Archive for the ‘Train’ Category

Lisboa to Faro

November 20, 2017

We had a few hours spare before we had to catch our train to Faro. After checking out of our apartment we headed into town dragging our cases behind us, not sure on how we would fill in the time. However, we came across a line of Tuk-tuks and decided to have one last look around Lisboa putting ourselves into the capable hands of our guide Miguel.

Miguel listened to where we had already been and came up with a personalised tour for us, taking in sights and scenes we hadn’t visited as well as promising to show us the real Lisboa and it’s people. True to his word we were quickly on our way through back street climbing to the highest point in the city for a panoramic view.

looking across to the castle and just below it on the right hand side was where we had been staying. Yes, we were perched on the side of a hill!

We visited churches and buildings that Miguel thought were interesting (and yes we did too).

During our tour and subsequent discussions, Miguel figured out that we were interested in the real Portugal and not the touristy stops and shops. We mentioned that we had not bought any souvenirs as such as we were not into buying Chinese made imitation bulk stuff that seemed to be everywhere. Later, he passed by a wee shop that he said was an example of the real Portuguese art made locally, by local artisans, including a professor of art history who was recreating patterns and styles of long ago. I asked if we could go back to it as I would like to have a look, needless to say I came away with a small couple of items with the knowledge that my spend was going to local people and supporting their craft.

As we were outside one of the churches with Miguel explaining the history to us, he said, “look, see those two there? they’re pickpockets!” Two well dressed and tidy men in their late twenties or early thirties looking all the bit like tourists themselves with small backpacks and phones at the ready taking pictures, they were ever so nonchalantly following two women with large cameras and backpacks. Hmmm….not the image of pickpockets that I had. Miguel called out to a local workman further up the road something about the pickpockets and finding a policeman. We left at that stage, hopefully they were thwarted in their attempts.

We had also arranged for Miguel to drop us off at the train station rather than back in the centre of town, on approaching the station he asked if we would like to visit a local market in a suburb close by that was an area he knew well as he had previously had bakeries there. Sure, we both said, we would love to see where local people shop for their produce. We were soon in a market reminiscent of a small version of the famous Melbourne Victoria market. This is what we have been looking for! Shame it was on our last day in Lisbon.

Back to the train station where we bade farewell to our new friend Miguel

and a short time later we hopped onto the train bound for Faro.

Our journey took us over the April 25th bridge the bridge looks a lot like the San Fransisco Golden Gate Bridge. On the other side of the river is an imposing statue of Christ that is very much like the one in Rio de janiero,

We had seen the bridge and statue many times from Lisbon and now we were travelling over the bridge, or under the bridge, as the rail line runs underneath the road.

On through the countryside we travelled, passing through thousands of cork trees as well as some olive groves, no pictures were taken during this journey! The one thing I will say about Portuguese trains is that the seating configuration leaves a lot to be desired with no account taken for where seats are positioned in relation to the windows for viewing vistas. Both times so far we have been seated by a pillar, one time facing backwards as the seating pattern seems to have been done randomly.

The three hour trip passed relatively quickly and we were soon disembarking in Faro. We followed the instructions on how to reach our accommodation and within 5 minutes we were met at the door of our apartment by Vera, our host. We really have done well with picking apartments, this one is just delightful, two bedrooms, lounge dining, kitchen and laundry and comes complete with an enclosed courtyard. It is very clean and tidy as well as thoughtfully appointed.

courtyard of the apartment.

We arrived just on dusk so after our orientation we quickly settled in then it was off to find a few provisions and something to eat before setting in for an early night. Tomorrow is set to be another busy day.

On to Lisboa

November 19, 2017

We are getting rather adept at this train travel lark, finding our way from the underground Metro in Porto to the train for our three hour journey to Lisbon.

The train trip was like any other, travelling through countryside and villages before eventually arriving at our stop in Lisbon. From there it was a quick taxi ride to our accommodation where the host of our Airbnb apartment was waiting to greet us and settle us in. Tiago, or host, showed us around the apartment and then sat us down to give us a brief overview of Lisbon and places to see and explore around the city and the river.

This apartment is near the castle and old city walls that overlooked the central city, read that as narrow, winding, cobbled streets that meander their way up the hillside. In fact the taxi driver was not terribly impressed at driving the steep narrow streets, and exclaimed at a couple of spots at either the view, or perhaps the drop off we are not sure, or the narrow streets with the inevitable cars parked over the road and footpath making manoeuvrability around the obstacles a little hair raising at times!

