Waharau, Matata and whakatane

Waharau is one of our favourite Auckland Regional Parks and again it did not disappoint.  It’s a lovely spot not too far from Kaiaua where Bill & Roy set out the net one afternoon to hopefully catch some flounder.  After dragging the net back in in the wee hours, the haul was  3 flounder, one yellowtail and one rather large stingray, enough for a meal for us all.  It was our first try at preparing stingray/skate wings, I had tried them before in Singapore but it was a new experience to cook them.  Even though it was a nice enough meal, I don’t think I would bother repeating the exercise as there are plenty of much nicer fish in the sea to eat.  The mussels collected from just off Waharau though are truly delicious, with mussels for entree two nights in a row.

After just three nights at Waharau we decided to press on otherwise we would run out of time to get to Hawkes Bay. Our first stop was to be at Kopu where we had arranged for a hydraulic firm to look at the troublesome stabiliser jack.  It turns out that it has a slight bend in the spike which will necessitate a new one to be built but after a quick discussion we decided not to hold up Bill & Estelle  and we would try and get it fixed further along the line, so with that in mind we pressed on and headed straight to Matata where we found Jim & Judy parked up at the DoC camp there.  Bill & Estelle arrived the following day to join us.   We had three nights at Matata, managing in the days there to catch up with Keith & Deb, who live just along the road and spent a lovely afternoon with them catching up on all their news. I also rang my brother John who lives just out of Whakatane to say we would be passing through on our way East and arranged a time to catch up on Monday.

But of course, our tentative plans were to go awry again.  Bill & Estelle had decided not to go on to Hawkes Bay anymore, so plan B was formulated.  Then Plan C (or was that D) started to come together, John rang to ask if we would be interested in house/farm/dog/garden/chook/ sitting for 10 days as he and Jude are heading to Melbourne for a break later in the week.  It did not take too much discussion to figure out that that was a reasonable plan so off to Whakatane we headed.  We bade farewell to Jim & Judy and Bill & Estelle at Matata and headed into Whakatane which is where we are now and will be for the next week or two.  

Of course, I forgot to take any photos of us at either Waharau or Matata, I am obviously becoming very slack in this aspect of blogging life.    

Being parked up here at John’s gives us a chance to get a few more chores done – although they do seem to be never ending!  One pressing matter was to attend to the kitchen tap (faucet to you foreigners!) which had developed a leak and had become a bit wobbly.  So I went off to the motorhome shop to purchase a replacement, but who do I find parked at the RV centre but Jim & Judy.  Apparently the car park area is a parking area for NZMCA members.  After a quick catch up, I purchased a new tap and then headed off into town to get a bit of shopping done, only to meet up with Bill & Estelle in the supermarket carpark!  They had stayed in Ohope the previous night and were just stocking the larder before heading off back north. Another quick catch up before onto my next job.  Whilst we are parked up for a while we are taking the opportunity to remove the front drivers and passenger seats  and have them recovered as they are starting to show a bit of wear & tear.  Off to see an upholsterer to get a quote.  Then comes the hard part of choosing material, and how we want them recovered.  But more of that later.

The replacement of the tap was expected to be a simple swap over, but oh no, not in our case. First the old tap turned out to be a bit stubborn and did not want to come out, then the new tap turned out to be a smaller fitting that the old one, this was only discovered after hooking up all the pipework!  John then suggested that they try and repair the old tap…..

“This goes in here.  No? here I think!”

A compromising position???

After some time, and yes John, you did manage to wind me up and trick me into thinking you were replacing my shiny stainless tap head with an old plastic shower head! the old tap was fixed and back in place and the new tap returned to the shop.   Only should I tell you fellas that the mixer is now opposite of what it should be?  Turn the tap to the cold position and hot comes out and vice versa!!!!


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