Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 18th; Te Puka Tav, Tokumaru Bay



Date: March 18,2011 kayakdownundernzleg2-1020558

Weather: Sunny

Swell: ,1 meter


Distance: 15 meters between the pub and restaurant!

Camp: Te Puka Tavern…. humm

Food Review

Meal: A toasted roasted chicken, tomato and cheese sandwich for Jaime and I indulged in another of Te Pukas’ wonderful burger and fries.

Impression: Good….. good…. good….. what more can I say.

Stars: 9 bright stars…… and this was on a day when we weren’t overly hungry, which is a statement on its own.


9:00 a.m. After a leisurely wake up and relaxing breakfast of scramble eggs, toast, coffee and tea Peter enquires, “So what’s the plan guys?” We stumble and stare at each other searching for an answer….. “Well…..ahhh…. no need rushing….. We’ll just have a wee bit of a relaxing morning and get on the water by noon.” To which Peter replies, “Well, you’re certainly welcome to stay another night.” Our eyes flash for a moment, but we quickly recover and discuss our options logically and reply, “Oh, that is very tempting, but we really should get going….. gotta take advantage of the good weather.”


10:45 a.m. Greg, the owner of Te Puka Tavern and his son Chris have been busily putting their carpentry skills to work on an addition to the business….. accommodation units in a separate building adjacent to the tavern, which will have small kitchenettes. It’s their work break and they’re having coffee and fresh baked carrot cake on the front deck of the tavern, which has a stunning view of Tokomaru Bay. Chris enquires, “So, what’s the plan guys?” Slowing taking my lips from my cappuccino, which by-the-way was brilliantly prepared by Chris who was a barrista during Uni….. I reply, “Oh, we’ll be heading out by noon….. really should take advantage of the good weather ya know.”

Noon: Chris is looking over from the worksite and doesn’t see any kayaks on the boat ramp….. no action what-so-ever….. hummm, he thinks to himself.

Jaime is inside at a restaurant table tapping away at this computer…… editing photos and doing a flurry of uploads to our blogsite while I putter about cleaning and drying kayakdownundernzleg2-03937gear and connecting with loved ones back home. Peter enquires, “So, what’s the plan guys?” Ah…. well…. let’s see…. to which he once again say, “You’re more than welcome to stay another night.” This time without hesitation…. that would be great!.... after all, we really could use a rest day and get caught up on our blog updates. So, today became an official day off and as with most days off it was consumed with lots of time spent on the computer.

We couldn’t have asked for a better spot for it though, being able to gaze out over the fast ocean , and enjoy the scenic beauty that is Tokumaru bay, very awesome spot!~ Jaime

kayakdownundernzleg2-10205515:30 p.m. I head to the bar and pick up a couple of cold pints of dark ale and place one on the table beside Jaime. He looks up and says, “all right…. beer o’clock!” Late afternoon soon became evening, which was filled with wonderful conversation, new friendships, songs and even the participation in a pool tournament. When we returned to our room we both had large grins….. this is such an amazing place…. we are so lucky.

“Now that last Paragraph doesn’t quite capture the magic of our last night” here is a bit of my spin on it to the best I can”. ~ Jaime

There was a beautiful light in the bay, giving the distant cliffs, stretching out and creating the southern edge of the bay, a lavender hue. A mild warmth in the air helps every one banter and drink on the outside patio, while inside the board gets drawn up for the pool comp, Locals roll in from all around as it is Friday night. Characters of all sorts fill the now bustling tavern with banter and laughter, Handles (a bit larger kayakdownundernzleg2-1020540than a pint, with a big handle on the glass) clink and thud onto tables as beverages’ are consumed with merriment. New friends and old meet and exchange stories.

Food is consumed in fast amounts, form giant bowls if fries, to steak burgers, kids run around outside, as the night gets darker. At 8pm the pool competition begins. Dave and I sign up, along with our new made friend Dave W from Zimbabwe. The comp starts of well, Dave and I are in the second round on the two tables, Dave plays a good game, though loses by sinking the white on the play for the black, my game last forever, while playing an equally inapt pool player, Patti. Eventually I win, to cheers of “finally!!”

kayakdownundernzleg2-03941We have made friends with Merl, a large friendly lovely lady, who gets out the guitar and sings the night to a close with great gusto. The Maori culture is alive, passionate and well here in the east cape, and the characters in the tavern broadcast it with pride and dignity. Dave and I go onto the second match, Dave losses again after a great game by snookering himself on the black ball, I get as thrashing, though win, due to my opponent, Heniwai, sinking the white while playing for the black. More handles go down, morekayakdownundernzleg2-03944 friends get made. Dave is out of the tournament, I go onto the third round, due to no credit of my skill. I put a an attempt at a fight, though lose to Ivan, who goes on a losses to Chocco ( a tall strong hairy faced chap), who wins the $70 prize pool.


Dave and I go to call it a night, though Dave W, wrangles us with another round of drinks, and we sit and sing the night to a close with Merl, as people slowly filter out the door. We eventually sneak off to bed, well feed, watered and overwhelmed with joyous entertainment and fun.

The night is hard to truly describe in its pure momentous feeling of a East coast NZ pub full of great NZ characters, Maori songs and culture, and just fun and laid back charm of rural NZ. Priceless and wonderful, I love being able to say I am a Kiwi!! ~ J


Any one looking to travel through the east cape area, must stop a night at Tokumaru bay, and it is a must to stop at Te Puka Tav for Lunch, Dinner or just a couple of drinks and a game of pool or to look out over the great ocean vista’s. They server a mean coffee, have some awesome Hotel rooms going in and have an internet CafĂ©, not to mention all the awesome friendly folk you will meet there. you can also, at time of writing, park and sleep in  your camper van in the parking lot overnight for free as long as you spend a bit inside.

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