Cape Palliser and Before

We had a very quiet night in Featherston behind the library. The weather unlike up north was tranquil and dry. Nice late start with having to wake Mac and Rose at 7:30 when the call of nature forced me out of the fart sack.

Leashed the dogs and walked to the dog park where we found Mac a new ball which is manky and old just like he likes them. Rose did her usual where she had to do number twos after leaving the dog park with the bins specifically for dog poos. Opposite the Featherson Police station was a general park waste bin which saved me having to carry the green plastic bag.

The Featherson Saturday farmers market (only in Featherson and only on Saturday) was in in full swing when we got there. It is small but very good for fresh produce and BACON Butties. Fresh produce took the back burner as with two dog leashes and two bacon butties I had very little room for veg or eggs. Donna was gratefull for the small token of sustenance for breakfast.

Departed Featherston at approximately 10:00 am on route to Cape Palliser. We took a detoured route from what the Mrs Garmin wanted and after multiple “recalculating” we went past the old World War 1 training camp and were disappointed as there is no memorial where it had once been.

Driving down into Palliser Bay was just another WOW moment especially as the Cook Strait was a mill pond – Unfortunately we could only see a faint outline of the south Island due to the low cloud.

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The road around Palliser Bay towards the light house was good an experience that would have better suited a four wheel drive.

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We had a great experience with seals sleeping next to the road and the rugged coast line. It was hard to believe that at the light house we were more southerly than Nelson and Blenheim.

Due to the signs saying that long vehicles should not proceed we turned prior to arriving at the light house. I do not think either of us really were upset. (the track looked steep and long).

We traveled back along Palliser Bay had lunch and then parked at a POP (Park over Property) for the night. Very quiet and the view exceptional. Hoping to go fishing but the host advised that it was just a graveyard for fishing tackle due to the kelp and the rocks. Boo Hoo for me.

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Waikanae

So here are……another day, another destination!!

Rod started the morning with a big walk in Plimmerton before we moved on.; while I did some ‘housework’ After our usual WSS (water/shit/station) stop we arrived in Waikanae and pulled into the freedom camping space at Waikanae Estuary. What a great location for self-contained vehicles (no public toilets)!! The best of both water worlds with the estuary and beach close to hand!!

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Mac and Rose have had a ball romping around finding dead things to roll in and playing tag!! One of the reasons for choosing this location was to meet up with two ‘old’ friends – Jo and Beth. It was a great reunion and it felt like no time had passed. It never ceases to amaze me when this happens; I haven’t seen Jo since 2007/8 but it was like we only met up yesterday……..well until her son Matthew arrived who is due to attend Otago (next year)? and was only 5 when I last saw him…………..feeling my age.

We enjoyed the cuisine at the local cafe and we have talked and laughed through some great memories!! We are unsure about how long we will stay but we know there is a weather low on the horizon pending Saturday which we want to miss as we travel towards Cape Palliser.

We were approached by two people today both of whom were interested in our canine set-up and asked to take photos – one of them is a caravanner and has dog and wanted to create her own set-up for her dog.

The other was a part-time journalist who writes for a small publication positive stories about every-day people who do positive things. While talking to her about our set-up she asked if she could write an article about how we are travelling with two dogs in an RV. Although we were initially reluctant (based on past experience) she allayed our concerns and we spent an hour with her while she listened to what we had done to ensure Mac and Rose enjoyed their RV experience…………funny how people seem interested

Birthday and Anzac Day

What a glorious few days!!!! Our adventure in Wellington began when we arrived and had to find the NZMCA park in Plimmerton……bless Garmin; it had not updated one of the off-ramps and we initially missed our turn. With some creative manoeuvring we turned around and eventually found our night’s end goal. Reasonably impressed with the facilities – it had potable water, a dump station but it is all gravel so luckily there is a park to take Mac and Rose.

The following morning which was also my birthday; we headed for our next destination which was the Barnett Street carpark (a Wilson carpark that accommodates RV/campervan parking overnight for the princely sum of $30). It is right next to Te Papa so score!!!!

Te Papa did not disappoint!!! They provided a mobility scooter for Heather at no charge so she could explore Te Papa comfortably. The Gallipoli exhibition triggered a multitude of emotions – frustration, humility, anger, pity, pride, love………these men gave everything they had for the glory of war and their motherland. They suffered so much and it was epitomised in the amazing models in the exhibition. Weta Workshops should rightly be proud of what they created!!

