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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Brrrrr, almost like being back in the UK

We had wind!!! No not that sort of wind...the blowing a hooley type of wind. Parked right on the foreshore in Napier and we certainly new about it. Van was being buffeted from all sides, so it seemed. Got away early then, to look around Napier, the Art Deco capital. Here is an exert from newzealand.com

New buildings reflected the architectural styles of the times - Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission and Art Deco. Local architect Louis Hay, an admirer of the great Frank Lloyd Wright, had his chance to shine. Maori motifs were employed to give the city a unique New Zealand character - for example, the ASB bank on the corner of Hastings and Emerson Streets features Maori koru and zigzags. Napier's city centre has the feeling of a time capsule - the seamless line of 1930s architecture is quite extraordinary.

What a super place to walk around and admire. We drove around the suburbs to find even more stunning art deco houses and the highlight was the Tobacco warehouse by the port.

On the road and so glad we weren't towing a caravan because Ian struggled to keep the van going straight. How those high-sided lorries coped with those gusts was beyond me. We chose to travel to a place called Ohakune. A drive across the Ruahine Range with stunning scenery.

Bridge spanning the Rangitikei river

And we got stopped by a train at Tangiwai first time that has happened to us either here or in Oz. At Okahune we found an information centre and first thing was to enquire about camping. Now we had no idea that this was also a winter playground for skiers. Should have guessed as the temperature had dropped drastically and I had to resort to wearing a jumper. A drive up the mountain road was suggested, to see waterfalls and find a free campsite. So up we drove to reach the ski resort of Mount Ruapehu. Shame the cloud covered the top and we didn't quite get to where the snow was. Boy was it cold standing that high up. Almost made me homesick for that lovely freezing UK weather....or then again maybe not!

Mangawhero Falls and as you can see Ian is made of sterner stuff. No jumper!!!

View down the valley.
 And that free campsite, very empty as you can see!

And wildlife


Tom and Jan said...

You drove over the "Gentle Annie" road. Well done as not may Kiwis use it. My mum used to take me over the Gentle Annie as a baby when she went from Waiouru to Napier to visit her parents. The NZ Army Museum in Waiouru is well worth a visit.

Tangiwai is the site of a major rail disaster when a passenger train fell into the river after the bridge was swept away in a flood caused by the "ice plug" in the side of the Crater Lake on Ruapehu melting and draining the lake into the river. Many of the passengers bodies couldn't be identified and were subsequently buried in a mass grave in Wellington.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Thanks for the information. Shame we didn't stop at the army museum but this morning we headed to a place called Whakapapa Village. Ian wanted to see Mount Doom (Hobbit)and so pleased we did as the mountains were covered in snow.

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