Saturday, 24 June 2017

Return to March!

From left, Julie, myself and Mick

I recently spent a wonderful few days with Julie, Mick and Pam in March, Cambridgeshire. It was hard to believe that nearly six years have passed since Derek and I rented the apartment off them after selling Narrow boat Gypsy Rover and waiting for our Autotrail motor home to be built.
Doesn't time fly?

Julie and Mick have just had their 30th Wedding Anniversary and confirmation of their vows. Unfortunately although invited it was a couple of weeks prior to my arrival. What did Mick give Julie as a wedding anniversary present? None less than a 2017 Mustang. Scarce as hens teeth. Now, how could I turn down an offer to sit behind the steering wheel? I would never again get the opportunity.  I'm sure my husband won't be buying me one for our anniversary in a couple of months.

Behind the wheel.

After a great visit Mick and Julie drove me to Cambridge in his new electric/diesel Mercedes to catch the bus back to London. Might as well see the countryside from a different angle.

Across the field from bus stop in Cambridge

2 hours later and I was back in London. The photos are only taken from the bus but give you an idea.

Unfortunately the light as we passed Big Ben was wrong but never mind there will be another day. 

Saturday, 17 June 2017

London and beyond!

Not what it looks like! But Tracey's dining room blind.

I felt quite proud of myself on Thursday travelling from Tracey's home in Carshalton Beeches to March, a total of about 4 hours by bus and train.
First a 5 minute walk around the corner to hail a bus to take me to Sutton Railway Station.
As  the bus pulled into the station I received a text from Tracey as to whether I was on the bus. Texting a reply I spotted her across the road, she had popped out of work for a couple of minutes for a breather just to make sure I found the right platform for my train journey on the Thames Link into St Pancras International.  

Here it was time to cross the road to King's Cross Station for my next leg of the journey to Peterborough.  Unable to spot my Virgin train on the display board I had to ask at the help desk to discover the train was bound for Harrogate.  How was I to know that Peterborough was an intermediary stop on that line?
Travelling north I saw several fields with rows upon rows of solar panels. Hundreds of them. I must do some research and find out what they are.

Twenty five minutes later and we arrived in Peterborough where I had another twenty minute wait for my train to March.
Now I knew March reasonably well from living here for about 9 months a few years ago when we sold Nb Gypsy Rover so I knew my last leg of the journey on shanks pony would take me about 40 minutes. Brilliant hot sunshine with a temperature of about 24 degrees made the journey hard going.  It's going to be worse on Sunday with temperatures forecast to be in the 30's. Who says it doesn't get hot in the UK?
I had a great welcome at Mick and Julies, our landlords for 9 months in 2010 -2011 before taking delivery of our Motorhome Gypsy Rover.

Lovely welcome at Julie and Mick's home.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Auckland and on to London

Mary and Tony dropped me at the airport for my evening flight to Singapore. All checked in with a lovely surprise at my seat.

Lovely welcome from Air New Zealand.

Travelling on the new Dreamliner aircraft I was most impressed with the service, comfort and food.  I can see why Air New Zealand won the coveted Best Airline award this week for the 9th consecutive year.  I had a great window seat with an empty seat alongside and a beautiful new aircraft.

Arriving early morning in Singapore I had 6 hours to fill in before my flight to London Heathrow. Plenty of walking and window shopping in the meantime.

No sign what this symbolised at the airport.
Changi Airport looked empty but it was deceiving.

Leaving almost on time my flight on Singapore Airlines was no comparison with Air New Zealand. Admittedly I was unable to select my seat and ended up in the second to last row. 

The flight was the most turbulent I have ever travelled on and the Captain had to ask the cabin crew to be seated a couple of times until it settled down.  I believe the back of a plane is not the best place to be in these circumstances and would have been much better over the wing where I am normally seated.
I was most disappointed with Singapore Airlines, the service, food and comfort were no comparison with Air New Zealand. I don't think I am being biased either. Thirteen and a half hours later I arrived at Heathrow absolutely shattered after having no sleep.

