Archive for the ‘parking’ Category

Mangakino

March 30, 2019

Now it’s been a few years since we have ventured to Mangakino, probably at least 35years if not more. Mangakino had a bit of a rough reputation in years gone by, but that is now changing.

Mangakino was developed originally as a temporary town to serve the workers who were building the Whakamaru and Maraetai dams after the completion of the Karapiro dam. At its peak in the 1950’s the population reached over 5000, today it has a population of around 1200.

Lake Maraetai is a recreational lake with fishing, skiing and swimming just some of the activities.

There is a lovely large parking area on Matekuri Island which is not really an island, it us more like a headland jutting out into the lake. But swampy areas both sides of a narrow isthmus that the road runs along probably floods at time making it appear an island.

here we are all alone, but it didn’t last long, it became very busy over the weekend.

My niece Fran, her hubby Clive and their two young daughter Bea and Emily have a holiday home here and it just so happened that they were down from Auckland at the weekend. We loved seeing their cute cottage, the girls found a hidey hole in a high cupboard.

We shared a BBQ dinner that evening back at the van.

everyone look the other way!!

Sue & Jeff joined us for an evening on the Sunday before heading back to Putaruru on Monday afternoon. But not before we all got together for a cuppa.

L-R Sue, Bernice, Clive, Bea, Fran holding Emily and Jeff.

Shame I didn’t comb my hair for the photo!! That statement needs a bit of an explanation.

Whilst going through genealogy information with Sue, we came across a photo of me that mum had sent to one of the relations in England. The photo along with others were given to Sue when she was in England 5 years ago. The photo of me is not necessarily funny, but what Mum wrote on the reverse of the photo is. Judge for yourselves.

yes, I know I was cute once…and I thought my hair looked ok!! Knowing me, 5 minutes before the photo was taken I was probably out on the playing field playing bullrush with the boys!

The following day friends Gary & Marg joined us for a couple of nights. We decided to do a bit of exploring around the area to see how much has changed.

Roy got to hang out with Gus in the back seat, the four of us taking selfies and some of us being a bit silly!

Gary & Roy with the Whakamaru Dam in the background.

this is as far as you can go at the Maraetai Dam.

Further down stream from Whakamaru is the local ski club which also has parking facilities for self contained motorhomes so we thought we would check it out for future reference.

top picture is the view from the parking area across the lake and the bottom picture is looking up behind the parking area. Across the lake there is another parking facility however, it is closed at the moment due to logging taking place along the lake front but another one to add to our must-do list.

Back at the vans and Gary discovered an apple tree, so we picked a few to try. And goodness they are great, they fluff up when cooked so we pick a few more and cook up a big pot full of apples. Some we ate with our roast pork belly that evening, and some we had for breakfast, and some I made into a blackberry and apple pie with some blackberries Gary & Roy picked, the rest I bottled.

By Wednesday everyone else had gone, so we think it’s probably time for us to pack up and head off particularly as the weather forecast isn’t that promising. Hmm, where to next I wonder?

On the move

March 21, 2019

I’d had enough of being crammed in at Ardmore, it seems as though vehicles were jammed in everywhere with over 50 vehicles squeezed in and I guess with the motorhome show due to be held in Auckland later that week, people were starting to head on in to the city. Wednesday morning we had an early start as the van was having the underneath cleaned of surface rust and sealed so at 6.30am we were on our way, not too far to go though, just to Truck & Trailer in Spartan Road, Takanini.

We headed off to get some breakfast whilst the van was being worked on, and to do some shopping and generally keep ourselves occupied. It was 1pm when we got the call to say that the van was finished and we could pick it up. Off we trotted, we got a thorough look at what they had done and came away feeling very happy, especially when the bill came in at nearly half of what we were expecting. We will be back here again if we need any work doing on the van as we were so impressed with them. They do all maintenance work on large vehicles as well as fibreglass repairs and they even do a polishing service. And to top it off they were really friendly and helpful.

We had planned to stay the night at the Papakura Club however we decided to dump the tanks again at Bruce Pulman Park on our way. That’s when plans changed again.

It just so happened that Antony had got us tickets to the netball being played at Pulman Arena that evening (also just happened to be our wedding anniversary) and as we saw a couple of motorhomes parked up, I went and enquired about staying the night there.

the view from the door of the van, not too far to go to walk to the game.

