Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Narrowboats for Sale.

In recent weeks we have learnt that two of our canal companion's are now leaving the “Cut” (canal) and selling their narrowboats. It’s sad to see them become land based again but they like us have travelled the canals of Britain quite extensively.

For anybody who may be interested in a canal adventure and wishing to purchase a boat of their own we can recommend both of these boats. Contact can be made through us or directly to the owners themselves. Both of our friends are also bloggers and the story of their lives aboard can be followed on the following links.

Uccello and Gypsy Rover at Radford Semele, Warwickshire. Grand Union canal.Narrowboats Uccello and Gypsy Rover at Radford Semele, Warwickshire. Grand Union Canal.Our moorings in Birmingham opposite the NIA. Feb; 2010.Narrowboats Uccello and Gypsy Rover in Birmingham  Feb  2010.

The first boat is one we travelled with for quite a few months. Owned by Derek and Carrie  “Narrowboat Uccello” is a comfortable well maintained boat. We have also actually cruised on this boat while dog sitting the boat’s mascot, “Bungie” when we were land based in March in Cambridgeshire while waiting for our new motorhome to be built.

Our last sighting of Uccello at Aldersley junction.Narrowboat Uccello at Aldersley Junction.Captain Dot and first mate Bungie.Captain Dot and first mate Bungie on Narrowboat UccelloThe fish don't want to play today.Derek on Narrowboat Uccello at March, Cambridgeshire

The second boat “Piston Broke” is owned by Paul and Lynne and has recently been stretched and extensively refurbished. Paul being an ex marine engineer has been very fastidious and everything had to be as close to perfect as possible.

Paul and Lynne moored at Bugsworth basin.Narrowboats Piston Broke and Gypsy Rover moored at Bugsworth Basin.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Laid Low

Yes we are still alive, well almost. Since we returned home from our safari three weeks ago I have been performing the chief cook and bottle washer routine including shopping, housework and gardening.  Wow, hope Dot gets well soon. She has had an unknown virus which has really hit her.  The doctor originally thought it was viral pneumonia but all the chest x-rays and blood tests dispute that. Drastic way to loose weight apparently but she has lost several kilos in the meantime.  Hopefully things are starting to look up and she is heading back in the right direction.  For the last two evenings we have even managed to go out walking which was an intention we had when we moved here nearly 4 months ago.

Last weekend we were to attend a combined rally with Wellington and Wairarapa Caravan Clubs in Otaki but had to give that a miss.  Next weekend is a rally in Featherston which we have still not committed to, Robin and Jenny are hoping to move that weekend as well so time will tell.

What fantastic weather we have been having, almost unbelievable we have had little rain since before Christmas, and none on the rain radar in sight either. Drought conditions ahead maybe! Water restrictions are in force and they say Levin is running very low in water.  Ouch.

Today being the 2nd Anniversary of the Christchurch Earthquake and its severe loss of life, our thoughts go to all the people of Christchurch who are still suffering.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Home again.

Day 16. Yesterday the weather was wet and miserable with some not too light down pours. We had arranged to visit the Herb Farm for lunch and have a look at what natural herbal remedies they make and sell. Luckily this was all under cover. Last night the weather turned really sour with high winds, thunder and lightning.

Kereru or Native Pidgeon feeding in a bush outside the motorhome.Kereru or Native Pidgeon feeding in a bush outside the motorhome.

This morning we were up bright and early as we had booked the motorhome into the nearest Fiat dealership for a service. As we had to pass through Palmerston North to get home it made sense to get it done before going home to save a return journey. There is no Fiat dealer in Levin.

Unfortunately it didn’t get done as quickly as we would have hoped so we visited old friends from Dot’s schooldays. They own and operate a motel just on the edge of town. By the time we did collect the motorhome we didn’t leave Palmerston North until lunchtime.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Where do we go from here?

Following GR.Dot’s following Gypsy Rover!