 

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I loved the maps that showed the battles and troop movements and the stories!!!!!!! As an ex-Navy medic I certainly appreciated that the medics – Doctors/Nurses etc were also acknowledged. Well done Te Papa!!!!

 

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The evening ended in a wonderful birthday dinner (thanks Heather); and we laughed and shared memories which just made the day special. Many thanks to all those who sent birthday wishes – they were so appreciated and made me feel special!!!

The following morning (Anzac Day); we were up early and walked up to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the 6 a.m. service.  It was as always poignant and I wore my Grandfather’s medals with pride!! The service was lovely, but I was disappointed that the crowd did not clap the veterans as they marched off the parade ground as they do in Waikumete Cemetary as a mark of respect and to thank them for their service.

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Anyway; the rest of the day was spent relaxing while Heather went back to Te Papa to view other exhibits. We moved on and had a late lunch in Lyall Bay before heading to the Airport to drop Heather off for her return to Christchurch.

 

Last night

We had a most amazing day yesterday/today!! After Castlepoint we headed to Tinui Cafe & Bar at a little place called Tinui. It has the infamous honour of holding the first formal ANZAC celebration. Back in 1914 there were a thousand single men in the area; many of whom volunteered and some lost their lives.

I contacted the Tinui Cafe and following a prompt response we parked in a beautifully kept park land next to the Cafe. It was totally fenced which meant we didn’t have to put up the fence and Mac and Rose checked it out thoroughly as we were the only occupants for the evening.

We had pre-dinner drinks followed by dinner and cannot fault either the service or the meal…..they went the extra mile and it was most appreciated so we left a very positive comment on the NZMCA site.

The sleeping arrangements on Dogonit have been interesting to say the least…..Heather and I are currently sharing a platonic bed while Mac, Rose and Rodney are in the spare as Heather currently has crook hip. I made it perfectly clear that Heather keep to her side of the bed and no hanky-panky and so far she has honored my request lol. We have laughed and laughed through the last few days and it has been therapeutic. 

This morning we headed to the Tinui Anzac Walkway so we could do the walk through spectacular views, plantation forest, farmland and native bush – peaking at the ANZAC Cross and trig point at the top of the Tinui Taipo.

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It was in 1916 that Rev Ashcroft held an ANZAC ceremony and erected the cross. The original cross has been replaced by a more modern cross. 

Rod and I intended to make the tramp with the dogs and were disappointed to see that dogs were banned so following discussion about the difficulty of the walk I stayed with Heather and the dogs. Rod’s comments supported the difficulty of the walk when he returned so it was just as well I didn’t attempt it.

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We travelled back to Masterton to find a laundry and then travelled to Carterton for a dump station as the only one in Masterton is in a camp ground.

We arrived at our night’s destination around 5 pm following some confusing directions…………..we are spending the night in the NZMCA Plimmerton park and about to enjoy roast beef, potatoes, onions and carrots……yum. Certainly not doing it hard in regards to food!!

 

Airport Pick up Service

Left Timona park early Saturday morning on route to the Palmerston Airport to pick up Heather. On route we called into RD1 for socks, then Mitre 10 for a generator and finally Pak and Save for meat for the dogs. All completed prior to 12:30 – To the dog park to give Mac and Rose a run – Well done Palmerston North great facility.

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Palmerston North Airport was blowing a gale – I can see why they have all the wind farms on the ranges. Heather arrived on time and settled on to Dogonit for the trip to our overnight stay at Eketahuna camp ground. The trip over the ranges was uneventful but when descended down to Woodville we got got caught side on by a mighty gust which made the old butt pucker and moved Dogonit to the side of the road. Welcome to the Waiarapa!!! The weather was crap and the ground at Eketahuna campground wet and boggy so found a spot on the hard and hooked up to power and settled in for the night.

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This mornings weather was in stark contrast to the previous day with brillant sunshine a calm conditions – We had a slow start to the day and cruised slowly over to Castle Point. We found a convenient carpark and wandered up to the lighthouse – Great views and worth the walk.

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Will move on later this afternoon to a POP at the Tinui Cafe / Bar that we passed on the way in to Castle Point and will park up there tonight.

Motor Home living in the bad weather is not so bad

We moved on from Rangiwahia early yesterday morning. We would recommend the park it was so quiet and in the middle of a nestled farming community. Rose however did want to use the new hot/cold outdoor shower prior to leaving and so found the largest and smelliest chook poo  to have a roll in. I think she is two minds as to weather the new shower is good or bad. From my prospective it was brilliant and did the job admirably.