And at the same price as staying in an NZMCA Park, it was a no brainer to stay here for the night.

After an early dinner we headed across the car park to the Arena to get our seats for the game, collecting goodie bags along the way from the sponsors inside the venue.

we ended up being seated around the mid court area, just beind the commentators

It was a good game to watch and afterwards we sauntered back to the van and had a very quiet nights sleep.

We were off the following morning to Hamilton where we ended up staying at the Car Museum, somewhere we had not visited before. Again it proved to be another very busy place to stay as we woke in the morning to find that we had neighbours move in on both sides of us both within spitting distance.

Whilst at the museum we thought we should patronise the facility particularly as though the parking is free so we had lunch in the cafe.

the outside of the museum building and the parking area before it became crowded.

We placed our order for our lunch and were wandering around looking for a suitable table when out of the corner of my eye I spied a familiar couple of faces. I stood looking for a good minute or so desperately flicking through my memory banks to put names to faces before the lightbulb finally went off and I could go say hi. They recognised us straight away. It was Chrissy & Ian, they were longtime friends with my eldest brother Mike & his late wife Ann. Chrissy and Ann were school friends and we had met Chrissy & Ian a number of times over the years so it was lovely to see them and catch up.

We also caught up with our long time friends Wade & Lindsay in the evening over a lovely dinner. It’s always good to see good friends. We also met up with Harry, Kim & family whom we had met a few weeks earlier at Shakespear. They had just been to have some solar charging issues sorted and were very impressed with the service they received from Wayne, so much so that we took his details so we could contact him at some point.

The following day we took off to AJ’s Park on the shores of Lake Karapiro.

the view through the front windscreen.

it is a lovely spot to stay, relatively quiet and peaceful so we thought we’d stay a couple of nights, but a week later we are still here! The place becomes quite busy over the weekend, and we are kept entertained by waterskiers and kids enjoying themselves being towed behind boats on various devices from knee boards to biscuits. It took us a while to figure that there is no tide here, quite a change for us as we spend so much time near the sea.

Sunday was an impromptu get together with a couple of my siblings – John & Jude called in on their way home to Whakatane, and Sue & Jeff joined us from their home not far away in Putaruru. This trip of ours is basically for us to catch up with my north island siblings before we head away to the UK, it seems we have started off quite well. Of course I forgot to take any pictures however it was a lovely afternoon with them all.

I did take some pictures later in the week as we went into Putaruru on a few occasions to spend some time with Sue & Jeff and catch up on family matters including swapping genealogy notes.

this is my sister Sue with the cheese & bacon scones she made one day for lunch……with the wrong mix she had mistakenly used from her pantry. Subsequently the scones were a strange sweet/savoury concoction 😂. And no, sweet savoury scones are not a new thing, they were relegated to the bin! Should have gone to Specsavers Sue 😘.

Roy & Jeff tackling their respective crossword puzzles.

in between visits into Putaruru I had made contact with Wayne Hunt who specialises in motorhome electric/solar systems and it just so happened that he was going to be passing Karapiro on Tuesday morning and he offered to call in. Wayne & Vicki duly arrived and over a cuppa we chatted for some time before getting onto matters we wanted to sort. We want to be able to charge the van battery when we are stationary for any length of time. Wayne designs and builds systems and he came up with a couple of options for us, now we are all sorted with what will work for us. Once we get it, I will do a blog entry on that later. We also gleaned another couple of ideas from them whilst we were chatting so it proved to be a very good couple of hours spent in their company. We can highly recommend Wayne for anything solar/electric/motorhome related, especially as he explains things so well.

Our departure day from here seems to be getting put back more and more, it may be tomorrow…but then again we may be saying the same thing again tomorrow!

And who can blame us with this for a view.

Uretiti

June 13, 2018

It’s lovely being back on the road, albeit for a brief time and even better being back at Uretiti. Parked up in our favourite spot where there is no one else in sight we can hear the sea just over the sand dunes, and it’s warmer than we have been for a while with overnight temperatures dropping to 15C! A bit better than the frosts and cool weather we had been experiencing at Ardmore. And it’s so nice to be parked on grass again, I’m sure it’s probably psychological but I think it’s warmer than being parked on gravel.

parked up

Hidden behind a few bushes

And just across the road is the beach access, with a Kingfisher/Kotare sitting atop the wind indicator.