The apartment is great, with separate lounge, dining and kitchen, bedroom and bathroom with excellent amenities including wifi. We have booked in for three nights so we shall see how we go. We decided to take a quick explore and pick up something for dinner before nightfall, taking Tiago’s instructions on where to go we set off. First up a bit of a hill before descending to an elevator which goes down 7 stories to a supermarket at the base. Very handy not to have to climb all those steps!!

We had a quick look around before buying a few necessary items and something for dinner, we headed back to the apartment as night fell, and the temperature also dropped, to a chilly 9C overnight, well what can you expect when there is not a cloud in the sky.

The next morning we are off on our trek into town, down the road to the elevator, but hello, what’s this? A truck is wedged into the street outside, delivering concrete via a pump and crane to the building some floors up.

I don’t know how they got the truck out of there as further along the street there were cars parked randomly and little room to move. But they must have wriggled their way out somehow as on our return later in the day the truck was no longer there.

We carried in with our walk to the elevator then across a square to the municipal buildings and another elevator which leads us to the centre of town and flat land. All the streets are cobbled with the cream and black cobbles all laid out in intricate patterns. We learn that the way the pavements are cobbled is a Portugese signature, with the cream and black patterns in every town, with the same formulae laid down in the streets of Brazil and their other colonies.

We took another one of the hop on hop off bus tours to orient ourselves with the city.

central city square, monuments and pretty pastel coloured buildings

Through wide tree lined boulevards, we passed many of the significant churches and monasteries in Lisbon.

On to the monument to the First Marquis of Pombal. Pombal is noted for his swift and competent leadership in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake in 1755 which destroyed much of Lisbon. The city was razed by the earthquake, estimated to have been 9 on the Richter scale, and the ensuing tsunami and fires. He immediately took upon the task of rebuilding the city, with his famous quote: What now? We bury the dead and heal the living.

The term Pombaline is used to describe not only his tenure, but also the architectural style adopted in Lisbon after the great earthquake with wide open streets and earthquake safe buildings.

statue of the Marquis de Pombal

the statue surrounded by an impressive large roundabout with lovely gardens up the hill at the rear of the monument

and the view from the top of the gardens looking down over the city. NB. The haze over the city is smoke from the recent devastating fires that have swept through Portugal.

Further on our trip we went past an impressive aqueduct system.Lisbon needed good drinking water therefore the aqueduct was commissioned in the early 1730’s and by 1748 it was bringing fresh clean water to the city. The main course of the aqueduct covers 18 km, but the whole network of canals extends over nearly 58 km, and it is all gravity driven.

Aqueduct and commemorative arch in the Amoreiras neighbourhood.

Back into the central city where we pass another impressive pice of architecture, the Santa Justa lift which was built in the style of Eiffel and is sometimes called Lisbon’s Eiffel Tower.

And no we didn’t venture to the top, the queues to go on it were a little long as there is a limit of a maximum 25 people allowed on it at any one time.

One of the nicest areas is along the waterfront of the Taiga River, with older buildings, modern buildings and port area it is vibrant and lively with lots of people enjoying the area and of course the many restaurants.

Lucerne – Geneva – Porto

November 12, 2017

Yet another train trip for us, this time from Lucerne to Geneva, leaving the Alps and travelling through rolling green countryside in a journey that will last just under 3 hours. The trains leave Lucerne every hour on the hour with this train taking us north as far as Olten (half way between Lucerne and Basel) then south west toward Geneva via Bern.

the countryside was very pretty with views of typical Swiss chalets dotting the landscape, as well as cows with bells around their necks.

Swiss Chalets

Into Bern

rolling landscape

Lausanne

The trip seemed to take no time at all, either watching the countryside roll past or watching people getting on and off the train made the time go very quickly and we were soon at Geneva Airport. A short walk from the train station and we were at the airport through security and time for lunch before we boarded our flight to Porto. Yes, we are off to Portugal where hopefully the weather will be a bit warmer.

view from the plane to snow topped hills of Geneva.

After two and a half hours we were ready to land in Porto.

the view of the Portuguese coast.

