Maitai Weekend

Saturday was the first day of August; time seems to be flying by. It was a warmer morning; 14 degrees outside already by 7am. It warmed to 18 degrees by the middle of the day but was also overcast and windy, and it rained later in the afternoon. We passed the morning reading and sorting photos and doing some washing. After lunch we drove to Whatuwhiwhi for our Weekend Herald newspaper. This is our newspaper for the week and our challenge each week is to finish it before the following weekend. On our way back we stopped at the Karikari winery. We had a taste of a couple of wines and enjoyed a coffee. Their cafe had great outdoor areas but there was a bit much wind so we sat inside in a curiously un-windowed cafe. Maybe the purpose is to not distract wine tasters with the fabulous views to the north. There were a lot of visitors to the camp through the day and over the weekend. But we still were the only ones staying overnight. We were in the “top” camping area. Through the week there had been a few campervans overnighting a couple of hundred metres away in a carpark, but we had most of the camp to ourselves. Between the overcast afternoon and using the washing machine in the morning we didn’t get our batteries back to full. We still had plenty of leeway, but retired to bed to watch the Saturday movie on the small screen.

Sunday was a great day, sunny and clear and warm. Again there was a westerly breeze which meant that the beach below was relatively sheltered. After a lazy morning we took our breakfast and reading down to the beach to make the most of the day. It was 18 degrees by this stage and a good day for recharging the batteries – both ours and Suzi’s. At one stage we were making 22 amps and for much of the middle of the day the solar power was between 15 and 20 amps. By mid-afternoon we were back to full capacity – always a good way to start the evening. Winter is a two-edged sword with more cloud and lower sun and shorter day-light hours diminishing generation and longer cooler evenings increasing consumption.

Later in the afternoon we had a walk along the beach to the headland that divides the bay. I discovered that the water in our part of the camp had run dry. The water at the nice new composting toilets had run out a few days before. We didn’t know why the water ran out, and weren’t dependant on it, but maybe it was a sign that we needed to be moving on. We had a yummy potato bake for tea, with bacon and mushrooms and watched the Sunday Theatre movie on TV about euthanasia starring Julie Walters.

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