Boxing Day and we have been for a power walk along the shore. It’s a familiar walk ; we’ve house swapped in Tauranga before. The tide is out and there are the familiar Pied Oystercatches strolling along the sands.
Our accommodation for three weeks in Tauranga is a Beach Bach. A Bach is the New Zealand expression for any dwelling with a holiday / leisure theme to it. It can be anything from an old shack or caravan by the beach to a more palatial style residence; usually it refers to a holiday type home, but in this instance it is the main residence. It’s the home of Karen and Owen Cooney with whom we are house swapping.
Karen shows us around on Christmas Eve. She is quite an interior designer and everything is spacious and white with a few touches of colour; everything is carefully chosen and crafted. The Bach is right on the beach or estuary and windows open out on the north and the west to give wonderful waterfront views. Karen has made a meticulous list of all we need to know and has even included details of what to do in case of a Tsunami. ‘Don’t worry,’ she says, ‘it’s not likely to happen’
We make a quick dash to the super market. Just to buy a few bits and pieces; nothing much. We spend over 250 dollars. There are quite a few last minute shoppers but it’s not the hustle and bustle it would be in the UK. There’s only one person in front of us at the checkout and every till has its own packer. We just unload the goods on to the conveyor and the packer packs them neatly into bags and loads up the trolley. In New Zealand parlance it’s called a ‘trundler’ and it after unloading it at your car you take back to the ‘trundler park’.