Warmth and sunshine greeted us on landing and we were soon stripping off our scarves and jackets before finding our way to the Metro ready to take the train into town where we have an apartment booked in the centre of the old part of Porto. As we stepped off the escalator rising from the Metro we were met with a noisy, busy, vibrant street scene landing right at the top of Rua de Santa Caterina, one of the main streets of the old part of Porto, and this amazing sight in front of us

This church is covered in around 16000 tiles depicting scenes of Saint Catherine and Saint Francis of Assisi.

We arrived just on dark but we can check the Church out later. The street was alive and buzzy with street traders selling everything from art works, to souvenirs to roasted chestnuts and people everywhere out enjoying the evening. Musicians seems to be on every street corner and there is always something going on.

We picked up the keys you our apartment, which is in Rua de Santa Caterina. We are up on the 4th floor above the Main Street and is perfectly located for us to explore the city.

the Main Street in the early morning before the crowds appear. It appears that traffic is allowed down the centre of the street, one way, until mid day and then it’s pedestrians only and it seems to work very well.

We have booked in for three nights but we may just extend that, depending on our explorations tomorrow. The apartment is lovely and has a kitchen as well as a washing machine, which gives us a bit of freedom to eat in occasionally as well as catching up on laundry. A good nights sleep is in order before setting out to explore this part of Portugal.

Train to Lucerne

November 10, 2017

Have we mentioned before how much we enjoy travelling by train? We were on yet another train journey, we had already travelled 1 hour via train from Mendrisio to Bellinzona and this 2 hour train trip was heading though the Gotthard Pass and tunnels to Lucerne. We are moving from the Italian speaking part of Switzerland to the predominantly German speaking region of Switzerland.

The scenery started off Alpine-like, with great views of snow capped mountains. It was quite an overcast and cool start to the day as we climbed higher into the Alps.

The Swiss really know how to build things, a valley? build a bridge or viaduct, mountain? tunnel through it, not enough room for a two way highway? Build another one above the original road!

viaduct leading into tunnels

one road on top of another

mountains pepping through

map of where we are travelling

past lakes

Swiss chalets

more mountains

And finally arriving in Lucerne

Mendrisio and about

November 8, 2017

High on a hill was a lonely goatherd

Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo .….

echoes round and round in our heads as you really do need to have mountain goat genes to live in this neck of the woods. I had to laugh when I saw this ad, it seemed very appropriateil caprone = goat, and io = me.

The following picture is taken looking through a window from our hotel in Mendrisio, if you look very closely toward the top middle of the cliff in the tree line break, there is a house! How on earth they get to it is anyone’s guess.

Just in case you cannot see it, I have circled it for you!

There are homes like this all throughout the area and it seems as though the only access to many of them is on foot only.

Around and about in Mendrisio. The following three pictures are the outside of the Church and a couple of different internal shots. Inside the church are elements from previous churches that were on the site i.e. paintings, alters, sculpture and stained glass, some of which dates back to the 13th Century with some of the alter pieces from the 15 & 16th Centuries.

Outside the church on an old bell tower wall is the following remains believed to have been remains from early Romanesque times.

Have fun translating that!

A picturesque street view

And an optical illusion, yes this is a painting on the end wall.

When we were at the top of Monte Generoso, in the shop there were some preserves made by a Vanini, wonder if they are related?

We returned to Bellinzona the following morning via the free train, before transferring to the train to take us to Lucerne via the Gotthard tunnels. But before we left Bellinzona, we had time to return to the friendly bistro we found the previous day for breakfast, and we looked forward to a change from pastry, cold meats and cheese.

a couple of eggs to set us up for the day, served in the pans they were cooked in.

Monte Generoso and Bellinzona

November 6, 2017

Monte Generoso was to be our first call today and with the skies blue it was the perfect day to do some sightseeing. We caught the train from Mendrisio to Capolago where we were to change to the rack system train to take us up the mountain. As part of our free train pass for Ticino, it also gave us a 30% discount on the scenic train to the top of Monte Generoso.

we caught the train at Capolago FFS which is where the other rail lines run, and as per the picture above it wend sits way up the western side of the mountain stopping at two points, San Nicolao (707m or 2320ft) and Bellavista (1222m or 4009ft) where some keen passengers (and dogs) disembarked to walk one of the many trails. These two stops also have passing loops for descending trains to pass.

the passing track showing the rack system down the centre between the two rail tracks. The line is 9km or 5.6miles long and is 800mm or 2ft7in gauge. It is a rack railway with a maximum gradient of 22%.

