Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Karioitahi, Waiuku & Flyscreens

After leaving Duder I headed through to Ambury Farm Park for the night and had a bit of a wander around the coastal walk.

I know realise I forgot to take a pic of the Fredrock Cafe insitu there. Ahh well!  It was very very windy there but not too bad a night. Quite impressed by the number of school children there both days.

From there I headed over towards Pukekohe as I had to sign some papers for the sale of one of the houses (finally!).

So after that little exercise I headed out towards Waiuku and Karioitahi Beach for a couple of hours…

It was VERY windy there with the wind howling off the Tasman Sea but still quite interesting.

I ended up contacting a lovely couple that I had met some months ago when I was up at the Awhitu Regional Park and they had said that I could drop by and park up, so I sent a text message and I was welcome to stay. Nick, Kristine and their daughter Sam are a lovely young family who are keen to eventually get on the road, but currently have a lifestyle block full of horses, cattle, sheep, chickens and a dog. So they care rather tied down at the moment. It will happen eventually for them.

After telling Kristine that she didn’t need to feed me, she told me that I had lucked out as she had a lovely lamb roast in the oven and would be welcome to join them. While peeling potatoes and helping Nick with dinner, we talked politics, business, world peace and the price of hay. A lovely evening thanks guys. I will be back!

So from there I have moved through to Ardmore Airport again for a couple of days.

So for my lovely friend and ex school mate Ursula here is the down low on the fly screens….

So I purchased a set of magnetic fly screens from the Warehouse (actually 2 sets).


On looking at them I decided that the edging was a little flimsy as it was very similar to the last set I had.


The object of the exercise is to velcro the screens to the door frame and then the magnets attract each other and close automatically.


In taking them on and off, the edges get frayed quickly, so a quick trip to Spotlight, I purchased some 36mm edging tape and some good velcro.


I (yes I) sewed the tape along the edges and tops of both pieces of the screens and as my door is not a nice square I had to shape the left hand edge to fit.


So once I had the shape and the edging tape on I fitted it and then sewed the velcro strips to the tape.


These attach to the other side that is stuck onto the exterior of the bus


So they now go up easily and quickly and are effective in keeping the flying insects out. All ready for the summer onslaught!

Hope this helps.

So I am heading to Manukau for my op next Wednesday then no idea what is going to happen for the next little while……

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Duder Regional Park

After a week hiding in Auckland, via Walton, staying with sisters and having a rather interesting job interview, I am taking a few days out before my little ear operation and have ended up at the Auckland Regional Council’s Duder Regional Park. This is a 148 hectare coastal farm park that is located on the Whakakaiwhara Peninsula, which juts out into the Tamaki Strait. It sits between Clevedon and Maraetai. I believe that it has only recently been opened for camping and self contained overnighting. 


It is a rather nice place with heaps of sheep and lambs at the moment. They are quite friendly as well.


There are a couple of lovely walks around the peninsula and you can ride your mountain bike around one of them. So that may well be on the cards for tomorrow.

I wandered around towards the beach in the pouring rain to see how far I had to drag the kayak to get to the beach but have decided that I will need to go to Umupuia Beach to launch the kayak if the weather is nice enough over the next couple of days.

On the way as I climbed up from the beach track to the Farm Loop track, I came across a nest of what I believe are Plover eggs.


So the weather has fined up and I am sitting here in glorious sunshine as I update this blog, with my roast defrosting for dinner tomorrow night…..  yummy! Chicken and veges tonight. Must look for smoking chicken recipes now that I have the smoker.

Tomorrow I will do a bit of an update on the fly screens for those that are interested.

Safe travels.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Adrenalin Rush

After a week in Palmerston North staying in the driveway of Pat and Peter, I left on Saturday morning. My workshop on Friday was exhausting but the feedback was great. A few tweeks to make for next time but it was well received but everyone there. They had come from as far afield as New Plymouth and Gisborne to be part of the day so I was really happy with the results.
Trundling up the highway I decided to do a right turn and have a look at Gravity Canyon, just south of Taihape. I had cheekily applied for a job there a while ago but was unsuccessful so wanted to see what it was like. Well…..

Those were promotional shots not taken by me.
Gravity Canyon has 4 rides, an 80m bridge bungy jump, a 50m freefall bridge swing, a 1km long flying fox (160km per hour) and a hydrolift, which is a water powered chairlift. After some deliberation I decided what the heck and got a ticket for the flying fox.
After being weighed and signing my life away, I walked up the track, and up the track and then up the stairs to the start point where two lovely employees strapped, bucked and clipped me into a canvas sack…..after a rest from walking all the way up the hill to get there. They also gave me a pair of goggles to wear due to the speed at which one travels on this beastie.
Then it was clip on time and lying face down suspended on the wires, they let me go.
These are stills I have taken from the video which I will post when I get back to a non mobile internet connection. There is a GoPro mounted in front of the rider/s recording the journey.
On release, you gather speed quite quickly down the wire and soon you are rushing headlong down towards the river and under the bridge. It is quite a rush but as you are around 175m above the river to start with, it is quite difficult to get the real sense of how fast you are travelling, which is around 160kmpH at the bottom.
Once you have stopped at the bottom, you are hauled back up to the top, which is almost as good as the trip down. The young guy then tried to upsell me on another trip straight away, but I turned him down. Then they reversed the clipping, buckling and strapping to get me out of the harness and then a lovely walk back down the track to HQ.
After a bit of consideration I decided to partake of the Bridge swing. This is an 50m freefall swing down into the river canyon. So after suiting up into the harness…
Those pics were taken by the official photographer…the next are stills taken from the video shot with a GoPro strapped to my arm…

Now that was a fantastic experience and one I believe that I will redo at some stage. A great feeling of freefall followed by a huge swing through the canyon above the river. Just a great feeling and a huge head rush! Brilliant!
There was a triple on the flying fox as I was being hoisted back up to the bridge and they sped underneath me. You can see just how deep this canyon is from the scale of this picture.
So after a coffee and a quiet time watching another group speed down on the flying fox, I headed out from the Gravity HQ and crossed over the road to the Makino Scenic Reserve which is a free DoC campsite. There is a toilet on site but that is all. The guys from the Gravity Canyon do the maintenance on the site. The carpark at Gravity Canyon is also a POP but I thought that a night in the quiet grassy reserve might be better than the carpark. It was a lovely quiet evening. With no internet connection from either Spark or Vodafone, no update possible….
It rained over the night and there was a fine drizzle as I left and headed back out to the highway, heading to the NZMCA Piriaka Park, just out of Taumarunui. I stopped on the way at the Tangiwai Memorial…

From there it was a quick stop at the Makatote Viaduct for morning tea
and then onwards to Piriaka Park.
I was a bit worried about having the train tracks right there and the road (uphill grind) behind but surprisingly it has been quiet. I have seen two trains go past but not a great amount of noise.
We shall see how bad it is tonight….
So tomorrow I will continue northwards and see how far I get…
Safe travels everyone.