Archive for the ‘putaruru’ Category

Wedding Anniversary

March 15, 2016

These days, birthdays and anniversaries seem to roll around with regular monotony with Sunday 13 March being our 34th wedding anniversary.  We don’t usually go overboard on the whole celebration thing for our anniversary, but we do like to mark the occasion.  And this year we could share the day with our good friends & fellow motorhome buddies Pat & Sue by starting the day off with brunch.   


A long leisurely brunch was accompanied with bubbly and finished with hot cross buns and coffee, we didn’t need to eat for the rest of the day as we were all so full after our lovely brunch.  

Whilst chatting, we reminisced over what we remembered of our wedding day.  Bernice remembers sitting in all her finery at her parents home in front of the TV with a glass in one hand and a cigarette in the other (well, we almost all smoked back then didn’t we?)  watching the cricket.  NZ opening batsman Bruce Edgar was on 99 and I was waiting for him to score his century before going off to get married, but then rain stopped play for the day. I was only 5 or 10 minutes late I am sure!!  Meanwhile Roy was at the Putaruru Club being ‘well looked after’ or so I am told, by my brother John and friends including Kevin.  He can’t have been late because he was there when I got to the ceremony.     I must add that our ceremony was conducted by a friend of ours who was not only one of the first celebrants but also one of the first female celebrants, and it took place in a lovely garden setting.  

So here we are 34 years later, although it is really more like 38 years as we did live together for 4 years before tying the knot, and what an adventure it has been so far.  We have lived all around the country, travelled a few miles off shore and are still traveling. Here’s to many many more. 


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. 


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

55 54

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.


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!!!

Onto the Big Smoke

December 8, 2012

The best laid plans always go awry, or so they say, and we can confirm it is true.  We arrived in Putaruru on Monday in time to pick up Sue from work to go home for lunch and then spent the rest of the afternoon checking out the sights of Putaruru.  Including the sampling of cheeses at Over the Moon which we ended up taking a fair few samples away with us.   We had a lovely evening with Sue & Jeff and had planned to leave Tuesday morning to catch up with a cousin of Roy’s, and this is where plans went slightly awry.  I am not sure that it is a great idea to leave to blokes to coordinate times and dates, however, we did not leave town until much later in the day and re arranged a meet up time.  It meant that I could go into town and wait for Sue, again to take her home for lunch before setting off.  

We eventually left mid afternoon and headed to Hamilton where we went to Wade & Lindsay’s and caught up with them.  It is just fantastic to meet up with friends after not seeing each other for a few years, and just instantly pick up where we left off. 

Wednesday morning and we headed off toward Auckland, however not before a debate or two on the best way to go, the impartial one won out in the end – Tomtom!

We arrived at Jacky and Chris’ in Mt Eden by lunch time, ready to relax into our role of house sitting.  Although Jacky does not leave until Monday, and Chris next week, again it is just so nice to slip into our old friendship and carry off where we left off.  Jacky & Chris live opposite our old house so it is familiar territory for us.  Son Antony came round in the afternoon and it was so nice to see him again and catch up with his news. 

Thursday and we head off to Papakura to visit Antony in his new flat. His flat is very nice and he is obviously very happy with life both at home and his work with the Police. We headed out to partake in a little retail therapy.

Friday and its time for a WOF (warrant of fitness) for the RAV so most of the day is taken up with sorting that out.  Ants came and spent most of the afternoon with us as well.

Saturday and we head on up to Torbay to catch up with brother Steve, wife Leslie and families.  We spent a lovely day, talking, catching up and doing a little retail therapy, then the blokes headed off for a quick trip up to Mahurangi to scope out launching spots for Steve’s boat as he was heading out fishing Sunday morning.  We joined Steve & Les for dinner and to wile away the evening. 

Sunday and we headed round to Roy’s son Simon and his wife Anita’s for lunch and to have a look through their lovely home in Epsom.  They are both lawyers and obviously are enjoying their busy lives.


OOps, just found this, must have forgotten to post it!