Day 14. After 2 days of R & R at Rangiwahia it was time to move on. Don and Pamela had to head home today because of commitments this coming week .An interim decision had been made to check out the Chelmsford Hotel but upon arrival and checking out the site it was not to everybody’s liking. Peter and Elaine opted to carry on to Palmerston North Motor Camp and the remaining 3 of us headed off to Ashhurst Domain.

View from Apiti Lookout, Kimbolton.View from Apiti Lookout, Kimbolton.

Once again the scenery en route was spectacular and coming  closer to the Manawatu Gorge, the power generating wind farms were clearly visible. Arriving at the domain we found the place very busy with plenty of people taking advantage of another blistering hot day. The camping area is right at the rear of the park where we found ourselves the only occupants. This has since changed with other arrivals later in the afternoon.

Ashhurst domain with the wind turbines in the background.Ashhurst Domain with the wind turbines in the background.

The domain is well set up with electric power supply, water, rubbish, dump station and showers ($2). There are walkways we have yet to investigate over the next day or so.

Ponies at Ashhurst domain.Ponies at Ashhurst Domain.

Saturday, 2 February 2013


Views across the Rangitikei river.Views across the Rangitikei River.

Day 13. Don and Pamela decided on a trip to Hunterville and asked us if we would like to join them. We accepted as we were to travel across countryside we had never seen before. Our journey up took us over the hills to eventually over look the Rangitikei River. From Stormy Point look out we could see where the Rangitikei River and presumably earthquake movement had carved out numerous terraces over 400 000 years across the Rangitikei leaving an awesome view.

Views across the Rangitikei from Stormy Point.Views across the Rangitikei from Stormy Point.

In Hunterville we stopped for coffee and petrol and had a look around the few shops that exist.

Hunterville High st.Hunterville High St.

One of them is a second hand dealer selling just about anything and everything including cars. Vehicles on sale today were a low light Morris Minor Circa 1948, a 105 E Anglia repainted and part converted for racing, a Morris Oxford circa 1950, an Austin A30 for $850 and a Ford Zodiac which had been in storage for years and was in reasonable condition. We also saw the memorial to the Huntaway Dog without which farming around this hilly countryside would be nigh on impossible.

Memorial to the Huntaway sheep dog without which farming in these hills would an impossible task.Memorial to the Huntaway sheep dog without which farming in these hills would an impossible task.

These big dogs have the stamina to run up and down hills and bark loudly at the the cattle or sheep driving them down out of the hills to where the farmer wants them. Here smaller Border Collies take over the mustering.

Greywacke cliffs tower above the Rangitikei river.Greywacke cliffs tower above the Rangitikei River.

Friday, 1 February 2013


Day 12. A second visit to the Army museum was the order of the day to read some more of the mountains of information available.  After an hour or so it was time to move on, first stop Taihape.

Type V Prism road blocks made during WWII in case of invasion by the Japanese.Type V Prism road blocks made during WWII in case of invasion by the Japanese.Waiouru Army museum at sunset.Waiouru Army Museum at sunset last evening.

We all needed a few bits and pieces from the supermarket which didn’t take long to procure. At the bottom of the downhill run towards Mangaweka we turned off across the Mangawharariki River Valley.

Derek disappearing of the bridge over the Mangawharariki river.Derek disappearing of the bridge over the Mangawharariki River.

After crossing the river on a one way bridge the climb was up through Greywacke cliffs which appear to shed rocks quite frequently.

Bridge over the Mangawharariki riverBridge over the Mangawharariki river with Greywacke cliffs behind.

I had one lump the size of a cricket ball come rolling down the hill across my path but it landed in the centre of the road and I just rode over the top. We seemed to be climbing for ever and looking down to the valley floor below was getting more hair raising as we proceeded.

Soft stone cliffs above the Mangawharariki river.Soft Greywacke cliffs above the Mangawharariki River.

We eventually dropped down into another valley to Rangiwahia domain where a nice little campsite is available. With 3  power points, toilets and water it has all that we require for a couple of days stopover.

Our awning get's another airing.Derek and Don trying to escape under our awning from the heat of the midday sun.