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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.

Saturday 10 December 2022

A very wet drive.

 December 9th

There was an incident at the car park this morning. Shouting was heard and, peaking through the curtain, looked out to see something being thrown down from up high. Opunake beach car park is sheltered from three side by rock face. Steps from the car park lead up to the cliff top, and it was from there that missiles were being thrown. A small dwelling structure, similar to that of a very large conservatory but with wooden sides and sliding door at the front, was in the line of fire, as was the car parked by it. There was an almighty bang, more shouting and plenty of swearing, a chap ran out hastily trying to get dressed, got into the car and drove with considerable haste toward the car park exit. What happened next will forever be a mystery but no more sleep was had after that. Time....6.10 am!

This small beach also had a boat ramp and next to it a tap with hose for cleaning the salt and sand from the boat trailers. It seemed to good an opportunity to miss so by 7 am we were hosing and washing the Toy. Halfway through and it tipped it down. Managing just to get the Toy cleaned, no point in trying to dry her, we set off back towards the most westerly point in North Island, Cape Egmont Lighthouse. The rain never let up, began to think what a pointless exercise it was washing the van which was by now spattered in dirt again, and it was a quick dash outside to take the photo and then hurriedly back to the Toy.

 As far as we were concerned everything we wanted to see at Egmont National park had now been completed so next stop would be Foxton. A windmill housed a market full of Dutch goodies and I knew exactly the goodies I wanted.  But at Manaia we saw the sign for Dawson Falls. On a day like this we would have been fools to drive all that way, 25 km there and in this weather? This is the Jameisons were talking about, we did no more than take the left turn to make that journey. Gosh that journey was awful, torrential rain most of the way.

The last 6 km was along a very narrow road with only a few wide bits enough for vehicles to pass. I really hoped nothing would be met because the other alternative was to put the near side wheels down the gully and some were deep! We met nothing going up to the falls or coming back down, a long sigh of relief from us both.

 The viewing platform for the falls was a mere 200 meters from the road and on a good day would have been an easy walk down all the steps. Today though everything was dark, dismal, oppressive and very wet.

I worried about slipping, Ian went in front, he would have given me a soft landing had I fallen. Hmm, I doubt he would have come away unscathed had I landed on top of him!! As it happens neither of us slipped, taking our time made the difference.

A visitor centre was yards further along the road. We had hoped to grab a coffee but no cafรฉ there at all.T Shirts, caps, coats and other items for sale plus information about conservation areas, DOC's 14,000 km of tracks, walks, and network of huts and campsites. A side room showed what a typical hut looked like.

Had a longish drive to Foxton, stopping once for lunch as we got onto SH1 and also to call in on Mary and Alan for a welcome cup of tea at Whanganui. By the time we reached the NZMCA site at Foxton, having first driven to the Windmill to check on opening times tomorrow, it was nearly 6 pm.

This site overlooks the racecourse. Now wouldn't it be great if horses were exercised first thing in the morning. Camera will be at the ready!

Looking forward to seeing Marilyn and David tomorrow. Marilyn has promised to cook for us a vegetable lasagna, and I'm hoping her hairdressing skills will be put to use on my hair. It badly needs a cut!


Jenny said...

Foxton is a good stop, not too far to drive down to see Marilyn and David. We are crossing cook Strait a day after you on Tuesday and will be spending a couple
of nights at Koromiko. Our poor cat will probably be stressed out from the ferry crossing, locked up alone in the caravan. Hoping for a smooth crossing for us both.

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Maybe we can catch up. Still not sure which way we will go, that will be decided on the ferry. Hope your crossing will be good too. Xx

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