Some days are just made for taking a daycation……………and last Friday was that day. It was one of those days that capture the best of autumn.
Calm, with a sun that is now lower in the sky, but perfectly positioned to shine through the gold leaves of the vines and poplars as we headed out
of the valley.
We were off heading north to Kekerengu on the Marlborough coast, a blink and you miss it spot halfway between Kaikoura and Blenheim.
We have been wanting to check out The Store, since we started hearing good reports from locals and guests, of its rejuvenation under the new owners.On such a perfect day driving the Kaikoura coastline is magic.
The salt spray casts a hazy finish, and diffuses the bright light . It is breath taking, the first dusting of snow on the Kaikoura mountain range is
gleaming in the sunshine, at times the mountains jut right into the sea, and the road has been cut through a promontory.
It always brings back childhood memories of travelling up here as a family heading to Kaiteriteri for holidays. Dad would always, prompted by
us in the back seat, toot in the road tunnels, and parents still do it now as it echo’s wonderfully as you drive through.
We stopped at a small beach before Kaikoura to smell the sea air and walk the dog when I literally almost stood on a seal. Basking on a nest
of kelp he blended in so perfectly and was almost indistinguishable from his brown bedding. Not that he was bothered by our presence, just lazily looked up as I carefully backed away.He had friends close by one hopped up onto the rocks to show off his fine form and pose for the camera.
Kekerengu is on a bend in the road The Store has been here for a number of years owned by Richard and Susan McFarlane, one of their sons
has returned with his wife from Auckland and taken it over.
They have revamped the interior, it looks fresh and smart, and the menu has been reworked .A location that is hard to beat looking straight
out to the ocean. You can dine inside, or on the deck with the sound of the waves thumping the shore in the background interspersed by birdsong.
A glass of local rose, and a bowl of excellent seafood chowder hit just the right note, we were happy diners.
You can see why The Store is so popular……………….what a location!
On our way home, as the iconic Nins Bin was closed for Crayfish (lobster) purchases,so we bought fresh, just off the boat groper for dinner.
Hightailing it back home, as we had a call from some unexpected guests who wanted a bed for the night………that’s what happens when you play hooky for the day, we reflected on how beautiful our country is and how enjoyable it is to just up sticks and take a day off to enjoy it. So often we are en-route to somewhere and are unable to take the time to enjoy the journey and stop along the way. It is something we are going to do more of.
I hope you have enjoyed this road trip along the South Island’s east coastline.