Saturday, February 23, 2013

Eating and shopping on Waiheke Island

Hi there.  The shops on Waiheke Island, 40 mins away from the city of Auckland, New Zealand, are sort of weird, but in a nice sort of weird getting-away-from-civilisation way.  There are no what I would call 'ordinary' shops.  There are artsy craftsy souvenir-ish shops, and then there are shops that sell sun-dresses, board shorts, beads, and sarongs. And, really, that is it!   There's a tiny 4-square (mini mart) shop at Oneroa and, hidden away in the middle of the island, at Ostend, away from the day and weekend tourists, is a Countdown Supermarket.  And there are wineries, of course.

Oh, and there were  quite a few cafes.  I remembered to take three photos but was so busy chomping down at other places that I'd finished my meal before I thought of my camera.

'Ricky's' on the main road at Oneroa is very popular.  The  burger I had there was excellent and I loved surreptiously feeding this baby seagull who kept coming up to me with begging eyes and a real loud squawk.  I took a bite out of the burger, then remembered to take a photo, hence the chewed-off corner bit in the photo, sorry about that.

I loved the fish and chip meal at '151 Ocean View', Oneroa.  At last I had discovered a place that gave you fish without batter, just plain old pan-fried.  I sat on the deck and watched the goings-on at Oneroa beach.

On another day I thought that I'd go to Ostend and get a steak meal at a cafe I'd found open when I went supermarket shopping.  The buses on Waiheke only go once an hour.  So, I got dumped off, only to discover that this cafe was shut on Wednesdays.  I now had to hang around for an hour.  I hiked up the hill to proper-Ostend where there were a sprinkle of the usual type of shops.  I went into a cafe called "Get Stuffed'.

I didn't.  'Get stuffed', that is.  It was a terrible meal.  I got a bacon panini.  The panini was so tough, and so burnt that - wait for it! - one of the tines on my fork bent as I was trying to hold the panini down and cut it with my knife.

And I'll finish off with one more grizzle.  Why is it nowadays that cafes bring you a knife and fork wrapped up ever-so-tightly in a serviette?  By the time I manage to claw the serviette off the cutlery, it's in scrappy pieces, and I have to get up and beg for a new serviette.  And by this time my meal is cold!

Here's another pic of Palm Beach. There arent really any true 'palms' on Palm Beach.  There are New Zealand palms, ie Cabbage Trees, and also  NZ Nikau trees (see previous blog photo of my hol home view).   I loved it when I was in Torquay in England a few years back on an Agatha Christie pilgrimage and found that Torquay boast like mad about their palm trees - only to see that it was our Cabbage Trees that coat Torquay. 

I swam three times a day on Waiheke and it was like being in a spa bath.   I swam yesterday at Hataitai Beach .... ooooohhh cold, both weather and water.  I'll have to get acclimatised.



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