Archive for the ‘dunedin’ Category

Five towns in one day

September 24, 2013

Roy has some work to do down in Mosgiel with one of our aviation clients, and Monday he started his journey south. Unfortunately it was not going to be a one flight and get there scenario more of a marathon journey taking from 10am through until 9pm. But before we get onto his journey, we first had to decide where I was going to stay for the week whilst he is away. I was keen to head back out to Maitai Bay to enjoy; the beach, peace and quiet, and nature at its best, however the weather forecast for the week ahead is not looking promising with gales, thunderstorms and lots of rain forecast. The ground at Maitai would become very boggy and with easterly gales forecast, the winds would be heading straight into the bay affording no shelter or relief from the elements, so it was agreed that I would continue to stay in Kaitaia at the RSA on firm ground. As members of the Motorhome Association, we can stay at a number of clubs around the country, it not only is good for us, but also just the fact that someone is parked in the carpark acts as security for the clubs, deterring some of the hoons. Roy did check with the manager that it was OK for us to leave the van (and the wife) for the week in their carpark and we were assured that it was just fine.

The epic journey started with an hours drive from Kaitaia to Kerikeri where Roy boarded a plane bound for Auckland. Once he landed in Auckland, it was a short turn around and board another plane for Wellington. Again, a very quick turn around and onto another plane this time headed for Dunedin. Then a taxi ride from Dunedin airport to his final destination in Mosgiel. There was the inevitable flight cancellations, delays, seating changes, and reissuing of boarding passes to contend with as well. Fortunately his return journey will be a little more direct with a flight from Dunedin through to Auckland then Auckland to Kerikeri. And if you are wondering why he did not fly out of Kaitaia, well that would have necessitated even more flights, over a longer period, on days that did not suit.

So five New Zealand towns in one day, not quite the same as multiple countries in a day (see blog entries for December 10/11 2010) or even breakfast in Frankfurt, lunch in Paris and dinner in London, but still not bad days worth of traveling.

Auckland to Taupo to Whakatane

January 18, 2013

Ok, so we have started the year off very slowly in keeping up blog entries.  Now we are back on the road, we should get ourselves back into some semblance of routine and ‘normality’.  Dont hold your breath though!

We finally left Auckland on Monday 14th January, Jacky & Chris arrived home from the UK late on Wednesday evening, they had Thursday at home before they left again Friday morning for a weekend with friends on Waiheke Island.  Brother Mike arrived back on Friday as he was flying back to Dunedin on the Saturday completing his sojourn in the north.   We spent the last few days in Auckland trying to remember if we had done everything we had wanted to achieve before we left the city.  We had a quick trip over the the English food shop to pick up a few bits and pieces, including some bits for James at Pen-y-bryn. Whilst there, we took the opportunity to purchase a few goodies for ourselves! 

We also went to a few Asian markets, including a Korean mart and a Chinese Supermarket.  Earlier in the week, we had been out for a Chinese meal along Dominion Road, Balmoral, where we chose one of the restaurants to eat at.  We were the only European faces in the place, the staff spoke limited English,  the menu was pictorial with some interesting English translations of menu items. We duly chose a couple of dishes, helped along by the waitress and proceeded to wait.  Whilst waiting we were given a pot of green tea, it was delicious and refreshing, we polished off the whole pot in a very short time.  Our meal duly arrived, and we are still unsure of what we actually ate, but it was all delicious.  One dish was a pork belly dish with chillies (read that as at least 2 handfuls of dried chillies in the dish), on crispy rice.  Another dish was a spicy lamb dish served with what they called pie, it turned out they were very soft dough-like pockets which you filled with the lamb….and of course I had to have some dumplings.  It was all a bit too much for us so we ended up taking enough home for another meal.  Which brings me back to the Chinese supermarket, we tried to find some green tea like we had had and even after ringing James to try and assist, Roy ended up back at the restaurant to try and find out what sort of tea it was.  Through translations and hand gestures, it turns out that they import their own tea from China so we were unable to buy any in NZ, however, the kind lady packaged up a container full for us and gave it to us, free no less.  Now we have our own supply.

Whilst in Auckland ,we have also managed to see a couple of movies, the first was when Mike was with us when we went to see The Intouchables.  A fantastic movie that we can all highly recommend, it is a French movie (subtitled) based on a true story.  It is very, very funny and one I could happily watch again.  The next movie was The Quartet which Bernice went to see last weekend by herself.  It was a ‘nice’ movie, I would not rave about it however it was a nice way to spend a very hot afternoon in an air-conditioned theatre!!

Monday morning, we left Auckland and headed to Putaruru, staying with sister Sue for the night.  It was nice to get to sleep with cooler temperatures and half the humidity that we had been experiencing in Auckland. Roy’s cousin Robert called in for a catch up and we arranged to meet up with him again in a day or so.   Tuesday and we headed off to Taupo and to our home which was safely parked up at Barry & Sandra’s base at Taupo airport.  It was so nice to get back to our own bit of space and put away all our belongings. We called in to say hi to Jeff and Jason in Taupo before they headed off up to Putaruru. Tuesday afternoon and evening we spent at sister Hilary’s place, she had picked a few bags of plums so I helped her make plum jam and plum sauce.  Wednesday and we spent the day with Robert, assisting him with his recent purchase of an iPad.  Hilary and Rebekka came round in the evening for a final catch up before we left town.

Thursday morning and pack everything up and get ready to move on, we go through our pre travel checklist to make sure everything is complete.

 Mirarda PreflightMirarda on the Move

hitching up the car,  ready to go, NB: nicely polished thanx  to Barry

 Mirarda Crewand the crew ready to leave.  

Now it is a few years since we headed through this part of country and it is interesting to see how the landscape has changed over the years. 

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on the road past Wairaki, all of this land was covered in pine forest the last time we were through here. 

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Seeing this cooling tower on the horizon reminded us of being in Britain, however, this is just out of Reporoa, and no it is not a nuclear power station but a geothermal power plant.

We stopped in Rotorua to empty the waste tanks, then to fuel up the van as we noticed that petrol was 13c/litre cheaper in Rotorua than it was in Taupo and Auckland.  Then it was off through past the Lakes to Whakatane. Along the way we drive through what is known as Hongi’s Track.

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Driving through Hongi’s Track.

Legend has it that the track was used by  Hinehopu. She travelled regularly between her two homes, one at each end of the track. It was also halfway along this track that she met her future husband Pikiao II; the precise spot is marked by Hinehopu’s magic tree. Hinehopu planted the tree as a sapling to mark the spot. The tree is today more generally spoken of as the Wishing Tree. It was over this same track that Hongi Hika and his Ngapuhi army hauled their canoes in order to attack Mokoia Island at Rotorua. Much later, and probably as a result of a blossoming tourist industry, the roadway became known as Hongi’s Track.  Today the highway follows the track and is serene and beautiful native bush.

61We stopped along side Lake Rotoiti for a bite to eat and a cuppa before heading to brother Johns place just outside Whakatane.

Over the past week Bernice has managed to meet up with 4 of her siblings, next week we will also catch up with Steve.  It has been fantastic to catch up with everyone.  We are in the midst of planning a bit of a family get together in April as it will be 50 years since we emigrated to NZ from the UK, more on that in a later edition.

Here we are parked up for the next few days with the hope that we will be able to get in a bit of fishing. Last night and John has some smoked fish which Bernice turned into a tasty smoked fish pie for dinner before she and his girls, Julie and Jenny, went off to the movies to see Les Miserables. Wow, I have been to three movies already this year, more than I have been to in the past 3 or 4 years!!!