Waihi and the Best Cafe and the Big Storm

Monday 11 May
We were up early again, this time for appointments in Waihi, the next town north of Katikati. We had liked it last time we were there and were keen to return. Wyn had a hair appointment, which we were there by 10am for. On the drive up we’d remarked on the unusual clouds out to sea, without realising just how unusual they were.
While Wyn was getting her hair done, I wandered around the shops, starting at the New World. They don’t have my preferred brand of breakfast cereal but at least they offer a better range than the Woolworths in Katikati. In the $2 shop I bought a Sudoku book – maybe the beginning of the end? Neither of us had ever tried one of the puzzles but it seemed it might be something to keep our minds working over the winter.
Last time we were there we tried the Banana Pepper Cafe, and this time we went straight back there, for lunch. If anything, we were even more impressed. For value and service and yummy food they would be hard to beat. In fact I’d rate them the best cafe we’ve tried so far in over 5 months on the road. Wyn had pumpkin and bacon soup with some home-made bread, and an apple and boysenberry tart with yoghurt and cream – all up about $9. I had a savoury muffin, croissant with ham and cheese, an apple crumble tart with yoghurt, and a coffee – all up about $13. Refuelled and content, we checked out a couple of galleries and headed home to start work at 3.30pm.

There was talk of a big hailstorm at Papamoa along from Mt Maunganui. The hailstones were up to 20c piece size, and 10cm deep in places. They had closed the Bayfair shopping mall because of flood damage from the roof – this was the mall we had been to with the kids back in April. The evening shift was a shorter one, and we were finished our cleaning duties by 8.15pm. Once back home we were able to check out the storm pictures on the internet, including photos of huge waterspouts over the sea. The weather system passed over Papamoa and headed east, so the unusual clouds we had seen to the west at 9.45am may have been part of that system. Whatever, the storm over Papamoa was very unusual Wyn heard later that her grandson at Papamoa had been riding the hail down a hill on his boogie board. Apparently the hail storm lasted an hour, and took days to disappear completely.
Tea was lashings of avocado on fresh bread from the cafe in Waihi – cute homemade and wholesome loaves for $1.50. And supper was a couple of their $1 afghans, with real chocolate melted onto the top. The Banana Pepper Cafe is definitely top, a 10/10.

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