Since our last visit, the sand has built up and covered the fence line toward the beach.

with the beach end of the fence disappearing under the sand dunes.

It’s a beautiful day with hardly a soul in sight, and although the wind direction would be perfect for kite fishing neither a Roy nor I feel up to any strenuous exercise right at this moment. Never mind, there will be another time soon I’m sure.

And a panoramic shot of the beach

Tokerau Beach

September 13, 2016

We have been at a PoP (Park over Property for NZMCA Members) at Tokerau Beach for just over a week now, enjoying the lovely surrounds and friendly hosts as well as the close proximity to good beaches, perfect for fishing and relaxing.

Our parking position on the property looking down toward beach.

Looking onto the site from the gate.

We have been having a bit of a spring clean, tidying lockers, sorting out cupboards and general cleaning whilst the weather is reasonably settled.  The plan is to move back to Matai Bay later in the week, but knowing us, those plans could change in an instant.  Watch this space

Bay of Plenty

May 9, 2016

The trip through the Waioeka Gorge was pleasant with some lovely scenery and interesting lay-bys.  They are well set up and very tidy 

Rest area

We didn’t travel too far, just into Opotiki where the NZMCA have a new park. Our first port of call in Opotiki was to the Two a Fish Cafe, which has delicious food and even better coffee. As this is a newly opened park, we were unsure of how long we could stay, on looking it up on their web site it said “temporary overnight parking”. Well, that’s helpful – not! What is that supposed to mean? After looking through the register, we decided that a couple of nights should be ok and that I would email the NZMCA for clarification.

We indeed received a response a few days later… For “temporary overnight” parking it comes down to a judgement call depending on the size of the site and current capacity at the time; however generally it means you are welcome to stay on a temporary basis, i.e. 2 or 3 nights per stay. At some parks, like Taupo Airport, it may be ok to stay for up to one week at a time. However if, for example, members were staying at a “temporary overnight” park for a month or more that would be in breach of the term “temporary” and then length of stay restrictions on that park may be introduced.  

We often define the length of stay provisions in the travel directory due to resource consent conditions, or Board policies due to on-going issues with park users. Where possible, we try to keep site restrictions as liberal as necessary to ensure members can enjoy parks without too many rules. Temporary overnight parking offers that flexibility.

I hope that has clarified it!!!

Whilst in Opotiki we heard that my nephew Stuart and family were in Whakatane at brother John’s place for the night, so we decided that an early start (eek!)the following morning meant we could head down to catch up with them and to meet the latest addition to their family, our great nephew Mack.

Emma, Stuart with Mack, Maggie & Toby in front
It was great to catch up with them and all their news.  After the visit, we were back in Opotiki for the afternoon

Parked up in Opotiki
After our two nights, we headed off to travel the huge distance of 10kms, to a reserve at Waiotahi, where we heard that there were pipi’s (shellfish) aplenty. We gathered a bucket of them and one of the touring party threw a line in the water to wet his bait!!

Early morning view from the bedroom window of Roy fishing
From here our next port of call was a further 30kms at Ohope at a reserve near a boat ramp.  We spent a couple of nights here relaxing and even tried another go at fishing

The fishing was not terribly successful, however, we did put out the net a couple of times and managed to get fish for dinner.

And the other view taken from the same spot looking back at the van

Time to leave here and head for Matata, just 40kms away.  We have been here many times, looking back through the diary it seems we have been here at about this time of the year every year since 2013.   You can read about those visits here, here, and here.   Uh oh, does this mean we are becoming creatures of habit?!

We are now at Matata where we shall stay for the next two weeks.  Brian & Marj leave us here as they continue on to Auckland, it’s been lovely having their company on our travels.  We shall no doubt meet up with them again in the north.  

Hawkes Bay

April 28, 2016

Our journey to the Hawkes Bay started with a bang – a very loud bang in fact, that startled us both.  Damn, another blown rear tyre, one of a pair that were not changed after the last blowouts, read about what happened here.  We were just 10km from Havelock North so we carefully drove into the dump station on the edge of town before ringing the men at Carters Tyres.  Sure, they said, bring the van in now and we’ll sort you out. To cut a long story short, they replaced the blown tyre with the spare and ordered us two new tyres to match the other two new ones on the other side, the tyres would be arriving early the following  week.  Yes, we decided not to tempt fate by replacing both of the rear tyres on the passengers side to match the two new ones on the drivers side.  That sorted we headed off to the lovely parking site at Te Awanga.


