is complete, but it stops short of where there will eventually be a bridge across the Porirua Stream into the park.

Ara Tawa, heading towards Willowbank Park (photo by John)

Turning around, we then rode to the other end of the track. It went beyond the Linden Park sports ground, where there is now a bridge, and the path continues for about another kilometer, before becoming a rutted dirt track.

Just before the bridge John said “That's five kilometres, this is where you have reached your 1,000 kms! Congratulations!”. And of course that had to be immortalised in a photo.

1,000 kms! Ten fingers for ten centuries (photo by John)

The area beyond the bridge is not very inspiring, as it runs between the railway line and the stream, with the unattractive backs of light industrial buildings on the other side of the stream. But the track is smooth and wide, the bridge is very nice and the view of the stream is pretty.

The new bridge, by the Linden Park sports ground (photo by John)

The Porirua Stream, viewed from the Linden bridge

It was just a 10 km ride, and we could have gone on to ride in Plimmerton, but it was quite windy, and John was keen to take me to the Johnsonville Bike Shop to get me a present to celebrate my milestone. Isn't he a sweetie! I got some new cycling gloves, as the ones I had, while very good, were just a bit too small for me, and were hard to take off.

Thursday 12 December 2013

Hawke's Bay Cycle Trails – Days 5 & 6

Recently we went to Hawke’s Bay for a few days’ riding the wonderful cycling trails in the region. This post is about day 5. You can check out days 1& 2 here, day 3 here, and day 4 here.

Day 5 – Monday 2 December
The Puketapu Loop, and a drive to Waimarama

In the previous three days of cycling, we had ridden 120 kms, so on this last day, we decided to take it a bit easier, and bike the Puketapu Loop, which is only 18 kms.

We rode this track last March, when I had only just started biking, and I had such a lot of trouble with the hill by the Puketapu Pub, that John thought that we should do it the other way round this time, and avoid the worst of the hill.

The track starts at the Pettygrew Green Arena, from where we headed onto the stopbank, turned right, and crossed the bridge.

This is a really lovely trail. The landscape is quite varied, from river, to corn fields, to crops of various kinds; orchards of apricots, cherries, and kiwifruit; vineyards; and also trees and bush.

It was not very windy, just breezy enough to stop it getting too hot. In some places, clumps of trees near the track looked very inviting, and I thought that we should have brought a picnic rug, some lunch and our books. It would have been nice to lounge and read under the trees for a while …

It would have been nice to lie in the shade of these trees, with a good book … (photo by John)

Other bushy areas were just very pleasant to ride through, even if we had to negotiate a fallen tree.

The track ran under lovely trees (photo by John)

I wonder if this tree came down in Saturday’s galeforce winds (photo by John)

It wasn’t long before we arrived at Puketapu – a small settlement with a pub and a store – the half-way mark of the Puketapu Loop. John suggested we stop at the pub for a coffee, but I remembered the definitely mediocre coffee (and very so-so lunch) we’d had there in March, so we opted for an icecream cone from the shop instead. 

Icecream cones in front of the Puketapu Store (photo by John, with his camera fixed on his bike!)

We sat on the seat in the shade in front of the shop, and enjoyed our icecreams. I looked at the gradient of the road in front of us, that had caused me so much trouble last March. It now didn’t seem to be so terrible. I have definitely progressed!

Quite soon after Puketapu, we came to a beautiful park with a small lake, with a jetty and several small islands, and grazing sheep. It looked so lovely we crossed over the cattle stop and went in for a look. We thought we might be able to ride around the lake. There was a picturesque stone bridge, but as we rode over it, and headed up the track beyond it, we suddenly became aware that this was probably not a public park, but a private property. There had been nothing to say so at the entrance, but we thought we had better not go any further.

Such a pretty little stone bridge (photo by John)

Oh, to own such a beautiful property! (photo by John)

We have just used Google Maps on “streetview” to look at the entrance, and we discovered that the property is called “Bridgewater”. The name is on the fence by the entrance, but we didn’t notice it at the time. Isn’t Google amazing?

So back on the track, which soon crossed the road, and went back onto the stopbank, past vineyards and orchards, and into more lovely shady lanes.

