About Us

My photo
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.

Sunday 1 January 2023

What was needed was a machete.

 January 1st 2023.

Almost ready to leave for the pub and an unexpected visitor turned up.

Looked as if butter wouldn't melt but by God Weka can be quite vicious. I had a nasty peck on the back of my ankle several days ago when it was demanding I give it food. I refused with a shake of the fist, shoo'd it out of the way, I didn't fancy another razor sharp peck.!

Robin and Jenny knocked on our window a tad before 6pm, we were ready to celebrate getting together and enjoying several drinks. The pub looked to be busy, would we find any seats? Out of the 4 of us the only one able to stand for long periods was Ian. The booked meal wasn't until 8 pm, thought we would have to wait until a table became available but a reserved sticker had been placed on the only table in the saloon area so the worry of having to stand for any length of time disappeared. 

Drinks ordered we sat enjoying the conversation between each other, another round ordered and by 7 pm Jenny and I thought it a good idea to see menus.  On asking, we were told we could order the meal before the allotted time. Glad about that because the beer was starting to go to my head! 

 To start we ordered deep fried Camembert wedges with a sweet chilli dip. Gosh they were good. The mains followed after about 20 minutes, substantial and delicious. We got photos done by the lass that brought out the food. Did us proud too.

Jenny had Salmon, Robin steak, Ian fish and me a mixed grill.

 The coffee machine had broken, so it was all back to Romany Rambler for coffee and cake. I think we left about 10. 30pm, all I know it was very dark, and a thank goodness for the phone light. We could still hear people in the pub celebrating and some fireworks did go off before midnight, oh, and the Wekas called to each other for a while as well. Too old to stay up late these days, us oldies need sleep! Even the phones were switched off, didn't fancy receiving messages at some silly hour of the morning. (Sorry family)  But it didn't take long to nod off, and before we knew it, it was 8.30 am. This was the car park this morning. Very quiet after yesterday.

As soon as the phones went on, the messages came in, including that on our families WhatsApp Group. A video call was requested for 10 pm GMT, that equates to 11 am NZ time. So the decision was to stay, we had an internet signal and sods law states that that if we left, we probably wouldn't have had any at the allotted time. 

Jenny and Robin were also leaving this morning, and we drove down to wish them a happy new year. Another invite in and natter before they left, and we also had to figure out how to do a WhatsApp call with 3 families. Proper dinosaurs when it comes to phone technology but our son the whizz kid sent a link at exactly 11 am. We sent them this photo just before the link was activated. Nothing like really making them jealous!


The fact that we only had about 10 minutes with them all before our internet dropped out was neither here nor there. At least we got to see the grandkids and have an intelligent conversation with them. Not sure about the grown ups, they were already well on the way with the celebratory drinks!

We waved the Romany Ramblers goodbye, they too are heading down the West coast, so we may get to meet up again. 

We are still in the Westport area. From leaving the Star Tavern we headed for Cape Foulwind lighthouse. Yep... sorry folks...yet another lighthouse! Not far to drive and from the car park up a short steep track, but we couldn't get to it!


  A very small track appeared to the side, hmm, should we go up that?  All we could see was those flax plants. Ian went first, I followed, and my goodness what a track. People had been through, that was obvious by the footprints and broken vegetation. If they could do it so could we.


Well I must say we never do things by halves, the track had high boulders to get over as well as trying to find a way past that flax, and when we eventually reached the top, only a very thin ledge surrounded the lighthouse.


These two photos taken from the top looking down.


Try as we might there was no way we could get a decent photo of us by the structure. This was the best we could do.

The descent was difficult and not just for me. Those steps down were huge and even Ian struggled slightly.

Looking back up. Steep eh!

Those Flax bushes, they were a pain. Ian decided to do a bit of tying leaves back and a blooming good job he did too. A before and after.

This the view from the top. Told you it's worth finding lighthouses!

As it had gone midday it was off to Tauranga Bay to see the seals and have a spot of lunch. Conveniently a small kiosk selling ice cream and milkshakes was at the start of the walk to the lookout and the caramel milkshake was too much of a temptation to ignore. I do wish we could buy the litre bottles of caramel milk here in New Zealand. Banana, strawberry, coffee but no large bottles of caramel! Anyway, only a few seals to be seen, although we did see a few pups.

Next stop was find the dump point in Westport. Water and loo emptying not a chore here in New Zealand. They do look after their travelling tourists by providing outside facilities. Occasionally non-potable water is the only liquid on hand, not for drinking just to swill out cassettes. The only thing lacking at these sites are rubbish bins. We are still finding it hard to get rid of rubbish.

Tiredness crept over us both, t'was only about 2 pm but Ian didn't fancy any more driving (I still haven't driven over here, I can't drive and take photos, that's my excuse, and it's good enough!) and the area around Westport has freedom camping welcomed. So we found ourselves at Kawatiri Beach Reserve. There is also a NZMCA park here, it looked to be full of motorhomes, we decided to stay with the campers.


.Groan...and look what joined us this afternoon...another bloody COCKRELL!


And wildlife

1 comment:

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Sending hugs!
Love the jealousy inducing photo that you sent to the family - such meanies that you are...

We are heading towards you on the ferry tomorrow night. looking forward to catching up.


PS I am fairly sure you can buy caramel syrup in some supermarkets here. Have a look so you can make your own caramel milk.

Blog Archive