Thursday, 28 March 2013

On top of the world.

After a few days at Tongariro and with  a few days up our sleeves before we were due at Mowhanau for the Caravan Club’s Easter Rally, we decided on a little sight seeing.

Chateau WhakapapaChateau Tongariro

First up was a visit to The Chateau at the base of Mt Ruapehu. Here we rode up the mountain on the ski chair lifts. We had been told that it would be $30 each but we found that pensioners get half price concessions so we could afford a light lunch up in the restaurant at the top of the chair lift. We arrived  in beautiful sunshine with just a slight chill in the air. After about an hour, clouds started rolling over the mountain top and with it a distinct and rapid drop in temperature. It was time to ride the chair lift back down to the car park.

The highest cafe in NZ at the end of the Ski chair lift on Mt Ruapehu.The highest cafe in New Zealand at the end of the ski chair lift on Mt Ruapehu.Summit of Mt Ruapehu.Summit of Mt Ruapehu.The view from the cafe at the top of Mt Ruapehu.The view from the cafe at the top of Mt Ruapehu.Gypsy Rover in the Ruapehu car park.We spotted Gypsy Rover below in the Ruapehu car park.

Leaving the mountains we headed for Raetihi on SH4. Here we were looking for a property to stay the night. Upon arrival there was no NZMCA club sign on the gate and the access was totally unsuitable for our motorhome so we pushed on hoping to find a suitable spot to freedom camp. This didn’t eventuate and we found ourselves arriving in Wanganui earlier than planned. A visit to the I Site office revealed 2 overnight sites in town. The first wasn’t suitable and the second  we had trouble locating initially.

Gypsy Rover parked outside the Tram Barn in Wanganui.Gypsy Rover parked outside the Tram Barn in Wanganui.

Alongside the I Site was a Tram Museum in a double bay tram shed. It was all locked up and is incomplete with no overhead electrical cables, I parked outside the pair of doors where I could see there was no tram parked behind them, waiting for the car park to empty of cars at the end of the day. Our plan was to move onto this area later in the afternoon. Shortly afterwards the Museum Curator returned and opened up the museum. After some discussion with this gentleman who originated from Chalfont St Peter which is only 10 miles from my old home town of Watford, he was only too happy for us to park up overnight. For his generosity we made some gold coin donations to the Tramway Museum.

MV Wairua on the Wanganui River.MV Wairua on the Wanganui River.Tree trunk arm chairs.Tree trunk arm chairs.

The next day we toured the town on foot and found the other overnight site which was further down river than we had been led to believe by the old railway goods yard and Freightways depot. Returning to the motorhome we were planning on moving to this site but the museum curator invited us to stay another night as we were in no way affecting him. This offer was gratefully received even though the official parking sites are for one night only per annum.

A diesel loco emerging from a tunnel. Sort of an odd angle.Alongside the Wanganui River, a diesel loco emerging from a tunnel. Sort of an odd angle.

Monday, 25 March 2013

It’s a Chevy 38.

After a couple of days getting things sorted at home after getting back from Hastings  we were heading north again. Back at the camp for a while the weather was still warm although getting chilly some nights.

IMG_8468Returning from the Beach Hop Greg drove his baby home.

Friday, 8 March 2013

An unplanned trip to Hastings.

A phone call from Dot’s son Richard and we made a fast trip up to Hastings.  In hospital for a few days and expecting visitors the decision was made to erect the tent in the backyard.  Now this was a first for me and with no instructions it was surprising how we managed it.  It never blew away in the strong winds later in the day either.

IMG_8464Now where does this pole go?