Beautiful gum trees … (photo by John)

… and shady lanes (photo by John)

It was an easy 18km ride, very enjoyable, and by 12:30 we were back at the car. We went into Havelock North for lunch, and then had a walk and window-shop around Havelock. It really is a very pleasant small town.

With the afternoon ahead of us and no biking to do, we drove up to Te Mata Peak. Driving up the section of Waimarama Road that was part of the Tukituki Loop which we had biked two days earlier, it actually looked worse than when we were riding it. Perhaps it was just as well that I hadn’t been up there by car before biking it, because I am sure I would have told John to “forget it!”.

From Te Mata Peak, the highest point of the Craggy Range, the view is spectacular, over the river and the hills and the sea beyond. We looked down onto the Tukituki River, and much of the Tukituki Loop that we biked. Actually, I felt quite impressed with what we had done. That trail sure was a challenge, but seeing it from the top, it seemed quite amazing that I actually did it. We identified the hills where the road wriggled in and out of gullies that were such hard work.

The Craggy Range seen from its highest point, Te Mata Peak

From Te Mata Peak, we could see the Tukituki River, and beyond the hills to the sea. Craggy Range Winery is at bottom right of the picture (photo by John)

Red Bridge, from where the Tukituki Loop returns back down the valley (photo by John)

While we were at the top of Te Mata Peak, we talked to a retired Swedish couple who had walked up (wow!). They told us that they come to enjoy Hawke’s Bay’s summer for five months every year, to escape the Swedish winter. Rather nice!

We then carried on up Waimarama Road, and drove to Ocean Beach, where we took a walk along the water's edge. We are not really swimmers, and I certainly don’t like swimming in the sea (I hate the thought of being touched by creepy things floating about). But I took my sandals off and walked in the shallow water, until John noticed that there were jellyfish on the wet sand at that part of the beach. I made a quick retreat onto the dry! They didn’t seem to be everywhere though. It did look like a nice beach for surfing, and there were a few people swimming and playing on the beach.

Coming down the road towards Ocean Beach (photo by John)

Ocean Beach (photo by John)

Then back over the hill to the next beach at Waimarama. There is quite a settlement there, some 1960s or 1970s style houses, and some brand new big ones. Not a terribly attractive place, really, but I believe the beach is a very popular one. However, at the place where we turned around, by the exit of a stream, there was a sign warning that this part of the beach was dangerous for swimming.

Waimarama, but this part of the beach was not suitable for swimming (photo by John)

Bare Island, off the coast near Waimarama (photo by John)

On the way back, another view of Te Mata Peak (photo by John)

It was lovely driving in the countryside. New Zealand really is such a beautiful country. I can understand why overseas visitors rave about it. And aren’t we the lucky ones to be living here!

Day 6 – Tuesday 3 December
Going home

On Tuesday we made an early start on our way home. The trip was uneventful, except for a stop at the Clock Shop in Waipawa. The outside of the shop is very appealing (in a “twee” kind of way), and it caught our eye when we came through here in March. But it was closed that day, so this time we just had to stop and take a look inside.

The Clock Shop in Waipawa (photo by John, March 2013)

Wow, I don’t think I have ever seen such a huge variety of clocks and watches – ranging from very modern and colourful, to the kitschy and gimmicky, to cuckoo clocks of all kinds, to the old and venerable grandfather clocks.

The shop is owned by Jim and Anne Greeff. Jim is a British-trained horologist, and he repairs and restores clocks of all descriptions. He took time to talk to us, and show us around, telling us about some of the clocks. He showed us one grandfather clock of which he had repaired the movement. Sadly, the owners had got the case spraypainted a shiny jet-black, to fit in with their décor. It had once had a beautiful grain which was still visible under the paint, and I could tell from the way he talked that Jim did not approve of what they had done to the clock.

Jim and John got to discussing clock repairs and clock innards, and he told John that he was currently trying to fix a cuckoo clock with an electronic movement. It had fallen off the wall, and he was trying to figure out the mechanism that made the birdie come out, so he could fix it. He took John into his workshop, and the two of them pored over it, with John offering suggestions (he has a lot of experience with things electronic). I wanted to take a picture of them while they were both bent over this clock, but unfortunately Jim looked up at just the wrong moment.

