We checked out of our hotel first thing this morning. Sue let the hotel know about all the things they did wrong before we left. We’d already found another place on AirBnb and booked it for the next two nights. But check-in time there would be at 2pm, so we had a bit of time to kill. So we drove to the town square and parked the car. We walked over to the i-site (information kiosk at the centre of every New Zealand community) and asked about what there was to do in Palmerston North. We picked up brochures for some of the golf courses around here. And another featuring some of the walks (or ‘tramps’, as they’re called here) in the region. There is a museum just around the corner. And lots of restaurants and cafes and shops. Well, since it was very cloudy, a bit cool, and felt like it might rain any minute, we opted for the Manawatu Gorge Walk, a 90-minute tramp on one of the hills not too far from here. After driving out about 20kms, we found the roadside parking lot. There were already quite a few other vehicles parked there. We put on our walking shoes, Sue took her hiking pole, and we put our rain jackets on ‘just in case’. And we started on our ‘tramp’.
The day improved a bit as we hiked. By the time we emerged from under the highway and returned to the car park, the sun was shining brightly. No need for rain jackets.
We drove back into town. I filled the car with gas and we parked back near the town square. We went into what turned out to be a big modern shopping mall and ended up eating at the food court. And then we headed to our new AirBnb, a ‘private’ loft over a garage in a residential area of town. The owners lived in the house next door and welcomed us with some freshly baked ‘pancake’ kind of things with butter and jam. Much better than last night’s hotel. Good wifi, a basked of fresh fruit on the kitchen table, and lots of room. We spent the afternoon in our place, scouting out a place for when we leave here on Tuesday. Our next stop will be New Plymouth, a city of about 80,000 on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. We finally found something on AirBnb and booked it. So now we’ve got accommodations for the rest of our week.
At around 7pm we headed back into the town centre, looking for lamb shanks for dinner. We ended up at a ‘Lone Star’ restaurant (yes, it’s a cowboy-themed chain of restaurants here in New Zealand) and did indeed have the lamb shanks. Not bad, either.
We stopped at the Countdown grocery store on the way home to buy yogurt and sandwich supplies for tomorrow. We got home at around 9pm. I hooked up my AppleTV to the Sony in our bedroom and we concluded our evening by watching (what else!) the CBC National news.