Sue and I enjoyed a most delicious breakfast — in our B&B. Freshly baked bread, muffins, orange juice, yoghurt, fruit, and good coffee, all included in our room rental! Our hosts, Tony and Marigold, sure know how to make us feel welcome! We had a leisurely morning, did NOT go for that walk around the neighbourhood (maybe tomorrow). Sue finished reading her bookclub book, “Schroder”. I did a bit of computer work. Then we set out to see ‘The Strand’, the waterfront area in Tauranga, about a 10-minute drive from our B&B. I also called Russell, my car rental guy in Auckland, and arranged to meet him here tomorrow before noon so we can exchange our 8-seater Toyota van for the Toyota Yaris car I’d originally booked with him.
The sun was shining and it was 27 degrees on the waterfront. Lots of interesting little shops and cafes. A big boardwalk with kids’ playgrounds and park benches where people can sit and eat their lunch while watching the boats moored out in the bay. Across the bay we could see another isthmus, Mount Maunganui, with a couple of bridges connecting us. We walked up and down, sat on a bench for a while, stopped at a Tourist Info place and picked up brochures. We were going to have lunch at one of the cafes, but decided to go buy some sandwich meat and head back to our place — where Sue made great big sandwiches with Marigold’s fresh bread.
Our host, Tony, showed us the local newspaper — the front page story was about the big car accident we’d passed yesterday on our way here. One of the drivers had all of her limbs broken. Both drivers had survived. Now there were renewed calls for improving the road to prevent future accidents.
At 2:30 Tony came down to take us to ‘his’ golf course. We followed his car for the 20-minute drive out to the Bay of Plenty. Tony has a membership at the Omokoroa Course. He introduced us to the pro there and said we were his ‘guests’. That meant we got a 30% discount on the rate. Tony walked the first 6 or 7 holes with us. It was 3 in the afternoon, and they’d had a very big busy tournament at the course this morning. But now it was relatively empty and we golfed at our own leisurely pace. Sue and I both started off most impressively, but after 3 or 4 holes our cover was blown and Tony could see we were not quite ready for the pro tour. But we had a great time, and the course was beautiful. Several holes along the water, lots of interesting birds, and the vegetation and the homes surrounding the course were spectacular. Not so our play.
It was close to 7pm when we finished the eighteenth hole. I’d found another bunker (what else is new?) and my scorecard had two 8’s and 9’s for every par. The warm sun and the cool wind left me hot and thirsty. We packed our clubs into the van and headed back to Bethlehem (the town we’re staying at). I stopped to fill the van with gas so it’ll be ready for the swap tomorrow. We pulled into the fish and chips shop at the town centre and took the big hot portions back to our B&B. We ate outside on the patio.
After dinner Tony came down to visit with us. Then Brian phoned — he and Val and Scott are at a B&B on Maunganui, about 20 minutes from our place. We arranged to meet them tomorrow afternoon and perhaps go on a hike up Mount Maunganui.
Showers, a bit of reading, journaling, and then off to bed again. Work, work, work…