Thursday, January 02, 2014

Into the real year

It’s January 2, so that means we’re in the real year now. Well, sort of: Today is also a public holiday, and it’s important to take that into account.

Today’s big task was to take Nigel’s Mum home after her visit here this week. We didn’t know what to expect: Today is a public holiday, but tomorrow is a normal business day, then a weekend. It turned out that traffic heading to the Coromandel was heavy, though it moved well.

When we got to the intersection where State Highway 25 (SH25) meets State Highway 2 (SH2), the traffic heading off of SH25—presumably bound for Auckland—was backed up for kilometres. Apparently they’re going to put in a roundabout for that intersection to fix that bottleneck.

Entrance to one3one café, Paeroa.
We went to one3one in Paeroa for lunch. That’s a new café in Paeroa in the space formerly known as “Fathers Tavern”, which was a total dive. I never set foot in there when we lived there (or before or since), and I didn’t actually know anyone who did.

The new café has a nice atmosphere, clean and modern and really good food. I had fish and chips (the fish today was snapper) and a tap beer. Nachos and eggs benedict were the other choices at our table, all of which were pronounced “very nice”. I don’t actually write like that: It’s what I’ve seen written in restaurant reviews in small papers. Oh, and since it was a public holiday, they added a 10% “holiday surcharge”. It’s all a big have, in my opinion.

Photo I posted to Intsagram.
From there, we went to visit our niece and nephew and their new baby, born about 3½ weeks ago. Considering how new it all is, they all seemed quite relaxed. For the new parents, it may have been sleep deprivation (I’m joking—they’re coping very well).

We dropped off Nigel’s Mum and headed home. When we passed the intersection of SH2 and SH25, there was a pointsman on duty allowing traffic off of SH25 onto SH2. That was a very good idea.

The photo at the top of this post is of the intersection of SH2 and State Highway 26 in Paeroa. It’s hard to tell in the snapshot above, but traffic was quite heavy; the other side of SH26, traffic was largely stopped. SH2 goes on out of town and carries on through the Karangahake Gorge, and that part of the road is winding and kind of scary in spots.

SH26, meanwhile, leads to Thames, and for years was the alternate route into Thames when there was a one-lane bridge connecting SH25 from the Coromandel Peninsula to the roads leading to Auckland.

And that brings that journey full circle, really. Our drive the rest of the way to Auckland was quiet and uneventful—apart from the ecstatic greeting we got from Jake and Sunny, of course.

We have some more adventures planned this month, plus more family visits later this month. January is a good month (and not just because it’s my birthday month…).


Paul Armstrong said...

That traffic doesn't look too bad at all. We had 4 inches of snow last night and driving into DC today was scary....no traffic though. Sounds like you had a nice visit though. :)

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Yeah, it's not bad by Auckland standards, either, but Paeroa isn't used to State Highway 2 being like a carpark—doesn't happen TOO many times per year, fortunately! Yes, it was good, thanks! It looks like you all are getting more bad weather.