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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.

Friday, 25 November 2022

A walk across the longest curved wooden viaduct in the Southern Hemisphere.

 Kawakawa is a fabulous place to visit, a small town full of wonderful mosaics and sculptures and of course those amazing loos. It was all down to a man called Friedensreich Hundertwasser an Austrian who lived in Kawakawa from the mid 70s and gifted the toilets to the town on his death in 2000. I can see why they are so photographed, a pleasure to do your business in. And no....I didn't go into the men's toilets! That was left up to Ian.

Public toilets

top right and bottom left were the showers.

Along the main street was the Kawakawa Station and right down the centre of the high street, the train lines. Having nothing planned for today, we walked to see if the train was operating. It was although not dear old steam loco Gabriel. She was built in 1927, an old girl whose boiler gave up the ghost, and a new one had to be found. Today we heard the boiler had arrived, and it is hoped to have her up and running by Christmas. In the meantime vintage diesel engine 'Kauri' pulled the carriages today.

That's Gabriel's old boiler.

It was fun and Dennis, a volunteer who had been there since the early 80's, did a brilliant commentary. In fact before we set off he took us to the sheds and showed us Gabriel and some of the other engines.

Gabriel top photo and bottom

That's Dennis with the stick

The next project!

Price for the journey, $18 each concession. That included the 15-minute journey to Taumarere station each way, a walk out onto the 'Long Bridge' the longest curved wooden bridge in the Southern Hemisphere, a detailed talk standing almost in the middle looking out across the river (not for those with a fear of heights) and plenty of good humour and laughs along the way. Definitely one I would recommend. 

Oh, and a train trundling down the main street stopping all the traffic, where else would you see that!

An excursion has been booked for tomorrow. We do 90 mile beach by coach instead of taking the Toy.  A really early start, 7.30 am and because we want the fridge to stay on during the day, have booked ourselves into a proper site where we have power hookup. The coach also picks up from here so no need to walk into Paihia.

And one more 'toilet' photo

A very baffled Ian

How am I going to reach that! This was in a loo at Paihia, now pronounced as pee higher!


Jenny said...

Those world famous toilets are certainly well worth a visit, aren't they. I didn't know about the train rides operating, will have to remember that when we visit up this way again. And yes, much better to do the 90 mile beach trip by bus, such fun and you get to find out do much more with the commentary. Last time we did it, the friendly bus driver cooked us a BBQ lunch, don't know if that is still part of the deal?

Tom and Jan said...

Photo caption "top right and bottom left were the showers."
Irene I look forward to the photos showing you and Ian standing in the toilet bowls having a shower.... or was it a bird bath? You English don't half have some funny bathing habits! LOL

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Ah, but Tom and Jan they were showers. If you get a magnifying glass and look to the left of both photos you will see a shower head and tap in the wall. If you still cant see them I will put a full size one on the blog just for you (:

Jo said...

Those loos! They're amazing. I'd still be in there taking photographs. Thanks for sharing.
Jo ex. Sarah Kate

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