Saturday, 23 December 2017

Waverley and Waitara

We had planned to have our first night in Tangimoana, at the mouth of the Rangitikei River. However, we were earlier leaving home than we thought we would be (now, that is a miracle, as we are pretty much always later leaving than we aim for ...), so after a successful stop at Gipsy Caravans in Levin where we purchased two outdoor chairs, complete with their own fitted side table with declivity for a mug (handle accommodated) or a glass as well as the power sockets to replace the UK ones the motorhome came fitted with (yay!!) We had seen them on line from a place in Nelson, and had rejoiced prematurely, as Eddie the electrician told us they needed to be 10v rather than 15v - dammit!! So the find at Gipsy Caravans was most welcome.

We had been planning a foray, off-piste to Palmerston North to purchase outdoor chairs from a large Australian chain (Bunnings) whom we rarely patronise - well, why would we send money off shore unnecessarily? But they had the only suitably comfortable chairs we had been able to find. However when we saw the even better ones at Gipsy, the trip to PN was no longer required.

A change of plan has flow on effects and requires further amendments, so we decided to abandon going to Tangimoana, which was less than an hour up the road, in favour of heading for Waverley Beach for the night.

Waverley Beach was a great place to be - we had seen it on our inaugural NZ journey back from Auckland in November.

The view from the driver's seat - I like having a fence between me and the drop - the handbrake was firmly on and reverse gear engaged when I switched the engine off...

Can't get much closer to the beach than that!

And no one came along to share the space, so we were able to see the sunset uninterrupted!
Mel was ready to take over the controls, only problem is that he cannot reach the pedals ...

And away to the west in the evening ... I know David has a better photo of this but I am not patient enough to wait while he finds it ...

The only downside of the night spent there was that the wind, she did blow and blow -  it came up just on 7pm and proceeded to get stronger and stronger! It felt like being in a plane in moderate to strong turbulence being rocked about - albeit in a business class bed ... The feeling of being in a plane had me feeling a tad anxious - not that I thought we'd be blown over the bank, but that rocking is not a feeling I cherish.

In the morning I looked at the front windscreen thinking that we had misted up the motorhome with all the windows and hatches firmly closed for the sake of their latches. But no - it was salt, fiercely windblown!

The wind had dropped in the small hours, so on waking we went for a walk along the beach further than we had been the afternoon before and found the petrified forest in the sand. Pretty amazing.

Apparently these trees are what remains of a petrified forest from thousands of years ago. Coastal erosion has been constant, I guess. It also adds veracity to the recently discovered continent, Zealandia, of which NZ and some of the islands are the visible parts!
 Back for an al fresco breakfast as it was such a lovely day - my first foray into on-board short order cooking was successful with poached eggs, bacon and toast - let's not go overboard for the first venture, was my thinking ...
Sorry about the lighting on this photo - but I was shooting into the bright morning sun. David is unpacking and setting up the new chairs.

Bacon and toast are cooking, water for the poached eggs and tea is heating in respective vessels.

You know I am there because you can see my shadow ... And you know the wind has dropped because we have left the door open and the hatches up.

Ah yes, there I am!
Before leaving the Waverley area we went back into the township to the Glass Art studio. There is some beautiful stuff there and I bought a couple of very small things. If I was still working and if we had space on our walls in Waikanae, I would have bought the piece pictured below. It is about 1 metre wide, and is decorated with peacock feathers.

I saw this glass cloak in the Glass Art shop in Waverley.

I have sent these photos to Derek and told him he NEEDS this on his wall. It is a snip at $4500 delivered and installed.

As we drove north into Taranaki, the day was stunning and the mountain was clearly visible in the sunshine - surprisingly there is still snow on the top!
Now that's a mountain ...

On we drove to Waitara where my lovely sister Dee lives in her motorhome (a giant 5th wheeler) with her husband Murray, and also where my brother lives in his smaller 5th wheeler. A BBQ for dinner - Murray cooked on theirs so ours is still ensconced in the garage. ( It will come out tomorrow for roasting pork and then cooking stuffed capsicums and portobello mushrooms as well as salmon steaks.)

The Waitara Marine Park Motor Camp is lovely - casual, spacious and friendly - and quiet. It hasn't been enormously busy over the three nights we have been here, but there has been a steady stream of tourists in their people mover vans. Mostly young Germans who are extraordinarily quiet and well-behaved. They go to bed early, clean up after themselves, are polite and drink only moderately.
See the pohutukawa trees in the background - known as NZ christmas trees as they flower at this time of year. This campsite is ringed with them and they also form places for people to park their cars and small tents under to keep the sun from beating down on them! Temporary clotheslines are strung between them too.

This plaque is on a rock by the waterfront pathway. Let's use lots more plastic bags in this way!

Today we are picking Kirsty up from the airport at New Plymouth and then heading to Opunake (hopefully we will arrive in time to go to the Christmas Parade) - Tim, Dana and the boys arrived yesterday and Xmas Day is at Tim's Opunake place.

As always, the weather has turned just before Xmas and we were treated to a fair amount of rain overnight last night but the sun is coming out now and I think it's going to get hot again! I hope the rain was enough to allay the fear of ongoing drought in the farming community's mind. I am happy if it rains at night and is fine and sunny in the day time - just in case my wishes have any impact on what the weather decides to do!


Jenny said...

How exciting, getting away for your first big trip in the new camper.
Have to admit that the petrified forest on the beach is a new one on us, we didn't even know about it. We will need to add it to our list of things to do and places to see when we head back that way.

Merry Christmas to you both, and enjoy your travels.

Jenny and Robin, Romany Rambler

Jennie said...

Sounds like a great way to spend Christmas, Marilyn. Happy Christmas to you both and all the best for the New Year. Jennie, Chris and Monty xx

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Well well well, I have just caught up on your blog and see your off on your travels. Lovely looking motorhome and suddenly realised it is almost identical to Ian's brothers. One question, Is your bed a made up double or two singles as Alans are? Envious that he is able to get into bed at night without having to get the bedding out. Sooo looking forward to your travels and hopefully reliving our time in NZ through the blog. Much love to you both.Xxx
Oh, and great minds think alike as your two camping chairs are the same as ours.(: Xx

Marilyn McDonald said...

Jenny and Robin, Jennie, Chris and Monty, Ian and Irene,

We hope you all had wonderful xmas days - at least I know that J&R had a warm day!

I&I, our bed is a french double bed - bit like on our boat. I could not cope with having to make the bed up each evening, so I think you are really brave to take that on - if it was me, I would definitely buy the duvulay sleeping bag/mattresses so I could just unroll them after I'd cleaned my teeth, washed my face and got into my nightie ... (TMI, sorry).

Big hugs to you all, Mxxoo