Parked right on the beach, with Cape Kidnappers in the background.

We waited and waited for an offshore breeze so we could launch the kite but no luck there and as we are only allowed two nights here, we did not have a lot of opportunity. We watched lots of other surf casting off the beach, no one was having any luck but on our last night there, a neighbouring group launched a torpedo.  We watched them retrieve their line and they had one very good sized snapper, three small sharks and one stingray.  

Of course this is the Hawkes Bay, and I was really looking forward to going to the Farmers Market on Sunday morning as its one of the best markets around.  We also checked out the smaller Napier market on Saturday morning.   

We were up and off early on Sunday morning to wander the stalls before coming back to the van to move to our next destination.  Needless to say that two very large bags of goodies came back with us from our foray, but more on what I did with all those veg in a later blog.

We were soon packed up and leading the way to our next destination.  Roy and I had done a bit of a recce of other possible parking places as with two of us with large rigs, we need to make sure that there is ample room for us both.   Just as well we had as one of the potential sites was not suitable on size but also not suitable on location, as it was below sea level behind large stony banks.  It was off to the Evers- Swindell Reserve in Clive for us, with a juice outlook over the river with the cycle/walkways right beside us.  

We had just arrived and were setting up when this sight unfolded in front of us A waka (Maori canoe), with a group of tourists learning the techniques and protocols


It looked like a great way to spend an afternoon. 

 We were at Clive for a couple of nights before we went to the NZMCA park in Napier.  Unfortunately I neglected to get the camera out to take a picture of us parked up here, we were there for a week catching up with many tasks, including getting the new tyres fitted, going out to celebrate Roy’s Birthday at Bistronomy, checking out a few wineries and of course going back to the Farmers Market.

Anzac Day was on Monday, Roy attended dawn service at the soundshell on the Napier foreshore, he will elucidate later when he gets round to catching up with his view of the world.  

Al in all a lovely time spent in and around the Hawkes Bay, we were reluctant to leave but we are on a bit of a schedule as Brian & Marj have to be back in Auckland by mid May and there is the East Cape to explore.   Little did we know that our plans were to change again…..but more on that later.

Belated 2

March 28, 2016

 

Once again a catch up of photos and comments.

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This photo is for you James, you should have approached Tui for sponsorship on recovering the billiard table at the Lodge!!

Before  leaving Lake Wairarapa Bernice and I took a train ride in to Wellington where we met up with Bernice’s niece Natalie & family.  Before doing so we went to the National War Memorial to see the extension to the exhibit we had previously seen.

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The exhibition has been extended with the addition of a Gallipoli section.  This primarily consists of a time line from the landing through to the evacuation presented through a series of colourised original photographs.  These include New Zealand and Australian photographs in the main.  Each is presented within the context of the time and place of the action associated with the photograph.  There is also a roughly four metre square diorama of the action at Chunuk Bair.

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The detailed work of colourisation has made those old black and white photos really come to life and add a depth to the experience which is significantly greater that that achieved through the original black and white photographs.

Meanwhile we moved from Lake Wairarapa to Ngawi.  So where is Ngawi?  It is about 5km from Cape Palliser which is the southern most point of the North Island. 

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Parked up at a POP just a kilometre out of Ngawi.  Friends of Steve and Pat own the property.  Lovely spot close to the sea.

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One of a pair of Highland cattle who are our neighbours.

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Due west (where the sun is setting) is Seddon, on the South Island.  We have caught sight of the South Island from time to time.

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This shot shows the reflected light, form the sunset above, on the dry hills immediately behind where we are camped

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A cloud formation above the Aorangi Forest Park shaped like a feather.

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The toilets which are positioned on the sea side of the road around this area are all well tied to the ground to avoid disappearing in the high winds. And yes, we have experienced a little of the strong winds.

We took a short trip from here to Cape Palliser.  This is the southern most point of the North Island.

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Looking from the carpark up the steps to the Lighthouse.

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Bernice part way up the stairs, taking in the view.

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There is the top.  Not quite there but close.