A slow drive through the country side to Fielding where we did our normal fill and empty of the utilities then headed to the old familiar Timona park. we found a good spot and parked side on to the wind and set up the Dog pen in the shelter of the van.

This morning we made a hike to the Fielding Farmers market were we bought the majority of our needs at Food town on the way home – go figure re the market.

Donna had friends over this  afternoon and drinks have been consumed and every one is mellow and looking forward to a quiet night.

Battery is running low so will post and catch up tomorrow.

Tonight’s destination – Rangiwahia

After a reasonable restful night we took the dogs for a walk along the lake’s boardwalk behind the local golf course. Although the weather was a game of two halves – sometimes the sun shone and at other times it was wet and blustery we were dressed for the conditions. An hour’s walk and a stressful phone-call to Acacia (intermittent fault with solar system) followed by a second stressful call to another RV company in Taupo – we left Maraeti and headed south.

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Rod deals with the technical aspects on Dogonit – I am the ‘2IC’ but even I was pissed off at the Taupo dealer explaining that the reason why they don’t explain technical equipment to clients is because they are old and wouldn’t understand – it is simpler to hide the wonderful abilities this Dethleff’s RV has. I felt insulted on behalf of the oldies who are financial enough to purchase but not understand what they have ‘under the hood’.

Anyway rant over………..we ambled our way towards Taurangi  via a little bay called Pukawa nestled into the shores of Lake Taupo. Gorgeous location, somewhere we would certainly consider returning to.

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In Taurangi where we had lunch and the dogs took another stroll around the dog park. We cruised along the desert road looking for a side road which we thought was once known as Access 13 (we are talking about a memory 40+ years old) so took the turning and travelled along a road less travelled. The road was obviously not ‘well-maintained’ if at all and we had to play dodge the potholes. When we reached our programmed destination it was obvious that we would not be staying here for the night so Capt. Bosson handed his ‘2IC’ the reigns with the goal of selecting our night’s destination.

After due consideration we decided to stop at Rangiwahia and programmed the destination……..we were now off the ‘beaten track’ . The road was windy and narrow but the view was spectacular!! Deep ravines and high cliffs made the backdrop for our trip memorable!! In fact we could compare it favourably with the Manawatu Gorge.

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We reached our destination – a tiny little village – no dairy, no garage, a volunteer fire station. The overnight stop is in the back of the local community hall with powered sites, toilets and a dump station. PERFECT!!!! We are the only ‘guests’ and it is sooo quiet……what more could one ask for!!!

Enjoying a quiet pre-dinner drink and just down-stressing……….good night all!!

The big trip

On the road again after a rather exhilarating trip to Hong Kong for the 7’s but did arrive home needing a blood transfusion and a brain and liver transplant (we have not put it down to the drink or the excessive food or lack of sleep but just our young fragile age).

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We have planned this trip prior to taking delivery of the our beloved Dogonit and it is a trip best described as giving respect to those that respected our freedom and made New Zealand along with the Tangatawhenua and the early settlers what we are today as a nation (good or bad). Our initial major milestone being Pukeahu the tomb of the Unknown Soldier on ANZAC dawn service.

On planning the trip we had envisaged a relaxed take off from 39 Bernard Magnus but as always we seemed to stumble at the last post or two making the departure bitter sweet. With our last visit to the Acasia Motors whom we bought the motor home from and whom we had organised to order the last items to make Dogonit how we envisaged her when we ordered her. We found out last Wednesday this was not to be. I had but two choices either marry the owner to our first born or start quoting the Consumer Guarantees Act. The Consumer Guarantee’s Act worked well and the owner has been spared.

The weather as usual was totally in sync with the start of the trip by literally causing as much stress and mayhem and giving us all an unexpected baths. We finally departed Pokeno at 1 PM and finally had smiles on our face as we were being buffeted by the wind going past Mercer on the way south.

We made good time and were at Little Waipa  for the night. The place is what has made the day just the best. Next to the top reaches of lake Karipiro (dogs are good) and just awesome views of the river/lake and the country side.

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A barbeque (gas supplied free) and self-composting CLEAN toilets on offer. Thank you Waikato and Auckland please look and listen and rather than driving away visitors and residents try and attract people to stay and spend.  Someone has to pay for the lovely new kerbs and intersection near the new Mayors residence out Kumeu way.

Moving south tomorrow not sure as to the destination just the direction. The weather is going to play a major part in the final resting place.

No internet this evening so this post will be posted tomorrow. (As if you care)