Once leaving Bellavista, the landscape changes from heavily forested lower slopes to more open meadow before reaching the summit. There was some spectacular views down towards the lakes to be seen on the way as well, however with just one of us admiring the views. This is Capolago looking straight down with the outskirts of Lugano on the far side of the Lake.

Now regular readers will know that one of us is particularly nervous with regards to heights, especially in forms of transport other than flying or walking! So by the time we arrived at the top of the mountain (1704m or 5600ft) let’s say one of us was content to keep away from the edge of the viewing platform!!! The same someone was pleased to see this sign, especially the second item from the top!!!

The terminus building was only opened in April of this year with the rail line closed to the public for four years whilst the new building was completed, so we were very fortunate to have been able to arrive once it was all completed.

the building is called Fiore di pietra, stone flower.

The views are over Lakes Lugano and Como (as seen in the following picture), with Lakes Maggiore and Varese also in view. To the north are the Alps, stretching from the Matterhorn via the Jungfrau to the Bernina Range. To the south are the Italian Lombardy Plains and the Po Valley with Milan visible on a very clear day.

If you look very carefully in the next picture you will see what looks like a causeway between the two lakes, we will be heading over this later in the day to Bellinzona.

And to prove that we were both there, my selfie taking ability is still terrible!

Time for us to descend

The view from inside the train looking down

and that’s where we have been.

Once we had reached the train station it was a 3minute wait for the next train to arrive to take us to Bellinzona. With scenes like these along the way to keep us enthralled.

We arrived in Bellinzona in time for a bite to eat before we headed off to the Municpal buildings…we always seem to strike them when they close for lunch! Never mind, we again found a lovely small bistro where we enjoyed a bite to eat and some friendly banter with the staff.

someone looking a lot happier on terra firma, or perhaps it was the local Bier that helped?!

Off to visit the records office in Bellinzona, the capital of Ticino, where three people (two of whom had no English and the third a little) proceeded to discuss our request at high speed with a little hand waving, actually a lot of hand waving. The outcome of this was the same as what happened in Mendrisio, they could not help because of the time frame. However they did provide an email address of a Catholic Archive in Lugano which we will follow up later.

Time to head back on the hour long train journey to Mendrisio, it’s been a full on day.

Three cities & modes of transport in one day

November 4, 2017

Our next adventure has begun.

We left Alex & Ian’s by taxi to take us to the train station in Barnehurst where we were to catch the train into London Bridge and then transfer over to another train to take us to Gatwick Airport for our flight to Milan. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time so we had a late breakfast at the airport.

Our flight boarded a little late but we got away safely and were soon on our way flying over central France and then across the Alps.

We wondered if that was Mont Blanc or the Matterhorn poking high into the sky in the middle of the picture?

We landed at Milan’s Malpensa Airport 20 minutes early, great we thought, we can get on our journey sooner than we thought. But we were thwarted somewhat as apparently there was no ground staff available to set up the steps from the plane to the tarmac. The captain apologised profusely and had radioed his annoyance a couple of times to those involved but it was all out of his control and we just had to wait. After about 25 minutes we were off by bus to the terminal building to head through passport control and then onto another bus for the trip into Milan Centrale Rail Station.

We missed the first bus so it was a bit of a wait for the next one, we arrived at Milan Centrale Station in good time to purchase a train ticket to take us to Mendrisio in Switzerland. Actually, the buying of the train ticket was an adventure in itself. As we queued to talk to someone about which train and what ticket to purchase, a young man ushered us out of the queue to go with him to the automatic ticketing machine. Here he showed us what to do, helped us purchase the ticket and then he proceeded to pick up our bag and said “follow me”…..yes, we know what you are all thinking, the Vannini’s have been duped, and are about to be scalped….he asked us where we were from and then proceeded to tell us the names of the players of the NZ cricket team! He was from Bangladesh and a keen follower of cricket, he was of course not an offical guide but he was courteous and no, we did not disclose documents or wallets in his sight. He was just touting for a donation we figured. He led us to the right platform, and with a fond farewell and a few coins he was off. And yes we did check everything to make sure nothing was missing, all was in order and as there was armed Military and Polizei everywhere we felt pretty safe.

We were soon on the train for the final leg of our travels for the day. Mendrisio is not far from the Italian border near Lake Lugano in a finger of Switzerland that dips into Italy. (Indicated by the blue dot in the following map).

This is where Roy’s Great Grandfather Cosmo Damiano Vannini was born in 1836. We are hoping to be able to find some records of the family whilst we are here. Watch this space for more on that.