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And here is a shot of the original lighthouse keeper’s house at the bottom.

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Steve and Pat waiting in the carpark for the mountaineers to return.

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I think this sign may have been relocated from somewhere a little further south!!

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A very happy little bach, or crib for those of you in the south.

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This boat is being launched in Ngawi.  Note the very long drawbar between the cradle and the bulldozer.  Also the angled  connection is actually a ramp leading from the back of the bulldozer to the side of the cradle and the crewman driving the bulldozer can use this to go on board the boat.

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Oops!!  Genuine seaside residence, with only a sight problem with the foundations.  Unobstructed sea views with direct access to the sea.

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This is the view from the ridge track to the lookout at the Putangirua Pinnacles, a formation very similar to the clay cliffs outside Omarama.

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Belated 1

March 28, 2016

 

Someone, who shall remain nameless, has been remiss with submitting blogs.  As a result it is now necessary to catch up and to post some of the pictures that have been taken over some past weeks/months.

So this blog starts when we were at Rangiwahia and goes through to about Wairarapa.  Some of these places and photos may be duplicated but most have not been seen before.

These first two are of the POP at Rangiwahia.  It is around the Hall with the parking on the left and the dump station on the right.

1The Hall

 

23POP and Dump station

 

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This aeroplane on a stick is a monument to celebrate the first powered flight in the Wairarapa, it is not far from Gladstone.

 

2

These two were seen out and about at the Harvest Wine Festival

 

Then on to Lake Wairarapa where we spent time exploring the neighbourhood and relaxing.

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4Early morning mist and a very still Lake

5Panoramic view of the same part of the lake.

 

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A cloud formation over the Lake that strongly resembled the upper part of a Toetoe frond.

 

16And another great sunrise over the Lake.   One has to be early for these shots so they are also new to some members of the party. (Bernice here I’ll have you know that I watched quite a few sunrises over the Lake, from the comfort of my bed whilst waiting for my cup of tea to be delivered!!)

 

6A view of our camping site from further round the Lake.   This was on one of the busier days, but there was still plenty of room.  We saw a reasonable number of overnighters and very few stayed more than two nights.

 

7An interesting tree within the Camping Area.  It has obviously been there a long time as the trunk has completely filled the tractor tyre which had been placed around it to protect it when it was planted.  The root mass now starts at the top of the tractor tyre.  It will be interesting to come back and see how much it has stretched the tyre at some point in the future.

 

8Another glorious sunrise

 

5And finally a sunset over the Rimutaka Range

While we were at the Lake Wairarapa we took the opportunity to do some sight/site seeing and exploration of some of the remoter camping sites on the East Coast.  One of our trips took us out to Te Awaiti and Tora – the northern and southern ends of a remote part of the East Coast.

 

10The bridge at the north end of Te Awaiti.  The bridge is privately owned and provides access to the farm at the north end.  There is a gate across the far end of the bridge and nowhere to turn a large vehicle at the near end, a problem if you were to come here in a big vehicle.  It sometimes pays to explore first!

 

8Sue and Bernice preparing lunch carefully supervised/observed by Pat.  Whilst it looked not a bad place to stay we would never have got into the Camping area with our vehicle.  It was too narrow, too steep and impossible to turn into, so we crossed it off our list of possible coastal stays. 

On our way from Te Awaiti at the north end, to Tora at the south, we saw these fishing boats hauled out of the water.  They are launched using Tractors and bulldozers.  You will see more of these when we post about our stay at Ngawi. 

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There is a free camping site at the beginning of the Tora Road.  Quite rudimentary it is between the bridge and the sea in fairly rough ground with some flatter spots.  There is a sign and rubbish bins at the entrance, but that is about all.

 

14Found this rather comfortable chair or lounger at the top of the beach on the road to Tora.  Obviously provided by some enterprising local.

On another day we went to see Stonehenge Aotearoa.  This is modelled on Stonehenge’s seen throughout the world, the most famous of which is probably the Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain, England.  Bernice and I had been to Stonehenge Aotearoa ten years ago which was not long after it first opened but Pat and Sue had not been so we all went and had a look.

 

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The entrance or causeway to the henge.

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Statue of Diana in the foreground and the Seven Sisters or Pleiades in the background.  Maori know these stars as Matariki and, for many tribes, the dawn rising of Matarki herald the beginning of the new year.  To the south-west of the Seven Sisters there is a marker stone.  Stand on this stone and the Sisters will show you where Matariki rises.

