Monday, October 27, 2014

Heavyweights, Water Balloons and Raffles

After a bit of a pause due to health issues I am back on the road (still not 100% but OK) and this Labour Day weekend saw me leave Auckland on Thursday afternoon, heading north towards Warkworth for a Heavyweights rally. For those who don’t know about the Heavyweights, it is a special interest group within the NZMCA. It was started many years ago for families living in large busses and house trucks and the likes. It was very family orientated and they used to have some huge rallies. Over the years the younger children have grown up and started to lead their own lives but are now starting to return to the lifestyle with their own children.

Anyway I headed north over the harbour bridge and wound my way up to Puhoi via Orewa as I wasn’t going to pay $4.40 for the pleasure of travelling on the toll road! The great thing was that although it too more then an hour over the time that the GPS told me that it would take to get there, there was very little traffic on the Orewa - Waiwera portion of the journey. The motorway at 4.30pm was full…..

So I stayed the night at the Puhoi pub. At the POP stop opposite the pub actually, but it was a very quiet peaceful evening. Had a drink and meal at the pub and spent some considerable time reading the walls, looking at the photos and all the iron hanging on the walls.

A lovely quiet drive through to Warkworth on Friday morning, where I had a bit of a wander along the riverbank there. I didn’t want to be too early to the rally, but as it turned out, the organisers were there the night before. So at the Mahurangi Rugby Club we all started to congregate….

The weather on Friday was interesting with some showers, some fine and then more showers. That didn’t worry me too much but the organisers were starting to worry.

After lunch, “There and Back” arrived. Ursula and Warren. I went to intermediate and high school with Ursula and it was great to catch up again in person. We had connected via Facebook and had a quick meet up some months ago but was good to spend some time with them and we had a great time over the weekend playing 5 Crowns.

On Saturday they headed out to Goat Island but I stayed to make some more bread and be a bit crafty….

Thanks to Bernice for the suggestion of using cheap plastic shower caps from the $2 shop for covering the proofing bread, they work well and the banneton I got from off TradeMe worked well. Still a work in progress but getting there.

I also have started doing some macramé plant hangers for my niece…

Its a bit of fun and I have been amazed at how quickly my hands have got back to doing it.

At Happy Hour on Saturday night I managed to win a raffle, a lovely breakfast meat pack. The guy next to me told me that I need not buy another ticked as I had no hope of winning again and promptly did so, but as it was the same breakfast pack, I put one back for a redraw. then the following night I won another one! So quite a good weekend! I had part of one for dinner on Saturday night. Yummy!  Breakfast sausages, bacon, egg and black pudding!

So on Sunday morning we all decided that we would head into town for a walk.

We found a lovely walking trail that wound around the river and into town.

The riverside dock was a great sight and the boats there are great restorations. The Jane Gifford used to sail around Waiuku and the Manukau Harbour and it was quite interesting to see her on the east coast.

Sunday afternoon was a bit of fun and games for both the kids and adults alike, with plank racing, three legged races and water balloon shooting.

One of the guys had a huge slingshot that took three people to operate but it shot water balloons over 150m. We didn’t shoot them that far, but they did manage to have one young man hit in the face with a water balloon. Ouch!  A great deal of fun was had and a number of them were actually caught intact, but the majority were splattered over the rugby field.

So a great weekend of fun, games and meeting of some wonderful people. Was good to catch up with Mark and Frances of Buzzin Around from Whakatane again. We had first met at Mystery Creek back in February.

Also really great to talk to some of the long time full timers who are in the old Bedfords. There were some great stories told!

So Monday morning, Moving Day, and after a great final morning tea with everyone and the handing out of the awards, including the ‘Breakdown Award” for one of the busses that wont be moving for a couple of days until the radiator gets replaced! The award is a wonderful wooden piece with a lovely wooden piston and crankshaft. Awesome work!

The Bunny award went to the guy who refused/forgot to listen to his other half and didn’t replace the batteries in the TV and it failed during Corro Street, much to her disgust!

After saying goodbye to everyone, I headed north again and have ended up at Te Arai Point for the night. A bit breezy but still a lovely spot.

Tomorrow I might get as far as Uretiti……

But as I couldn’t upload this yesterday….

Last night I was going for a post dinner perambulation and ended up chatting to a couple in another bus and then got talking to yet another  (place was full!) and we ended up assisting in the setting of a kontiki. There were three young guys from Germany who were very interested in what was happening and so it was all explained to them and as we were hauling it back in after an hour or so, they were back to assist.

A good haul of 5 great snapper and two gurnard was the catch but the largest snapper was released back as it looked like she was full of roe.

The catch was shared out amongst everyone and then I headed up to the bus to show the young guys how to fillet their snapper! I showed them and they went away very happy with two lovely snapper fillets for dinner or breakfast, we were not sure which.

I have ended up with some lovely gurnard which I will smoke for lunch.

The weather this morning was rainy and very overcast, couldn’t see any of the islands, Little Barrier or The Hen and Chicks, so I decided to head to WHangarei and see my sister. Decided to try and find a park near my niece’s shop and turned into Rust Ave from Bank Street only to have all sorts of lights flash at me warning me I was over-height and wouldn’t fit under the railway bridge, so I had to do a U turn on Rust Ave and headed out again. Would have been nice to have a warning before the turn into Rust Ave!

So safely at Lorna’s and will go see Tracy later!

I hope everyone got home safely.