PS. Oh dear, it seems I cannot count as a taxi, bus, train and plane adds up to four modes of transport and I guess we could say that we also moved through at least four cities as well!!

***t happens

October 5, 2017

It was all going so well, we had the buses and trains all sorted by doing a dummy run on Monday so we knew how long we should allow to catch the Eurostar across to Lille on Tuesday. Tuesday morning, we were all packed and ready to go, Ian kindly dropped us off at the local train station to save us getting the bus and we were soon on our way to St Pancras station.

We had only gone through a couple of stops when we realised that Roy had left his phone on the table at home. Damn. A quick phone call to Ian confirmed that it definitely was on the table. We quickly arranged for Roy to get off at the next stop to return to the station where Ian met him with his phone. Meanwhile I continued on the train to Cannon Street Station where we change from train to tube and I would wait for him to return. It didn’t take him too long to return and we were back on the tube and into St Pancras Station.

View from the train crossing the Thames, with London Bridge in the background.

As alway, mind the gap!

We arrived in plenty of time, in fact we were early but we were allowed though passport control and inside to wait for the train. We had a drink and a bite to eat and soon we were off, whizzing through the English countryside before heading into the Chunnel. I tried taking pictures out of the window but at 296km/hr and with reflections from the window my photography skills were not great.

We arrived in Lille exactly on time and we headed straight for the car rental places. Ouch, they want an arm and two legs to rent a car for a few days but we inhale deeply, and go with it. We could not hire a small car and so had to go with what they had, a Nissan Qashqai, with all the bells and whistles. First problem….we could not work the inbuilt GPS. I managed to change the language preference to a English but it would not register where we were wanting to go, which was Langemark-Poelkapelle in Belgium. Roy went and got one of the staff to help, oh, we just have to change country option for the destination moving from France to Belgium. Sorted.

Take a deep breath Bernice and drive on the right, remembering to change gear occasionally, with Roy keeping an eye on the upcoming GPS instructions. We managed to find our way with only slightly raised blood pressure, sweaty palms, a dry mouth and a complete feeling of nausea!!!! Our Airbnb Host was waiting to let us into the apartment and after a quick guided tour we were on our own.

The apartment.

As we started to unpack and sort our gear, with sickening reality it became clear that Roy did not have his iPad, everything was carefully searched but to no avail…….oh no, where had he last had it? at St Pancras Station? he must have left it behind. We put in the call to the lost property department in the hope that someone may have handed it in, and sent email enquiries. Alex is also going to ring the station in the morning to see if it has been handed in. We tried doing the “find my iPad” thing but we could not work out what the hell we were doing so we gave up.

After a very restless nights lack of sleep, Roy was up at his usual early hour and went off for a walk. He was soon back, oh no, what happened this time? His glasses had broken in half straight across the bridge! By 9.30am he had found a local Optometrist who had a frame that would fit the not so old lenses, and he would have them repaired by the afternoon. Meanwhile he is wandering around wearing his reading glasses.

Just as we were about to head out for a walk around the village to check out the market, I had a sudden brainwave…..”Roy, did you check the car for your iPad as I am sure you used it to find the telephone number for the Airbnb yesterday”…….sure enough, there in the back of the car was the ipad! 🤦🏻‍♂️

As for the title, well sometimes things work out!!!

Yes, we did go and but a lotto ticket, it’s up to €190million!

PS. Yes, we have worked out how to locate our phones and iPads, simple really!!!

PPS. New glasses have been collected and look very swish!

Landed in London

September 30, 2017

Oops I did it again, I accidentally swiped the publish button on the last post before I had finished writing it.

We eventually landed at Heathrow 30minutes later than scheduled, by this time we were both exhausted and restless but ready to disembark. We were one of the last off the plane as everyone else was in a hurry and blocking the aisles for a good 15minutes before we were able to retrieve our hand luggage and disembark. Then it was off on the long walk to immigration and customs, why is it that all our flights seem to end up at the gate farthest away from our next point of departure? I know we need the exercise but by this time we were shattered. Next we were to face the long queues of people lined up at the “other” passport entry, fortunately I travel of my British passport so it was straight to the UK & EU line where there was just one couple on front of us. A cheery passport control man welcomed us to the UK where we chatted about the length of our flight and the prospect of a good cuppa before we were through and off to collect our bags, then straight through the green exit line to where Alex was waiting for us.