From http://www.stonehenge-aotearoa.co.nz/About+Us.html

 

19Pat, Sue and Bernice listening to the enthralling tour provided by Richard Hall.   This site is a must see for everyone with a sense of wonder.

 

20And last but not least a view of the “ghost house” on the hill opposite the Stonehenge site

Living full time in a motorhome

January 2, 2016

We are often asked what it is like living in a motorhome and when are we going to finish traveling and get a “real” house.  The following is an attempt to answer some of those questions  (with some ideas and inspiration from the latest NZ American RV newsletter).

1. This is not Camping

Our version of full-time RV’ing is not camping… it’s living. In other words, we don’t consider our lives to be one big camping trip. We don’t eat at Maccas or RSA’s every night, nor do we eat dehydrated instant packet food, nor do we sit around the picnic table playing boardgames by lantern/torchlight. Yes, we stay in a camp ground occasionally, but for the most part we are not camping.


2. We do Laundry

When I lived in a house, I felt like I was always doing laundry. A load of towels, whites the next, clothing separated into dark and light for more loads.  It was a never ending cycle that I couldn’t seem to break. That is, until I moved into an RV with a small washing machine on board. Now I do laundry a couple of times a week. And it doesn’t take long.  I sometimes even use a laundromat, or utilise friends and family large washing machine for when I have big stuff to do (thanks!).  And I have finally given up ironing everything in sight, yes folks, you read it here first, I no longer iron my sheets or tea towels!!! 

3.  I will choose my tiny house, over your guest bedroom

When we visit or park in your driveway (which we appreciate greatly by the way) chances are we’ll say thanks but no thanks when you offer up your guest room. You see, the thing is that we like our tiny house with our cosy bed, favourite pillow, all our clothes within reach and the bathroom a few steps away from our bed. We travel in a motorhome because we enjoy the convenience of always having our house with us. So it’s not that we don’t appreciate the offer, but we really would prefer to sleep in our own bed. However, I will take you up on that offer to use your shower though!
4.  This is not a permanent holiday

This is a hard one for non full-timers to grasp. So you live in an RV and you get to travel to any cool place you want, yet you don’t consider yourself to be on holiday? Nope, not at all.  I think you can only function in ‘holiday’ mode for so long. At some point you have to create a normal routine with down time and off days. For us full time RV’ing is a lifestyle choice, not a permanent holiday, we choose where we want to go and when and what we want to do.

5.  I Sometimes Forget That I’m Not “Normal”.

I sometimes forget that our lifestyle is considered out of the ordinary. Especially if we’ve been spending time with other full time RV’ers who view living in a tiny house on wheels as commonplace. It usually takes an encounter with the “normal” folks to remind me that how we live is fascinating and envy-worthy.
6. I Have No Idea When I Will “Be Done”.

We get asked this a lot and I’m always tempted to reply, done with what? Done with a lifestyle that brings me joy? Done with expanding my horizons and becoming a more well rounded person? Done with meeting incredible people and making lifelong connections and friendships? Why would I want to be done with all that? The short answer is that I have no idea when I will be done, and I enjoy not knowing. There is something very appealing about a future that is open to endless possibilities. I’m confident that when we get the urge to settle in one spot, we will know when the time is right. But for now we will continue to roll down the road with no plans to “be done” any time soon 
7.  We will never see everything

We could travel around in this beautiful country of ours for many more years and still not see everything. In the beginning we enjoyed keeping track of where we had visited and making sure we checked off all the major attractions along the way. At some point we realised that it didn’t matter how many things were checked off the list, we would always be adding more. And I love that! I love discovering more things to do, see, and explore than I could possibly hope to accomplish in any amount of time. I love that our country is incredibly diverse and filled with such an array of landscapes, communities, and people that even if I travelled for decades, I could never see everything.  Besides, life isn’t about checking off lists…….. is it?

