Surprise, surprise still here but our departure is imminent, well in the next day or so anyway.
Our lovely RV friends Steve and Janine returned to blustery weather here on the Coromandel so they arrived to special coffees just to warm them up.
We are enjoying the benefits of charging our batteries without feeling guilty about the amount of gas we were using to run the generator; speaking of which we have been approximately a week since we had to use the generator which is just BLISS!!
We use the gas heater but turn on the furnace lights just so it looks like a fire and Mac and Rose are loving the warmth, cuddling up to a rug and snuggling down after a run on the beach and walk around the camp. They seem really settled and have adapted to our home really well.
The weather was really blustery, although we felt we had an easier time when we saw the weather in Auckland, the wind blew something fierce and the rain came down in buckets but Dogonit survived without complaint. The last two days have been amazing; clear skies and settled seas and it was great to see all the small boats heading out for a day’s fishing!!
We (Steve, Janine, Rodney and I) decided on a bike jaunt to travel the Driving Creek Railway Potteries. What an amazing place and the staff are friendly and helpful!! The pottery is exquisite and learning about the creation of such a unique was place interesting. It all started with a teacher called Barry Brickell who taught in an Auckland school for two terms before deciding it wasn’t for him and moving to the Coromandel to become a potter.
Eventually he sold his house in Coromandel and purchased 60 acres of bush which he set up as a pottery business and to which other potters came from all around New Zealand and overseas. They had to climb the hills to access the clay and wood for the kilns so he built a railway system that zigzagged up the hill. This took him several years as it was done by hand and lots of beer and wine were consumed as was noticeable when travelling the route; some of the retaining walls were built using the empty bottles.
When the bank suggested he needed to pay his mortgage they suggested to him that he should open the property to the public and so the Driving Creek railway and potteries became a place to visit. At the ticket office and as you travel up the hillside you are bombarded by a delightful deluge of statues and faces and all manner of imaginative creatures. It was a visual symphony to the soul and eyes. All along the track you had to keep your eyes peeled for hidden gems in the bush and it just made you smile the whole way. Entering the tunnels, the walls were festooned with faces and characters, but I think Rod’s favourite place was Helen’s Pool which was surrounded by bare-breasted maidens.
The Eyeful Tower at the top used to be a lighthouse and has the most amazing views of the Coromandel with a sight-seeing platform allowing access to the 360 degree views. Another favourite place was the carp pool at the top which had hidden glass eels to the draw the eye.
They have planted over 2000 Kauri trees and the property is also vermin-proofed with traps continually checked.
It was also great to watch the zip-liners whizzing through the bush overhead and they looked to be high on adrenaline as they passed over.
I cannot recommend this place more highly.
Barry; the gentleman who created this oasis in the bush died at 80 and his coffin was taken to the Eyeful Tower and he was then buried at the Hoki Mai junction on the hill as this was a place he often stopped in the evenings to enjoy the solitude to eat a hunk of cheese and drink a bottle of wine
After biking back to Coromandel we stopped to pick up fish and chips for a late lunch and returned home to Mac and Rose for a run on the beach.
This morning we farewelled the wonderful Coromandel and Long Bay Camp and with some trepidation prepared to de-camp. Rod had spend the night assessing how he would maneuver off the site with some concerns whether the area was dry enough or whether we would need to use the tractor, but Dogonit eased off the grass and we set off for Miranda.
The trip back along the hills and the coast seemed easier than the drive there but we were still happy to travel through Thames and reach our destination.
We are very impressed with the set-up here at Miranda Holiday Park; they have great facilities for those with fur babies each parking bay is fenced off so no need to erect our fence. We are now settled down for the next four days at least and will advise our next destination on the next week’s blog.
As you can tell we are living the dream!!! Miss our friends and family but running away from home was the best thing we have done!!