How to fix this cuckoo clock? Jim looked up at just the wrong moment

After an interesting half hour in Waipawa, we headed to Woodville, where we had an early lunch at our favourite lunch stop – the Bridge Café – just before the Manawatu Gorge. Then, home. It had been a great holiday.

The Bridge Café, across the bridge, just before the Manawatu Gorge (photo by John)

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Hawke's Bay Cycle Trails – Day 4

Recently we went to Hawkes Bay for a few days’ riding the wonderful cycling trails in the region. This post is about day 4. You can check out days 1& 2 here, and day 3 here.

Day 4 – Sunday 1 December
Clive to Clifton – The second half of the Coastal Ride

Since it was Sunday, we started off the day by going to the Hastings Farmers’ Market. I enjoy the atmosphere at Farmers’ Markets – there’s usually music, coffee carts, lots of fruit and vegetables to buy, people sampling some of the delectable foods on offer, and people lugging bags full of goodies.

The Hastings Farmers’ Market. Isn’t that a magnificent tree in the background? (photo by John)

I especially looked for The Village Press, as I love their olive oils. One of my favourite indulgences is fresh ciabatta dipped in garlic-infused olive oil, yum! I also looked for, and found, smoked mushrooms. And we got a nice large jar of John’s favourite honey from The Naked Honeypot

We queued for coffee, and bought some little biscuits to go with it. We’re not fig eaters, but we did enjoy some of the poster boards outside the Te Mata Figs stall.

Oh, oops! (photo by John)

Then off to our ride. After the previous day’s mega-ride, my legs felt quite sore. I should have applied Antiflamme to the muscles before going to bed!  But I rubbed some on before we set off for the day, and that helped. Anyway, we thought a shortish, easy ride would be sensible.

We wanted to do part of the Coastal Ride again (this was our first major ride when we came to Hawke’s Bay last March). John suggested parking at Black Bridge and riding to the end of the track at Clifton. But I thought we could leave from Clive, ride as far as Te Awanga, and then turn around. This way we would ride through the East Clive Wetlands, which are quite beautiful. And I wasn’t that fussed about riding to the very end of the road, some of which went through residential areas. But I did want to go as far as Te Awanga, as that is where the Elephant Hill Winery and Restaurant are – perfect for lunch, I thought.

So we parked at Clive. As we were getting the bikes ready, we were hailed by someone calling out “Hello! I thought it was you!”. It was Frits, a locally resident Dutchman, whom we had met at the Clifton Café back in March, and we had had quite a discussion about our folding bikes, and his electrically assisted bike. In fact, it was our bikes he recognised, as we were getting them out of the car.

He was still riding his electric bike, which he acquired after he started to find that his legs weren’t up to longer rides anymore. We talked about the hill climbs we had done the previous day, and he said that the electrical assistance on his bike would certainly help with gentle hills. You still have to pedal, but you can enlist help from the electric motor while pedalling. He offered to let me try his bike, but the saddle was too high for me. John had a go, and he thought it was quite nifty, but rather heavy. Still, it may be an option for us, perhaps in ten years’ time?

He was heading in the same direction as we were, and while we were still donning helmets and gloves, he rode off, and we never caught up with him again.

As we started our ride, I noticed that the park by the side of the river, from where we set out, was called the Evers-Swindell Reserve. There were a couple of rowing crews on the river, so I figured that the park had been named to honour the champion rowing twins, Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell. When I checked it out on Google, I found this article about the renaming of the park.

A perfect rowing river, alongside the Evers-Swindell Reserve (photo by John)

Soon we were up on the stopbank, alongside the wetlands. The wetlands were a lot “wetter” than when we visited in March, which had been during a prolonged drought. This is a habitat restoration project, which is home to many kinds of coastal birds. We saw swans, pukekos, various kinds of ducks, and a heron.

The lime sand cycle path skirts the wetlands (photo by John)

A black swan and her six cygnets

The wind was up, but it was mostly behind us. Because we’ve cycled along here before, we didn’t stop for too many photos, but John did like the sight of the two people with their fishing rods on a spit of land. It reminded him of two Jedi Knights with their lightsabres.

Jedi Knights, about to do battle with their lightsabres? (photo by John)

We rode on the roads of the seaside village of Haumoana. Then again on a lime sand track, along the waterfront, though separated from the beach by public gardens. In one such garden I spotted a prickly pear cactus in flower. It was magnificent, and had hundreds of buds.