8.  Technology

Yes, we have the technology!  Not only do we have satellite TV (actually two Tv’s – one in the living area and one in the bedroom), we have a wireless router that connects us to the Internet – note to Telco’s; give us better, more and cheaper data!  We have PC’s as well as iPads, we have a large extensive library of books and movies (mostly in electronic format), we listen to podcasts on MP3 players with headphones,  we run a business from our home which has an office and yes we even have a full printer/copier/scanner.  We generate our own power from solar panels with a back up generator for when the sun doesn’t shine. We have a large bank of batteries to store all our power which we run through an inverter to give us 230v.

9.  We have a chefs kitchen!

You name it, we have it…full oven, fridge and freezer, cake mixer, blender, stick blender, wok, casserole dishes, risotto pan, brûlée torch, baking tins of all shapes and sizes, dariole molds, thermometers, meat slicer, vacuum sealer, banettons, microplanes, and a myriad of other essential gadgets like a spurtle (to stir porridge), and a special cutter to take the top off a boiled egg,  as well as knives, knives and more knives of every shape and size imaginable,   I mean, who else has two ham knives! We have a cold smoker and a hot smoker, we make our own; bacon and pastrami, sourdough bread, jams preserves and pickles, baking, and anything else you can think of.  

10.  If we won lotto…

We  get asked this often as well,”if you won Lotto, what would you do to live your dream?”  Our response is; we are living our  dream, what are you waiting for?  Sure,  a bit more cash would be very nice, but our basic lifestyle would not change much at all. Now let us just win Lotto and we’ll test out this theory!!!

So that’s it in nutshell, I hope that has answered any questions you may have had, if not, feel free to ask!

Around Tauranga

June 30, 2015

We spent a couple of nights in Tauranga at Sulphur Point which is at the boat launching ramp, however, we have since discovered that there is a much better parking place at the end of Sulphur Point at the Marina  where the outlook is much nicer and its further away from the railway that seems to constantly be on the move all evening.  The Bay of Plenty councils have made it very easy for us to know where to park with each designated area well signposted with clear instructions.  

  Tauranga City blue information sign
After a couple of nights in Tauranga  we had done all our jobs, restocked the pantry, and caught up with people and appointments so it was time for us to move on as we had spent our allocated 2 night stay in this park.  Our next point of call was not too far away at Omokoroa.  

A similar  information sign from the Western Bay of Plenty Council (green) , this one is for the Huharua Regional Park near Omokoroa. 
The parking area at Huharua Reserve, Omokoroa.  

We spent one afternoon doing a bit of a recce of a number of the parking areas available around the region, a must as some places are limited in the available area and also incredibly tight for us to be able to turn around.  The parking in Huharua area is on the left where our car is parked. 

 And here we are parked up.  

This was a particularly nice place to stay as just along the side of our vehicles were a line of mandarin and orange trees which we were free to take as many as we wished.  On the other side of the park (on the right hand side in the first picture) were a grove of very large avocado trees and some lovely grapefruit trees.  Score!  We only took what we could eat over the next few days, but every day there was a steady stream of people coming to collect fruit and walk their dogs.  We tried putting out the net as well in the hope of getting some flounder but apart from a pile of weed, nothing was caught.

Time to move on after our 3 night stay with the next stop to be Tuapiro Reserve at Katikati. Yes, I know, we travel huge distances when we move – NOT!  I think this move was a whole 28km!

  Here we are parked at Tuapiro

  

  The view from the door.  Oh and what’s that on the beach in the distance??

This is what it was, a couple to Clydedales towing a sled along the beach, not a sight you see everyday.  And don’t you just love the seat for the passengers? – a hay bale!   And yes, we have tried putting out the net here as well but without any luck, a move to the other side of the peninsular will be tried later today.

Over the past week I (Bernice), came down with a nasty cold which subsequently has developed into bronchitis, not particularly nice but all that means really is that apart form the usual symptoms I have no energy, and of course I am not up to eating much.  So the other day when I felt like some soup and a toasted sandwich, we got out our trusty old fashioned toasted sandwich maker which is usually used over an open fire, however after John made us toasted sandwiches one day using his toastie iron over the gas element, we thought this was a great idea.  We set up our portable gas stove outside in front of the van and it was no too long before we had delicious toasted sandwiches.  However, in a bit of a brain fade, we forgot to put the stove away once we had finished, and wouldn’t  you know it? Some #^*>{# stole it over night!

  This is the case sitting on the pole in front of the van where the stove was set up, so I have put the case back in situ with a note attached for the culprit.

 hopefully they will return and see this!!