Friday, 2 September 2011

On the road again.

After a few chores on Friday morning we caught the train from Woburn station into Wellington where we transferred to an Intercity coach to Hastings. We had taken a picnic lunch with us as we had about 40 minutes wait between the train arrival and the coach departure time.

By the time we left Wellington at 1pm the coach was nearly full with scheduled stops at Porirua, Paraparaumu, Otaki and Levin to fill the remaining seats. The midway break stop was at Palmerston North where we all had to de-bus with all our hand luggage for half an hour. It was only a quick toilet and snack break before we were all allowed back on board for the second leg of the journey to Hastings. The problem here was that the Manawatu Gorge was closed once more due to another huge slip. It had been re-opened earlier in the week with just one lane but there were no guarantee’s of when it might re-open after this latest deluge of rock and mud.

The alternate route was over what they call the saddle road which was probably the old bullock track over the hills many years ago. It has been widened and tar sealed but still not an easy road to be driving a 40 foot coach over.The driver stopped several times to drop passengers off in some very unlikely places out in the middle of nowhere and by this time it was dark. We eventually pulled into Hastings at 7.15pm where we were met by Dot’s son Richard and partner Andrea. As it was late the general consensus of opinion was it was take aways for tea.

That night turned out to be the coldest nights of the year for Hawkes Bay and Richard lives in the centre of an orchardist district. As soon as the temperature reached freezing the orchard fans came on to protect the Spring blossoms. A short while later a helicopter arrived on the scene flying low backwards and forwards across the orchards until about 6am,so it was a bit of a sleepless night.

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