Been a while since we last published early February. I realised then that I hadn’t added about our trip to Ngongataha in Rotorua; after departing Taupo we headed towards the NZMCA park to spend a few days before heading north. We were sent on a detour by Rod’s new truck navigation system which indicated a detour close to the park. We ended up having to drive around Lake Rotorua which lengthened our trip by a good half-hour and some teeth gritting bends before arriving at the camp.
There are three terraces at the park and on arrival we checked out the top level but it didn’t take us more than a few seconds to decide we would prefer not to have to park between the narrow lines. We headed towards the lower terrace where there was only one other vehicle and set up camp with plenty of space.
We did a trip to The Redwood Forest as were advised there were some great off-leash dog walks. Mac and Rose loved every moment; so much so that when it was time to leave Rose would not look at us or come on command until we went right up to her.
On our second day we were joined by Stephen and Heidi who we had met up with in Taupo and they parked their Cougar 5th Wheeler alongside Dogonit. We had met Steve before but hadn’t actually met Heidi who made our day by turning up with a glass of wine to introduce herself. We had a thoroughly enjoyable few days before departing and heading towards Pukekohe.
We were met by Irene and Graham and plied with fresh garden produce from the vege garden that had been planted at Franklin A & P Showgrounds. It felt wonderful to be greeted so effusively and felt a bit like a homecoming. We like Pukekohe and if it wasn’t in the Auckland region might have considered making it our Base. Another great surprise was the arrival of Donna and Allen who arrived and were staying for the night before heading home. Another happy hour and some reminiscing about Tuarenikau in the Wairarapa.
This camp is our favourite place to complete any maintenance required and to complete our 6 month COF. Time to get the tools out and to make a list of anything we needed/wanted from the US. We had had a travel issue with the back blinds so wanted to get the part before we headed north for the winter.
List made we started our maintenance and it has been great to complete each task. We knew we would have to travel to Greenhithe to uplift parcels so did a reconnaissance of anything we wanted to return and to pick up . We also arranged GP visits; did blood tests etc prior and off we went.
Rod completed his HT license medical (have to say he was a little surprised when they started a cognitive test for an 82 yr old and his favourite saying when I forget anything is to repeat the name/address he had to memorise for the test). A check-in with our GP clarified that he was not required to complete the test and we moved on. We did the mea culpa thing – yes our cholesterol and liver results may be anormal due to friends joining us the day before our blood tests. No names, no finger pointing Elle.
Lucky that we did our blood tests first as I currently require Vitamin B12 shots x 6. Had one in the surgery and volunteered to self-inject for the next 5 so it saved me having to travel or find a medical practice nearby. Two down, four to go………self-injecting not a problem after approximately 2 years of practice post surgery for Acromegaly.
Apart from health checks, we have had a list of out of the ordinary tasks. Applying for new drivers licenses, applying for superannuation etc. Have completed my superannuation documentation online but with lockdown still haven’t completed updating our licenses.
Took the truck for a COF; passed but have had some issues with braking system on Dogonit and have discussed these with an auto-electrician who will start the work in the next week or two.
Mac and Rose love being here as there are great rabbit warrens and stock yards to explore with Poppy. They have reasonable freedom and are becoming quite well-behaved staying close to Dogonit when not in the pen. Rose in particular loves riding the mule with Graham and as you can see shows some reluctance to getting off.
Visits: We have been inundated with people coming to see us and it has been absolutely wonderful. Some of these people we haven’t seen for years, others for some months………..BLISS!!
First off the block was Elle and Russell who live nearby. They came for the afternoon bringing cheeses, breads, wine etc, and it was great to catch up although poor Elle was working so couldn’t indulge in more than a glass of wine.
Sandra & Jon arrivedthe following in style in a fabulous black Tesla. They came bearing gifts of food and homemade bacon and egg pie for lunch. Although we stay in touch via social media/messaging it was so good for the soul to see them in person.
We were then hit with our 3rd Covid lockdown luckily this was a short one (three days) so hardly impacted.
Next to visit was Bo and Liz who stayed for several hours and it was great to catch up them both and hear their news about friends and family.
Later that day we hosted Wade & Trish for a sleepover. We always have such fun when they stay and overindulge with food and wine. Sadly we were not joined by Rebecca, (our gorgeous God-daughter/Wade and Trish’s daughter and her partner Guy along with young Wade the II as the 4th Lockdown was announced.
During this lockdown our parcels from the US were due for delivery and this caused us some grief. One went to Auckland, the other Australia……. both start with A I guess. Fedex attempted to deliver 1 of 2 parcels and we advised our house-sitter Rebecca not to accept it as our concern was if she signed for the consignment and the second parcel was lost, we had no comeback.
We followed up on the issue and then the fun and games really began when both parcels were being delivered together. We received a message from Fedex advising the courier couldn’t deliver as no one was home. We checked with Rebecca who had been home the entire day and then we checked our camera, which showed no courier had attempted a delivery. A complaint was made but then Rod had to drive to the depot to uplift the parcels himself.
Fedex, you screwed up more than once on this delivery; one was not taking into consideration that these parcels were priority, not tracking the parcels when only one was available for delivery. The second screw-up was lying about delivery and the third is that no-one has followed up on our complaint. Fedex, Rod is like a bull-dog with a bone and won’t give up, so expect to hear from us!!!
Lockdown 4 has shown a lack of committment to ensuring social distancing is adhered to here in our little camp. All the gates were locked and signs posted advising no access due to Covid lockdown and still people came to walk their dogs through our camp………..sad to see the who-cares attitude.
We had some excitement with a series of earthquakes yesterday; then a tsunami warning and potential evacuation. So it was with a feeling of surreality, (not really a word in English dictionary but who cares) that we were having a happy hour with Graeme and Irene when we noticed a swirling of detritus; leaves, rubbish etc. flying in the air. Irene and I got up to check closer and the mini tornado travelled down the drive towards us. It lifted off the ground and almost took out a camper’s awning which was full of hanging laundry.
The awning bowed tautly and the laundry and other items flew through the air. The next few minutes were full of chasing laundry, ensuring our awnings were closed and finding buckets etc amongst the grass, cattle in the paddock next door. No more excitement now please Mother Nature, Covid-19 is enough to cope with for the forseeable future.