Seems like forever since we last posted a blog but I guess that is more about travel than time.
Since we left Okato we have travelled back through Hawera staying at the South Taranaki Club overnight before transiting Whanganui and heading for one of my favourite places; Feilding.
On-route just outside RNZAF Base Ohakea we had out first “All Stop” notice for the police weigh-bridge. We were both interested to see our weight but we were no sooner on the bridge than we were waved at and given the green light. That’s a pass in our books anyway lol.
We stayed again at the Coach House Museum after receiving an email from the local council who could not advise the height that they trim their trees which meant, alas not stopping at Timona Park.
Having stayed here previously we knew we would have no issues with parking etc and are always made to feel most welcome. We parked up and sent out a notice advising we had arrived back. We were visited by Christine first then Donna came the following day and as usual, it was such a pleasure to kick back and enjoy their company. Apart from meeting old friends I like to visit my grandfather who is buried in a small cemetary in Halcombe; he was the only grandparent growing up so extra special to us.
We were invited to dinner in Palmerston North with Sue who I served with in Waiouru at the ATG hospital in 1976-1977. Had a great evening meeting up with her and her three dogs taking Mac and Rose along for the visit.
While at the Coach House Museum we were treated to the Austin Vintage Club arriving with lots of cars and some drivers dressed to match their vehicles.
Rod took Mac and Rose to Timona Park for a good run each day, as an aside they travel so well in the back of the truck; as long as I ensure ‘Bony” is in their hammock, there are no issues and they tend to sleep the trip away.
I have to mention our takeout dinner; we asked friends what we should have for our takeout and ignored them as we didn’t feel like Indian that night. We decided on fish and chips, cause what can go wrong. I went in and ordered and after the order was completed I asked where the nearest dairy was so we could have a chip butty. We got back to Dgonit and opened our food parcel and boy were we disappointed. The fish fillets looked more like a snitzel and the chips were soggy…………….not mentioning the name as we did post our displeasure on their website, enough said!!
At the end of our slightly extended stay (always something to do on Dogonit) we headed for Taihape to stay at the Gumtree Camp Ground. The actual location is absolutely gorgeous and very private BUT the entrance was a bit dicky. It is located on a small road with a narrow entrance (although totally ok if….) there wasn’t a tree to the left as we came through the gate which made it so difficult to negotiate. Having said that, we did manage with some very good driving by my driver. Pays to keep good staff!!
We spent two nights here luxuriating in solitude; no noisy neighbours, very little traffic noise, wonderful!!
Our next destination was Turangi where we stayed at the local RSA (great place to stay); we were met by Johnny and Diane ((Johny used to work for IBT). We had a coffee and natter before Rod and I headed for the pharmacy to pick up my script and fresh bread.
After lunch we relaxed as the trip had been rough, the roads bumpy and Rod was focused the whole way through the desert road. However we had moments of nostalgia as we pass through Waiouru and HMNZS Irirangi where we both served after we married in 1976…..such early memories!!! I love the mountains, and the starkness of the desert road, it is beautiful no matter the season.
It was then time to have a shower and toddle over to the RSA Club with Johnny and Diane to have dinner. Thumbs up Turangi RSA you were great hosts, the food was delicious and the staff welcoming.
We only stayed one day; waving farewell to Johnny and Diane who were heading south while we were headed to another favourite location; National Equestrian Centre in Taupo where we are meeting up with other friends from Pukekohe; Graham and Irene.
The weather is a bit hit and miss with intermittent cool gusts which make being outside a little uncomfortable but that’s ok because it was Prada Cup weekend again…..disappointing outcome (sad face), no competition at all.
A great day Sunday with the arrival of Graham and Irene (from Pukekohe A & P Showgrounds), who are staying for a couple of days on-route south to the Manawatu. Mac and Rose were ecstatic to see them and there was great excitement over happy hour catching up on news from the North and watching the equine events taking place. We were very taken with a very young young rider: Harriet and her wee horse Aria who were competing in the dressage competition. Watching Harriet’s Mum was a treat too, no theatrics, just really calm as she supported Harriet practicing for a pretty long time….over an hour each time.
The following day we went for a tiki tour as it was Graham and Irene’s first time staying at the National Equestrian Centre and we visited the bottom-most part of the Aratiatia falls run-off. We waited for the sirens indicating the 8, 5 and 2 minute warning before the sluice gates opened at the top, watching the trout and ducks who did not appear to be daunted by the huge amounts of water flooding over the rocks.
Back ‘home’ for lunch before taking time out to shower and prepare for the evening…….another shared meal which was just delicious before bedtime beckoned.
This morning saw the departure of Irene and Graham off to Napier leaving us with more fond memories to recall.