Sunday 24 January 2021

Sat 23 Jan - Off to Sth Island, Take #2

Quick unload, reload, wash stuff, wash kids, bake a cake.... And we're off. Made it past Levin!! Stopped overnight with our great friends George & Pam in Pekapeka. 

Saturday 23 January 2021

Fri 22 Jan: A Sad Day

Very sorry to be farewelling our dear friend Mike today following a farm accident. A very honouring funeral followed by a great camp out and bonfire at the family farm. Good to be with others. 

Thurs 21: Boogy Boarding Bonanza

Back to Waimarama Beach today. Enthusiastic showering children last night used all our fresh water, so first task : find a friendly local who'd let us use their hose. Not too hard, a lovely chap was out painting his fence and very happy to help. Being a father of 7, he totally understood children taking long showers!

Nice and sunny but a cool breeze, so we were very thankful for wetsuits to soften the chill of the water.

Everyone enjoyed the swells and boogy boarding. I (Donna) had my first ever success on a board, thanks to great tips and coaching from Lizette. I loved it! Caught about 20 waves. (now have really sore arms!). Zach is a whizz at catching waves, makes it look so easy!

Matt preferred making soggy sandcastles. He set a goal of making a higher one each time we go to a beach. 

A quick stop at Donna's Dad's, then her mum's, then on the road to Tikokino to park up for the night. 

Friday 22 January 2021

Wed 20 Jan: Sun & Surf at last

Abbie starts the day her favourite way... Surrounded by books
Pandora Pond was way too windy to go kayaking despite the weather forecast. We see some swimming flags out on Marine Parade where Napier Hill blocks the wind, but only good for paddling feet and skimming stones. 
Meet a lovely lifeguard Sarah who had just been out at Waimarama Beach a few hours ago and says it's perfect, so we're off! 
Robin, Lizette, Zach and Matthew are straight in for boogy boarding while Abbie and I make lunch. Very thankful tummies arrive back to hot sweetcorn and tomatoe/cheese toasties. (thanks to Nana's garden!)
Plenty of volunteers to try out the new camping chairs. 

Robin and I take a walk and find a funky letterbox. Love how creative people are brave enough to be at beach properties. 

Another swim then we're off to an amazing location for the night : Maraetōtara Falls. A beautiful short bush walk leads to magical scene. 
Matty, Lizette and Zach are the brave souls who try out the icy water. 
They have great fun being human outboard motors for a log! 

Thursday 21 January 2021

Tues 19 Jan A hunt for good weather!

A quick scramble for a few extra things from home. A super speed sew of 8 more bags for the puffer jackets (they are all black, takes ages to find who's is who's!).

A last minute check of the weather put an end to our plan to try out the kayaks on Lake Rotokare at Eltham. Rerouted to Hawkes Bay to try Pandora Pond the next day instead. 

So hot, so we stop for sausage sizzles in Waipukurau, at the playground right next to the pools.... Lovely refreshing swim! 

So.. a late night arrival in Napier. Missed out on one of the 4 spots at Perfume Point Carpark, so went to Pump Park on Marine Parade. 
Followed this cute as house truck on the way there. Wondered if they have chickens in a box on the back 😁

Mon 18 Jan: And we're off! Again!

Camper repaired by 5pm, so off we went... All the way to Feilding! Spent the night at Timona Park. Boys were stoked to wake up at a soccer field. Wrote at list of things we forgot/didn't think of, planned a quick stop at home in the morning. Phew! Highly recommend not going far on the first day of a big trip! Nothing like the first 24hrs to help you figure out what you forgot or simply don't need 😁

Wednesday 20 January 2021

We're on our way.... almost

Saturday 16th Jan 2021
After months of preparation and planning, packing and configuring our camper we were on our way heading to the ferry terminal for a 5 p.m. sailing.. 

Well we made it just north of Levin and had some transmission / engine troubles. 

We limped into Levin, parked up near the adventure park so the kids could play and waited for the AA to come and rescue us. 

Sounds a bit stink, but let's count some blessings. 
  • Broke down just prior to the 2hour-before-sailing deadline to change our ferry booking. 
  • AA motorhome plus coverage (free towing) 
  • 12 month mechanical guarantee on the motorhome (free fix)
  • The kids favourite park to play at.
  • A good friend (thanks Gary) who happened to have just purchased a vehicle with enough seats to take the family back to home. 
  • A quiet nights sleep for Robin waiting for the tow truck. 
  • Gary got to share Jesus with a hitchhiker. That wouldn't have happened if we hadn't broken down
  • We broke-down close to home 
  • The biggest blessing was having an extra day to spend time with a dear friend who just lost her hubby.

Wed 10 Feb - Checking Out Murchison

 A slow start to the day as everyone is in recovery mode after all the adventuring with Dad.  Matty and I were the early birds, so we went f...