Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cross country discovery in the 86

Over the weekend my partner had arranged to test drive a TRD 86 and an RS265 Trophy for Performance Car magazine, so we spent both Saturday and Sunday driving around the outskirts of Auckland having a bit of fun! On Saturday we hopped in the TRD and headed west out to Piha beach, following Marcus (Performance Car's assistant editor) in the Renault.

For the first part of the trip, half of the road was closed off for a marathon - bad luck!

But that only lasted for a short while, and then it was onto the west coast via Piha Rd.

It was a LOT of fun driving through the twisty roads on the way out to Karekare beach too, such a thrill!

Our plan was to do a quick shoot of the cars - that was until the dark clouds looming overhead gave way to a spot of wet weather.

So we stopped in for breakfast at the Piha Cafe instead!

After that we headed over to the shore where North Shore Toyota hosted an 86 event, unveiling their Cusco/TRD ZN6 project and also giving fellow 86 owners the chance to park up and show off their cars...

...new and old! I'll post up the rest of my photos from the meet on here tomorrow.

On Sunday we decided to head east, driving through Clevedon and Kawakawa bay...

...convoying with our friend Daniel in his clean Type R EK...

...until we got to Kaiaua, a small coastal town bordering the Firth of Thames. 

Their fish and chip shop is delicious. Fresh snapper and hot chips with a can of L&P - you can't get much more 'New Zealand' than this! It was here that I had a strange encounter and I've spent the last couple of days thinking about whether I should share it on here or not.

But then it made me realise something really important, so I decided yes - it would be appropriate to share. It wasn't until we were driving into Kawakawa bay that all of a sudden literally hundreds of little memories starting filtering into my brain. I actually grew up on a property bordering on the Hunua Ranges, the side opposite to Kaiaua, though I moved away when I turned twelve years old. Driving along this road, whilst being thrown around corners in the 86, memories started to flow back - chasing autumn leaves in the park flashing past on my left, rock-pool hunting, pony riding and picnics in Kawakawa bay, all the trips I used to go on with my family when I was a kid. As we pulled up into the Fish 'n' Chip shop parking lot, I suddenly felt the urge to shout out 'there was a funny coloured cat here!' as I remembered the time I stopped here with my family and a tortoiseshell/white cat sat around the customers on the balcony of the little shop.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked in there and THIS cat is sitting there on the table (yes, on the table) meowing at me. I had to text my dad and ask him 'How old was I when we came here that time?' to which his reply was 'Eight'. So this exact same cat has been at this shop for 15 years? I came to the conclusion that this must have been one of it's kittens, that or this is some kind of spiritual guardian angel cat or something. The whole thing just left me scratching my head, but then it made me realise an important lesson.

I've lived back in Auckland now for over three years now, and it's taken me this long to drive out here and experience these awesome twisty mountain roads, to eat this mouth watering snapper and to come back into contact with my feline spirit guardian. WHY IS THAT? I quickly reassured myself that it was because we don't have usually have a fun 'driver's car' to take on trips like this. I felt like mashing my head into my newspaper full of hot chips as I suddenly thought of my MX-5, the 'world's most popular and affordable sports car' - though maybe not anymore since the arrival of the 86 - gathering dust in my garage.

Why it's taken me until this past weekend to rediscover such a beautiful area only an hour from my home in the city, I don't know. But driving in the 86 over the weekend made me realise that there really just isn't any excuse to not get out of the city once in a while to explore our gorgeous green countryside, especially with my Eunos Roadster. It's time to get the old girl out of hibernation and back on the road, where she belongs!

Note. If anyone can tell me more about that cat, I'd love to know!!!

1 comment:

  1. I love this adventure story! And I'm a vet tech so I can tell you cats can live to be 20 years old nowadays. It would be no surpirse if the calico is the same one from your childhood. I have a patient where I work that is 21! Almost as old as I am! LOL!
    @britdoug on IG


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