Sunday, 27 January 2013

Chateau to Plateau.

Whangamomona camp.Whangamomona Camp.

Day 7. We were in no great hurry to leave Whangamomona today as there were approximately 300 motorcycles due to arrive in town on the Lions Club “Chateau to Plateau” charity ride. We didn’t fancy meeting them on the 16km stretch of unsealed roadway.

Whangamomona Rail Crossing with the Forgotten World Adventure rail carts.Whangamomona Rail Crossing with the Forgotten World Adventure rail carts.

Instead we had an early lunch and moved into town near the railway crossing where we could watch the motorcyclist’s arrive. As they started to arrive so did the Forgotten World Adventure rail carts on a Douglas to Whangamomona return trip. They were having lunch at the pub and the lions club had set up lunch for the motorcyclist's around the corner in the Community hall.

Derek gets a go at driving the carts on tyres. He waits while the motorcycles on the Chateau to Plateau run pass by.Waiting while the motorcycles on the Chateau to Plateau run pass by.

I made myself known to the FWA guide, Dave, and was invited to assist with turning the 9 rail carts around for the return trip. I didn’t need to be asked twice and was more than happy to have another go on the carts even if it was only on a short length of track. Getting them off the rails onto road wheels was easy but the reverse operation needed a bit more care. The 2 seater carts were easy to line up with the rails but the 4 seater long wheel base version wasn’t as easy and took a bit more skill.

Derek gets a go at driving the carts on tyres.Derek gets a go at driving the carts on tyres, not rails as on Friday.

By the time we had finished manoeuvring the carts most of the motorcyclist’s had arrived in town so we set off. We were to be tail end Charlie on this run as our 4 travelling companions were well ahead of us. Meeting only a few vehicles on the narrow and unsealed road made for an easy drive. At Taumarunui we headed to the Cosmopolitan club where we were able to replenish our water supplies and empty the waste tank.

Motorcycles on the Chateau to Plateau arriving at Whangamomona.Motorcycles on the Chateau to Plateau arriving at Whangamomona.

Our next camp site was located about 16km’s outside town and wasn’t the easiest of places to find. Turning off the main highway onto a side road was OK until we had to turn onto a narrow  unsealed side road where we thought the GPS had led us astray. A couple more intersections and we finally found our travelling companion’s parked in a paddock. To reach them we had to negotiate another paddock  also full of motorhomes and caravans who it transpired were the Lake Taupo Caravan Club. Apparently they always rally here on Auckland Anniversary week-end.

IMG_8352Welcome sign into Ruapehu District where we could see Mt Tongariro smoking in the distance.

Once settled in we were invited to join the above club for afternoon drinks and later some light entertainment. This turned out to be a couple from the club doing an imitation of the Topp Twins. They certainly got a few laughs and one wasn’t too bad a singer either. Part of the evenings activities was they all had to dress up as cowboys and Jenny and I were asked to be impartial judges. We gladly accepted the challenge choosing a cowboy and cowgirl as winners with two granddaughters as runners up. 


Anonymous said...

G'day there Derek and Dot, you certainly have been around. I was on the Chateau to Plateau ride this year and was searching for some info on the ride and hit your blog. In your image at Whangamomona if you follow the white line from left to right when it hits the first bike (the white one) the next bike has an orange hi-vis jacket, that's mine and I'm standing behind it taking a photo of the bikes and your home! More, I walked down to where you were maneuvering the golf carts and spoke to the operator who commented at the time you were doing so well he'd keep you on! Small world. It was a great ride on a stunning day for a great purpose - the Taranaki rescue chopper. Safe travels, Best Regards Brent H

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Brent
Thanks for your comment. We had a wonderful day viewing all the bikes coming into Whangamomona. Feel free to download the photo if you desire. My husband rode motorbikes years ago when a Traffic Officer and he loved it.
Keep biking and we will keep travelling, we may see you on the road again sometime.