It was close to 5pm by this time and the traffic on the motorway was a bit slow at times but it wasn’t that bad and we were soon on our way to her lovely home in Erith.

Erith is circled in red in the above map.

Erith is just a 40minute train ride into central London, and is right by the Thames. A very pretty area that we shall enjoy exploring over the coming weeks.

Alex and Ian have bought a lovely home which they moved into earlier this year and they have already done some decorating to put their stamp on the place. That evening we managed to stay up until around 8pm before bed was calling out for us to sleep. Oh what bliss to be able to lie down. The following morning Roy and I managed to get the bus into the village (well, I say village but the population is around 68,000 people) the bus goes right past the house and even though there is no official bus stop in the street you just hail the driver and they stop for you. Assisted by a very friendly and helpful bus driver, we got into the centre of the town where the bus driver told us this was where we got off then she made sure we knew where to catch the bus home again and which number bus we needed, extremely helpful.

We wandered around the local supermarket, Morrison’s, where we were like kids in a sweet shop as everything was so cheap. To top it all off, we got free wifi in the store so we could chat with Alex about various matters (getting UK/EU SIM cards for our phones tomorrow). We could not believe the price of food compared with NZ, especially the price of fresh produce, the store even has cheaper versions of fruit and veg if they are deemed “wonky”. The wonky veg looked perfectly fine to me, as well as the price the range and quality was good as well. For example, baby gem lettuces were two for 50p, raspberries were two 250gm containers for £1.50, tomatoes were similarly priced. They even offer a pack of wonky veg for £3 which they say is enough to feed a family of four for a week. We had to restrain ourselves from buying too much as we knew we had to carry it back with us so we just got the essentials…….including Melton Mowbray Pork Pies!! Of course essential supplies included rum and gin, all available at the supermarket and at prices cheaper than Duty Free!

and the variety of different brands was extensive and impressive.

We headed back home with our bags of goodies, again with the help of a very kind bus driver who stopped the bus practically outside the door advising us this was where we should disembark.

We have tried to reestablish our sleeping patterns with the time difference, it has taken a day or so but we are pretty well sorted now. I have to admit that I take the No Jet Lag tablets available at New Zealand airports, which does help me as I have suffered jet lag (nausea and disorientation) previously on one long haul flight when I forgot to take them.

Alex & Ian have of course been working all week, so now we have the weekend together to do some sightseeing and some shopping. This evening we are going to a curry house, a typical English thing to do apparently, for dinner and to meet Ian’s family which we are really looking forward to.

PS. The weather has been very good to us so far, quite warm with very still days. Let’s hope it continues.

Trains and netball

April 6, 2016

Wellington is a one and a half hour train trip from Masterton, earlier in the week Natalie had mentioned that netball was on in Wellington on Monday evening and would I like to go with her? Of course I said yes, so Natalie organised the tickets 

 

and I sorted out the train trip.  

The train left Masterton and 3.45pm arriving in Wellington at 5.15pm which meant we could meet, get a bite to eat, before getting to theTSB bank Arena on the Wellington waterfront for a 7.30pm start.  My return train left Wellington at 10.25pm getting back to Masterton around midnight….or so I thought!

I got on the train in Masterton and when the conductor came along to issue my ticket, I asked for a return ticket, oh no she says, that late train only runs on a Friday!!  Hmmmm, someone must read the timetable better!   OK, plan B then.  I quickly contact Natalie and say that I will now be staying the night with her, and then contacted Roy to tell him he will be home alone tonight! 

I duly arrived in Wellington rail station to be met by Natalie, we headed to the event centre to park and then went off looking for a bite to eat – Wagamama it was to be.  Funnily enough, Monday 4th April was 5 years ago to the day that we met up with Natalie before we crossed over to the South Island just after we bought the van. Read about it here

Then it was time to head to the game.  Neither Natalie no myself have ever taken a “selfie” before so after I tried and failed, Natalie had a go…. 

 this was the result!   We decided selfies were a silly idea.

  The teams warming up.
No more photos were taken as we were too busy watching and cheering.  A very good game of netball that went right down to the final whistle.

Then it was back to Natalie’s house for a few hours sleep before it was an early start the next morning to first catch the train into Wellington then the train to Masterton.  By 10am I was back at the van, where we quickly packed up and were on our way to Woodville to meet up with friends Brian & Marj.