I was pleased to find Tracey and Paul at the airport to meet me. A coffee was on the cards, thanks Paul, before we drove the half hour to Carshalton on the Hill where Tracey lives.
Emptying my suitcase I was rapped to find the two glass breakables I had taken over to Tracey had remained intact. Thank you for the great packaging Derek.

A great sleep followed and I am now ready for my new adventure.

Monday, 5 June 2017

London here I come!

Muriwai Gannet Colony.

Yesterday morning Robin and Jenny kindly took Derek and I to Palmerston North for my flight to Auckland and then on to London.

I will be staying with my sister Mary for a couple of days before flying out to Singapore tomorrow evening. Today being a nice day my sister suggested we do out to the Gannet colony north of Auckland out by Murawai beach.

A lovely drive followed and we spent a couple of hours at the beach despite only a few gannets in residence.

A few Gannets only here.

You can spot the nesting sites of the birds.

On our way back to the car we spotted these men flying off the side of the hill and trying to catch the wind. They would run down the steep slope on the cliffs overlooking the beach and just launch themselves into space.

Launched into space.

Heading for the beach.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Back across Cook Strait

PictonPicton Marina, looks like a calm crossing.

Heading north after 3 months down south we travelled on the Interislander this time so Honey and Gypsy Rover were inside all locked up.  No problems and no photos.

We had planned to stay in Lower Hutt for a couple of nights to catch up with relatives and friends. We arrived at the Petone Working Mans Club after 7pm (our planned stop) and were lucky to get a parking spot on power.

In the morning it was over the hill to Wainuiomata to visit my Dads final resting place before heading up to Maungaraki for lunch with rellies. Back to the club for the night as we were having morning tea with fellow Heretaunga Club members Pam and Don, before heading for Carterton over the Rimutaka hill on Friday to join the rest of the club for the weekend.

Next day home for a couple of weeks for me before flying to the UK. The boss is staying home to look after Honey.

IMG_0772Honey was so good during our travels and I will miss them both while I'm away.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Yealands Winery for lunch

As we had a lovely fine day again today, and the laundry all up to date, John and Elizabeth suggested we have a picnic for lunch.  We headed south towards Seddon on the now closed SH 1, although it is still open as far as Clarence more than 50 km’s south. Arriving at the huge Yealands Winery, we registered at the reception and viewed an introductory video from Peter Yealand on the history of the world award winning winery.
IMG_1999Views south overlooking the ocean from the top of the winery.
IMG_2002Looking north towards the north island.
IMG_2004Looking down the steep cliff towards the beach.
IMG_2006Grapevines for miles beautiful straight lines.
IMG_2009Lunch in the grounds alongside the lake.
IMG_2011Driving down into Seddon with Awatere Valley views.
IMG_2015Ward Beach where the land rose 2 metres in the 18th November 2016 Earthquake

Lake Rotoiti–Nelson Lakes

Leaving Wakefield yesterday morning we travelled on a back country road towards  Lake Rotoiti for lunch, before carrying on to Blenheim for a couple of nights.

IMG_1973Lovely autumn colourings lining the route.

IMG_1974The camera doesn't do the leaves justice.

IMG_1978Tree felling above the road we were held up as some of the trees landed on the road. Dangerous if you were travelling underneath.

IMG_1980Beautiful Lake Rotoiti on a lovely calm day.

IMG_1984A black swan and several ducks enjoying the sunshine.

IMG_1988Underneath the jetty we were very surprised to see several eels in the water.

IMG_1987Hard to photograph but one ventured out into the sunshine.

IMG_1990A fisherman arriving back at the jetty as we left.

With such a wonderful view we sat and enjoyed our lunch, accompanied by the local policeman in his patrol car beside us having his. This is a lovely doc site with lovely clean toilets alongside the lake. There were several tourists in their small vans enjoying the view but there were signs prohibiting freedom camping in the area.