Good heavens it is a very hilly journey between Havelock and Nelson! The motorhome handles it well, and I still pull over wherever I can to let faster traffic get past. And I really like the greater visibility that there is from the cab - being higher up is a real bonus, and for some reason David is more comfortable with being driven in a high up vehicle.
We called in to see Sarah and Jack before going to Ann and Salvi's. S&J didn't know we were coming and it was lovely to see the look of delight on Sarah's face. Sarah was untangling one of the hanks of wool that she had been given that was homespun. On knitting up a sample she found it fluffed quite a lot and apparently the cure is to dip it in water and let it dry. She was engaged in rewinding the hank as we arrived. She is an extremely creative person and turns her hand to all sorts of interesting things...
After tea and gingernuts, we left with an invitation for Ann and Salvi, David and I to go to lunch a couple of days hence. Excellent!
And Sarah also found for us the man who had helped her sort out an issue with their motorhome some time ago. So the plan to call him was made for Monday morning so we could see if we could get the rear view monitor issue sorted.
And on arrival at Ann and Salvi's it was roast prep time - Sunday roast with friends Shorty and Jenny is a tradition that we were very happy to partake in. As vegans though, chicken is off the menu for us, so I prepared a nut roast. I had all the ingredients apart from flax meal and thought it wouldn't matter. It wasn't until the next day I realised why flax meal was important - the nut roast tasted very nice, but ended up on our plates as nut crumble - the flax meal is to bind it, instead of using egg. Doh!! I should have remembered that because Nadia Lim has instructions in her Vegful book for making egg replacements from linseeds. Double doh!!
Ann and Salvi's daughter and her partner are living with them at the moment while they build a new house. Gina and Tim have a little spoodle, a cross between a spaniel and a poodle, if you were wondering. She is just over 8 weeks old and very cute. G&T are training her using Cesar Milan methods. He is the Dog Whisperer who had a show on TV some time ago. He is magic with dogs. So Frankie has crate time, naps, play, etc. And while Salvi makes out he is a hard man, his grumpy old man persona is totally blown apart by the way he interacts with the puppy...
On Monday morning, after Ann and I had been for a walk (Rose Gardens and a chat with a couple just about to set off in their motorhome for a trip down the West Coast) I made arrangements to take the motorhome down to Nelson Motorhomes the following morning for Craig to have a look.
On Tuesday, we took the bikes so we could ride back to Stoke on the Railway Reserve cycle trail. Somehow, David left the winder back at Ann and Salvi's so we had to wind the rack down by hand ... It is possible but a bit hard on the wrists! While David was explaining the issue to Craig, I started winding the bike rack back up by hand - Craig had to help me by taking the weight of the rack as I wound it, while listening to David, because David needs both hands to describe electrical issues apparently 😆😈😉
The ride back on the bikes was cool. Such a great asset for the people of Nelson. It does rather assume though that riders and walkers know the geography of Nelson, and we did have to ask for directions once. However we also met Molly, a 4 month old rottweiler on the way back - we had to stop and have a pat and a lick (we did the former, she did the latter, just so you know). An absolutely beautiful pup. The man who owns her said she is his 8th rotty - that's commitment! I know that we would love to have one, but we cannot think of a dog until we have finished with boating, and we certainly couldn't have a big dog with motorhoming - not only because we would be standing on it all the time (floor space being at a premium) but because there are many campsites that don't allow dogs, and especially not big ones.
Craig had had a look at the electrics while we were away, told us that it was not something we should leave, and called an automotive electrician who is an excellent diagnostician (is there such a word?) Craig arranged for him to come in on the Wednesday morning, so Ann drove me back into town and I collected the motorhome - pretty important as we were sleeping in it ...
In the morning, Ann came to collect us after we had dropped the motorhome off for the day, but as we were going back to Stoke, my phone rang and it was Dan the Diagnostician - he had already identified what he thought the issue was. Yay!! (You may have previously read that we had tried to get it diagnosed and repaired in Greymouth earlier this year, but no joy.)
Dan said the issue was that the only two things that start working as soon as the engine is turned on are the camera/monitor and the fridge sensor (the fridge switches to battery when the engine is going, rather than either gas or electricity). The two fuses are right next to each other and it was the fridge sensor one that was overheating and that heat caused the monitor fuse to cut out. So his solution was to insert a separate relay and move the fridge sensor outside of the fuse box.
Hey presto, it worked and the camera/monitor have not cut out since! Excellent skills in diagnosis. And we are so grateful, because overheating fuses are not relaxing to travel with, even if I can cope without the rear view 'mirror'.
|While we were waiting for Ann to collect us, I saw this man pushing another man VERY SLOWLY in his wheelchair - in the cycle lane ... It did make me laugh, especially as the cyclists come rip roaring down that piece of roadway!
We met two of Salvi's sisters while we were staying with A&S - Yolanda who lives in Nelson, and Louise who lives in Havelock North. Louise was on holiday with her partner Derek in their motorhome, so it was interesting to talk motorhomes with them. And they had chatted with a couple from Stoke who had identified that they had spoken with two women out walking a couple of mornings before ...
We all had a lovely dinner out at a Thai restaurant - once again, I ordered more than I could eat - but the leftovers were yummy and formed part of a 'leftovers from the fridge' dinner the next night ...
And on Thursday, our last day there, Chris and Ann came for lunch. I made cheese tart and coleslaw while Ann was at the chiropractor. The cheese tart tasted great, but I didn't butter the pie dish well enough and for the first time ever I had the pastry stick to the dish! Dammit, I was trying hard to impress too!
Later that afternoon, we headed for Waikawa Bay so we didn't have a biggish drive for the ferry the next day. I was in bed very early that evening!
In the morning, we got a message to say our ferry was delayed two hours at least, so we walked down the bush track to the Jolly Roger pub for an early lunch. It is such a lovely friendly place and the food is really very good.
|David had panfried butterfish, salad and veges. He was very happy!
Then a walk back to the holiday park along the road, finished packing up, and off we went to the ferry terminal. It is boon to be able to make a cup of tea while waiting in line ... 😀😀
The trip was smooth, the Plus Lounge is lovely, we docked after about 20 minutes of to-ing and fro-ing in Wellington Harbour because we had to wait for the wharf crew to load and send on its way a ferry heading for Picton before they could attend to us (an impact of the delays). The bonuses of that were twofold:
We got to see us docking - usually we don't, but because we were parked right next to the port side of the ship, we had a great view; and
We totally missed the rush hour traffic - usually getting out of Wellington when the ferry is due in at 5.30-ish is a long slow trip. But two hours made all the difference and it was a quick trip back out to Waikanae.
I must have been tired though, because my reversing on to the motorhome pad was a bit wonky - not my usual position parallel to the garage. But no worries.
While we have been away, the garden has gone crazy - apparently the weather has been very warm and there has been just the right amount of rain to promote excessive growth.
|Poppies by the clothesline - won't be able to hang anything long on the first 2 lines, will we?
|When we left home a month ago, the grapevine was bare of leaves.
|Silverbeet triffids ...
I took in the kindle, the phone, pillows and the new comforter, placed them all on or beside the bed, made a cup of camomile tea, and into bed I got. I was out like a light.
|I like the sentiment - no wonder I think of the motorhome as the Crow ...