20 November 2018
Obviously the seed of excitement had been planted in Cornelia’s mind, as she woke just after 08:00 with one thing on her mind…swimming with Kayda.
She scoffed her WeetBix, brushed her teeth and was ready to swim by 09:00! We walked up to find Kylie and the girls, but they weren’t in their chalet. We were just on our way to check the play park when we saw them going up the hill. They had been to the beach already, but Kayda was just about to have a photo shoot for the holiday park, so wasn’t allowed to get her hair wet. Both girls were pretty upset by this, so Kylie went to check what time the shoot would be taking place. In the meantime, Bugsy and I got into the pool, although she was refusing to do any swimming and, as the pool was 1.8 metres (and I am teeeensy bit shorter than that!), I couldn’t reach the bottom, so it was a bit of a non-event! She was too scared to go on the long water slide, and didn’t want to play in the fountains. 🙄 To my great relief, Kayda arrived in her swimsuit and was allowed to play. She had some photos done while she was going down the slide and her presence perked up Cornelia. Kayda convinced Bugsy to have a go on the slide, lifting her up and pushing her down. Unfortunately, as Bugsy landed in the water, Kayda set off and landed right on top of her quite hard, plunging her down under water. She resurfaced in shocked tears, and Kayda was immediately apologetic, and amazingly, convinced her to have another go with the promise that she would wait until I told her it was clear. Success!
But soon it was time for Kayda to move on for another part of her photo shoot, and actually it was time for us to leave too, prompting some sorrowful tears from Cornelia and her mournful question, “We will see her again, won’t we?”.
Back at the RV, Ian had more or less completed all the final requirements (emptying the water etc), and we were ready to go. Once again, we were sad to leave and felt we could have happily stayed a few more days to play and explore, especially as we drove through the pretty little town of Waihi, on our way back to Auckland, which we hadn’t made time to visit.
Our journey back to the Maui depot was uneventful, bar my dear husband trying to save $45 by driving around different service stations trying to find one that would top up our gas bottle, rather than replace it, which seemed to be the norm. Eventually, he conceded, although he was happy to have found a station swapping them for $12 less than anywhere else! This took over an hour of our time, and whilst he sorted out the gas and diesel, I made cheese rolls for lunch, which we all wolfed down.
We rumbled into the parking lot and Ian went straight off to the car hire at the airport. I tidied up and packed all the food and bits & pieces away into bags, then Bugsy and I played a game and ate shortbread biscuits, before heading into the waiting lounge in anticipation of Ian’s return.
He was gone for about an hour, returning with a car that was smaller than we had expected, but into which we could just about squeeze everything! We were fully prepared for our big complaint to be heard, but the man in front of us also had also been complaining and had been told to send the manager an email – conveniently he was not around – and the woman Ian dealt with would clearly have been unable to help us resolve our issue anyway. We asked for the manager’s business card and she asked me to take a photo of it, as there weren’t very many cards left. I was equally unhelpful saying that no, we didn’t want a photo, we would take the card, and if he was low on cards, he needed to order some more for himself.
All the while, Cornelia was entertaining herself by piling up the cushions on the sofa, being very patient. As we left the depot, she asked where Ki-Bell was, and having been told she had been taken off for a wash and clean, yelled “Bye, Ki-Bell!” before hopping into our tiny new car.
Getting out of Auckland took some time due to the volume of traffic, but once we’d left the main highway, we cruised across to the Coramandel peninsula, a couple of hours away, without any more delays. Even the rain didn’t seem to slow us down, and we were lucky enough to see a rainbow ahead of us, a bright light against the very dark clouds ahead! Even Cornelia was excited about it, exclaiming “Ooh, We haven’t seen a rainbow for quite a while!”. Then, any remaining sunshine disappeared and the rest of the drive was in torrential rain and the temperature fell to 9 degrees.
It had, at least, stopped by the time we arrived at Hot Water Beach campsite, where we were booked into a unit, on the amusingly named “Long Way”, consisting of a bunk bed room, and a main room with a double bed, kitchenette and dining table, and a separate bathroom. Before we had even unpacked, we went up to the fish ‘n’ chips stand to order our supper. It was already 19:00, and I wasn’t in the mood to cook and wash up! We were just behind a large order, so were advised that it would be a 20 minute wait, and we spent the time in the playpark, exhausting Cornelia in readiness for bed.
Half an hour later, we were back in our unit, plated up with Australian Ninja Warrior on the TV! We had just been having a look for the news channel and happened upon it and were instantly absorbed by it. I showered with Cornelia who has never before been so cooperative, keen to watch the rest of the show, before she went to bed! She had made herself a circus tent, using the stripy beach towels as curtains around her bunk, and with the enticement of a morning at the beach tomorrow, she was soon fast asleep.