Another day of lazing around Napier with Stefan and Harrison today. I started the morning by going through my suitcase, pulling out all the clothes I have actually worn, transferring them to my hiking backpack, and then putting everything I don't actually need (or haven't used) into the suitcase to store at Fay and Frank's while I am off WWOOFing. After the teasing and playful ribbing I received for having two bags whilst travelling on the Stray bus (mainly by travellers who had only packed for a month or so away from home!), and the hassle of moving two bags around, I've decided to lighten my load to just my backpack and hiking backpack. After all, I packed for all sorts of weather, and fortunately I have the option of leaving things at Fay and Frank's. Stefan has also kindly offered to take some things home back to Canada for me (a few souvenirs I have bought that I don't want to lug around).
I also took a wander around Napier this morning, checking out bookstores; since being in New Zealand I have had this inexplicable urge to reread The Lord of the Rings (I can't imagine where that's coming from!). I managed to pick up The Two Towers and The Return of the King from the library in Wanaka as discards ($2 each!), but in perusing four bookstores around Napier, only one had a copy, and it was $25 for the paperback version that would sell for about $10 in Canada! I knew books were expensive here; I just didn't realize they were *that* expensive. My Fellowship of the Ring craving will have to wait until I get to a library, a used bookstore, or home.
At 11:15am Stefan and Harrison met me here at the hostel, and then Harrison and I did some wandering around downtown Napier while Stefan visited an internet café (including a surprise phone call from my mom on my mobile while we were in a bookstore!). For lunch we bought meat pies from Jesters Jaffle Pies on Emerson Street; apparently, it is an art to eat a pie out of a bag and walk at the same time (Harrison failed… his pie's contents gushed out into the bottom of his bag when he took too big of a bite). We then drove up to the Bluff lookout over the Port of Napier, which was less than impressive due to the low cloud cloaking the coastline. However, as we headed past the old hospital and down the hill, the clouds began to lift, and within an hour it was a beautiful sunny day! Go figure.
We stopped at Classic Sheepskins to peruse their selection of slippers, mittens, and slippers, and Harrison could hardly keep himself from doing a bellyflop into the very soft and very inviting piles of sheepskins piled in bins and in the centre of the main showroom. They were indeed very soft and inviting; I would love to have a sheepskin blanket or throwpillow for reading or watching TV. Even though it is sunny and decidedly un-witnery here, my mind is still hardwired to think of December as being cold and snowy, and as such I found myself looking at the mittens, toques, and scarves.
After a quick stroll along the beach it was back to Fay and Frank's, where I spent the afternoon watching Fay teach Harrison how to make cheese scones from her own family recipe, and Frank putter around outside with the edgetrimmer. (Apparently yesterday Stefan kept sneaking outside and unplugging the extension cord while Frank was working, and it took four or five instances of the edgetrimmer mysteriously "dying" before Frank figured out what was going on. Stefan's so cheeky, I love it. :-P ). Harrison and I also pretended to kick around a giant round rock Stefan had brought home as a kid like a soccer ball, and then the three of us all lazed outside on the patio, reading, with Fay and Frank's adopted stray cat, Tiger, sprawled out on the stones in front of us. It was such a beautiful spring afternoon, I was quite content to spend it doing nothing but enjoying a good book.
Dinner was fish and chips (yum!) that Harrison and Frank went and picked up, and once again we all ate in the living room while watching the news. Peggy phoned to talk to Stefan, and I spoke to her as well; it was nice to hear another familiar voice from home. Around 7:30pm Stefan drove me back to the Hostel so he could borrow my wifi connection; apparently the internet café he was at this morning wouldn't let him download some spreadsheets he needed, so he and I sat here in the lounge of the hostel and tapped away at our respective keyboards.
At the end of the evening I gave Stefan my bag of things to take back to Canada for me, as well as my suitcase, which will be residing at Fay and Frank's for the next month or so. We hugged goodbye and I wished him and Harrison a safe journey tomorrow, when they fly out of Napier to Auckland and then Auckland back to rainy/snowy Vancouver. It's been so nice to spend time with the two of them these past two days; a family recharge of sorts. :-) He asked me what I am planning on doing tomorrow, and I mentioned I am thinking of going to the Napier museum, and, weather permitting, going for a stroll on the beach.
Incidentally, I'm sitting in the lounge right now, and I think I've figured out where some of the strangest noises I have ever heard in a dorm room at night were coming from(!): there is a German girl sitting across from me, and she and a friend are looking through a stack of developed photos and she is laughing so hard she is making a clucking/hissing noise (it's freaking annoying, actually). Last night I heard someone making a decidedly similar sound in their sleep…! Oh, the joys of the communal sleeping quarters. Night!