Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ray's Rest

Am sitting here watching the moon rise. Awesome. 
Tried fishing but was a good recap on how to cast a fishing line off the beach 

Will post more tomorrow. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

First major weekend away part 2....

So in my excitement at the TECT All Terrain Park I completely forgot to get the camera out!
We drove through to the mountain bike area and we had a nice blat around the Grade 2 Uno track. Brenda found it a bit interesting as it was the first time she had been on the bike since they had done the Otago Rail Trail 4 1/2 years ago!
TECT Park with mountain bike tracks in red dotted lines
Once that was complete, Roger and I went on the Grade 3 Keruru track, I blatted around having to walk up three hills, third when I dropped my chain, but it was a good sweat going round. Roger was pretty well done by the time he got in, not too long after me!
We lunched and watched a couple of families arrive and head off onto various tracks. 
Next time I'll go over the river and head up to the bigger tracks again. Problem is that you go down a huge hill and up the other side to get there and back! Ahh well by the time I return, I should be much fitter.
We then drove back towards Tauranga and headed down to Fergusson Park, where we spent the night after a lovely walk along the foreshore towards town.
Fredrock and Dragons' Rest at Fergusson Park
Looking good on the foreshore

On our walk

The mount at low tide!
We watched numerous people with their kite surfing rigs getting ready in the park, flying their kites then walking across to the water, picking up their boards and heading off over the harbour. They then reversed the process and walked their kites back to the park thus not letting their kites get wet or dirty, quite good exercise.
Had a great time watching an 8-9 year old with his dad, learning to control the kite on the land. Dad was hanging on to the back of his harness but every so often the youngster would take off towards the sky with only dad anchoring him to earth!
A lovely day and a great dinner was had. In the morning we went our separate ways, Roger and Brenda heading towards home base and I headed over to Te Puke.
One of the things that was happening in the background was that I had broken one of the vent covers on the roof of Fredrock Cafe and had put a call out over the motor home forum as I could not find the manufacturer.  Within minutes I had had a couple of replies, one telling me that the manufacturer had be bought out by another one and that there was difficulty in getting spares for older parts. One nice man though private messaged me to say that he had replaced one similar to mine and had the bits and depending what I had broken I could have the part I needed. It turns out that he had blown the motor so the vent cover was still available. He then said that I could have it for no charge. I was blown away by this and when I met up with him in Te Puke on Saturday morning, he wouldn't accept anything in payment telling me to "help someone out in the future".  I told him I certainly would pass it forward.

 So from there I headed off to Rotorua thinking I would lunch down by the lake, have a bit of a blat around the mountain bike park and then either stay the night or head off to Walton.

On arriving in Rotovegus, I was blown away and cursed myself for forgetting that we were in the midst of the school holidays, couldn't get a park within a km of the waterfront and when I got out to the mtb park there were hundreds of people there for an open weekend! .... moving right along....
I then decided to head off back to home base, arriving around 3pm.
While driving back I made the decision that I really enjoy driving The Fredrock Cafe. It handles well and gets loads of interesting looks.

The following morning Roger and I repaired the vent, greased up the mechanism and also checked and greased the rear one as well.

From there I started to dig up the lawn, looking for gophers... 
One of the things that we have decided to do at home base is to erect a small shed for me to do some pottery work in while I am at home base. For this to happen I decided that it would be good to have a permanent power supply to the main shed and to power the kiln in the small shed. We had got a good quote and as we had decided to go ahead, part of the deal was that we would dig the trench, so I laid down a sting line and started digging holes. I used a post hoe borer and made around 20 holes in the lawn, close together and then Brenda followed taking out the bits between, creating a trench 600mm deep for the laying of the cables.

Moving towards the shed
Then on Monday Roger and I greased the bus!  Using our wonderful ramps folded up I drove up on them giving me enough room to comfortably get under the bus and grease up all the linkages that needed to be greased. Again, with the right tools the job is easy! Thanks for your direction and experience Roger!

So a huge weekend (actually more like a week!) and now back to work for a rest!

First major weekend away.... part 1

Well an awesome weekend away was had by all!
Started on Wednesday afternoon with heading to Home Base in Walton and getting organised to head away for the following few days. An exciting time knowing that we were going to put into practice what we had been learning.
Fascinating to watch Brenda sort out things and check off lists, and I am thinking...."what do I need to do, um nothing! Its all in the bus already!" was an interesting feeling and a bit scary.
So Thursday morning the phone rings and its the guy from Viking Kayaks, wanting to know when I was going to pick up my kayak as it was taking up space and they were about to gear up for the summer run. After discussing it with Roger, we shot into Matamata and picked it all up, kayak, paddle, seat, wheels, life jacket, hat, fishing rod holder, ties for fishing rods and the cover for the back. Heaps of cool stuff. Viking Kayaks did me well on the deal! Was very impressed.
So by the time we got back to Walton, Brenda was ready, we had a coffee and then set off towards Tauranga.
Was a good drive over the Kaimai Ranges with me following Roger and Brenda in Dragons' Rest. The roadworks at the base of the hill didn't allow for a good run up but we both did well, I was surprised at the grunt that Fredrock has on the hills!
We arrived at McLaren Falls just before lunch and after trying to pay our $5.00 for the night but failing to find anyone, we headed off to Bottom Flat where we parked side by side.

Map of McLaren Falls Park
We then had a lovely lunch in The Fredrock Cafe and headed off for a walk up to the waterfall. A trip of about 4.5km return so a nice stretch out. Some great views.
McLaren Falls
McLaren Falls
There were some great things on the way including an amazing species of tree with interesting red young cones on it. The mature cones were very fragile and when I picke one and threw it to Brenda to look at, it destroyed itself into a thousand little flakes.....Need to research to see what they are. Also must get a good book on NZ plants and trees.

These next lot were quite cure with clumps of cones.

Later in the evening we wandered back to look for glow worms. Found one or three but they were few and far between. My photos didn't show them at all but saw some great ducks with their chicks in the twilight.
A lovely family of ducks

Twilight reflections
The following morning was clear and crisp and was interesting to see the two buses in the morning sunshine.
Fredrock Cafe and Dragons' Rest
The car beside The Fredrock Cafe was two young guys here from Europe working in Tourism, they were on a six month journey around NZ, hopefully not all of it in the car!

A black swan in the early morning light
From here we headed up to the TECT All Terrain Park... on to Weekend away Part 2