Today’s Happy Hour brew-with-a-view followed a six kilometre coastal trek to the blissfully under appreciated Opua, a mountain-framed port town among the Bay of Islands known for its car ferry to Russell but worth a lot more in terms of unforgettable tranquility. Pleased with myself after discovering this gem of a place, I stalked briskly back along the winding paths and drought ridden forestry for, I reckoned (probably wrongly) a well-deserved beer.

The irksome Nova-Scotian preparing my Monteith’s gave me short shrift. “Walked to Opua? Yeah I ran that this morning.”

“Yeah, while you laboured comically like a noxious human melange of Ray Mears, Neil Oliver and (as always) Alan Partridge, I pissed it like a mountain-munching Chris Brasher. Have that, weakling.”

He didn’t say that. But his deportment did. And he’s clearly knocking off that lush bird from yesterday.


As the seething resentment boiled within my blood, Enjoy The Silence by Depeche Mode kicked in.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

Thank goodness for great British music.

And great Kiwi views. Paihia and The Bay of Islands will take some beating.