This prickly pear cactus was huge and was smothered in buds

It was just after midday when we arrived at Elephant Hill Winery.  Spot on timing for lunch! The drive up to the winery and restaurant was stylishly flanked by squat palm trees. In front of the very modern and sleek buildings, there is a statue of a life-sized elephant with three riders on it – presumably the Maharajah in the middle, the mahout in the front, and the servant at the back to hold the parasol. Very impressive.

The elephant that “Elephant Hill” is named after (photo by John)

There were big square sofas under umbrellas on the front verandah, but when we went into the restaurant for lunch we were taken to a the terrace on the side, which was surrounded by an infinity pool on three sides. Large umbrellas were set up (which also had heaters attached to the ribs – not going obviously), and a stack of hats was available for those wanting to sit in the sun. Very attentive.

The verandah was surrounded by an infinity pool, and beyond that, the vines. The other tables filled up soon after (photo by John)

Our lunch was delicious (and expensive!). We both had beef fillet steak (we felt we needed the energy, after the last two rides), with a green salad (which had flowers in it but no dressing), and a glass of the recommended red wine, 2011 Elephant Hill Hieronymus.

Coming back down the drive at Elephant Hill (photo by John)

While we were eating, we decided that, though we had only planned to go this far, we could keep going to Clifton, and have coffee at the café there. Which we did, and had iced coffee – yum, perfect. It wasn’t really that much further to go.

The Clifton Café. The young man striding along so purposefully was about to remove our glasses of water from our table! (photo by John)

The Clifton Café, and the nearby camping ground, are at the end of the road. From here, you have a great view towards Cape Kidnappers. If you want to go to Kidnappers, you have to either walk, or take a “tour” from here. We did the tour a few years ago (on wagons pulled by a tractor), and it was well worth it.

Cape Kidnappers in the distance, seen from Clifton Beach (photo by John)

On our way back through Te Awanga, we met this couple going out for a Sunday afternoon ride. You do meet some interesting characters while biking!

Somehow the beard and the penny-farthing seem perfectly suited. But how do you ever get up there? (photo by John)

The way back was harder as we were heading into the wind now. I had changed into a long-sleeved top. Although I had applied plenty of sunscreen before setting out in the morning, my arms were now starting to feel a bit broiled.

As we were riding back past the wetlands, the headwind was fairly strong, and we were struck by the beauty of the reeds bending in the breeze.

The reeds moving in the breeze looked magnificent (photo by John)

It was about 3:30 when we got back to the car, having cycled 30 kms. So much for a "short" ride!

We drove into Napier, to have a browse around the town. In Emerson Street John took some pictures of the lovely Art Deco sculpture of a woman and her dog, entitled “A Wave in Time”, by Mark Whyte. It was unveiled in 2012.

Hey! Guys! ... Bronze Art Deco sculpture “A Wave in Time” (photo by John)

Another piece of art cheering up the town centre was a large “pot of flowers”, which celebrated the recent opening of the new museum.

Celebrating the New Home of our Treasures – MTG Hawke’s Bay” (photo by John)

Being late afternoon on a Sunday, the only places that were open in town were the cafés and the Museum. The MTG Hawke’s Bay (Museum Theatre Gallery) is brandnew, and we thought we could have a browse.

But to our dismay, the admission fee was $15, and as it was now after 4pm, that seemed rather high for a 30 minute browse. Besides, I felt it was a bit “off”, since the museums in all the major cities (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin) are free, so why is this one so expensive? Maybe, one day, if we have a good few hours in hand, we’ll go and take a look.

Instead we got some icecream cones, and went across the road to the Veronica Sunbay, to sit under its arches, and look out to sea. The Sunbay is a curved arcade of columns, with seating on both the seaward side, and facing inland towards the town. It was built in 1934 and named "Veronica Sunbay" after the HMS Veronica, whose officers and crew helped with rescue work in the aftermath of the 1931 earthquake.

The late afternoon sun created some wonderful shadows under the arcade, and we spent a while taking pictures, before heading home to our cottage.

Shadows in the Veronica Sunbay

Columns in the Veronica Sunbay (photo by John)

John likes the starkness of this photo (photo by John)