Central Plateau, North Island

Central Plateau, North Island
View from a friend's farm

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Holiday photos, by day and by night.


I met so many lovely people while we were at Piropiro Campground, according to my tally over 300 passed through the area, stopped, camped, cycled on their way, or were walking, hunting, driving, or lost.

This number does not include the 100 plus who attended the 8th,9th and 10th March SAR training weekend.

Census day arrived, 5th March, our papers were not delivered at home before we  left,  I phoned the Government Department, and was assured they would be with us at Piropiro.This is a remote area, a  17km gravel road( more later for you Georgia), and sure enough, on 5th March, in almost dark,  Debbie Donaldson arrived, I think there were at least 12 or more camped, that night, we filled the details in by generator power lights.

Census papers by generator light

It was almost 8.30 p.m. and Debbie  was on her way, trusty driver waiting while she gave out the forms, and returned in 20 minutes  to collect them.

Census night, 8.22 p.m.

New Zealand has many metal or gravel roads, these have no  seal, can be smooth, if you are lucky, or rough and bumpy in many places.  In Pureora Forest Park the roads are all gravel, not nearly as wide as a normal road through a town or country area, barely a one-way in places, some smooth like my photo, others quite rough, with larger stones, and washout areas, navigating needs to be done carefully.

metal road in Pureora Forest Park

Showers fell on our last night, and the three young men from Germany  walked over to meet Hugh. Patrick, Max and Finn. All my good wishes for when you return to  Bad Salzuflen, a spa town in the  Lippe district of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

They waved goodbye to me as I followed Hugh on Tuesday morning, along, yes, the metal road.Thanks so much, that made  my day so much happier.

The photo below, “The Tall and the Short”!!! Finn told me he is 6’8'’ tall, or 2 metres. Little shorty me, at about 5’3’’ or 1.6 metres.and I was wearing tramping boots with thick soles!!!

Finn & Jean,Piropiro 2013 

Max,Finn and Patrick.

Max,Finn,Patrick .

Did I mention that we started with self inflating mattresses, one each, thought to be the best.After 10 days Hugh was disillusioned with their ability to provide any comfort to his bones at night.He was off to the nearest small town, TeKuiti, at least 71 km away,  for some supplies we needed, a Newspaper and magazines for me. But, not mentioned to me, was his hope to buy a better bed!!! After we unpacked the goodies, had lunch, he went back to the  station wagon, and brought out a box, with the magic words

“ Luxury Comfort for Older People

when Camping in the Outdoors”

Well, that is what I thought it might have said, and although the words are true, maybe only  in my imagination!!!  It  is a really good air bed, inflated with power, has a built in pump, velour top, and is  “Queen Size”. 80’’ long, 62’’ wide, 18.5’’ high!!! He wondered if I had seen him measuring out the area in the tent to see if he could buy one to fit. He did…there was room to walk along the side, but lengthways it filled that part of the tent  to the limit. Praises to  Intex for their design,

Inflatable air bed, Queen Size!!


Quotation of the day, from Johann  Wolfgang von Goethe,

“ He is the happiest ,be he king or peasant,

who finds peace in his home”

Greetings  from Jean


Janet said...

I so admire that you are still out camping in a tent at 71! I hope that I have your gumption when I reach that age. And I bet that big mattress is mighty comfortable.

Nancy J said...

Janet, I need to update my profile, and age. Almost 2 years older now, and yes, comfy was the word. But Hugh thinks a campervan or motorhome is more suitable for our next time away!! Cheers from Jean

Georgia said...

Still a little confused, are you saying that in New Zealand gravel roads are sometimes called metal roads?

Kate said...

I think I must agree that any one over a certain age should have an airbed when camping. I think that certain age can be as low as 25.

Nancy J said...

Georgia, gravel and metal, the same, but mostly called metal in any publication. This tells the motorists the roads will not be smooth like tarseal, or maybe called asphalt or bitumen, which are on all the main highways and roads, metal for lesser used ones, or in really country areas. They get smoothed with a grader every so often. Hope this helps, will post a grader photo later. Kate, luxury at any price was accepted very thankfully, and 25 is a very good age to start looking for comfort when camping.Greetings from Jean.

Susan Heather said...

That bed looks good. I do admire you camping. I like warmth and comfort.

fromsophiesview said...

We have always known there would be a quote such as this ~~~ perfect! We have always followed this belief.
My, my Finn is a tall lad, so are Max and Patrick for that matter.
Your hubby is a true sweetheart to surprise you with the air bed ~~~ it must have made all the difference in the world.
I was just about to ask about metal roads and I then looked at your reply above. I had visions of slippery iron/steel roads every where. You MUST be great drivers in N.Z. ~~~ just teasing!
So glad to have you back home and that your trip was so rewarding!


Jim said...

So good to see you, Jean! And to be camping in a tent! I am so impressed with your NZ hardiness! I can imagine meeting all the people you have will fill you with the best of memories.
That new mattress looks very comfortable....the ONLY way, in my books, to camp/tent!!
I must ask: do you have a rainy season in which those 'metal' roads are treacherous and muddy?

Carol Mattingly said...

That bed looks pretty good to me. Nothing worst than sleeping uncomfortably,

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Nancy J said...

Thanks Susan, Sophie, Jim and Carol, I am truly appreciating home comforts all the more. Jim, a post just for you!!! roads, snow and metal.Hugh commented that I met and talked to so many people, my reply" Well, if I didn't it would leave you and me, and you don't talk much at all!!"But I am hoping for something on wheels next time, built in bed, shower and toilet, no poles, dreams might come true. Greetings to all from Jean

MandaBurms FarmStay for Cats. said...

Lovely post! A camper van would be my choice re camping. Glad Hugh was able to buy a comfy bed. Lots of good memories for you both.

Barb said...

Jean, that is such a great photo of you and your tall friend! It put a smile on my face. (As did your luxury mattress!)

Nancy J said...

Leanne, the bed made it all so much better, before that night-time was a bit of an ordeal for old bones!! Barb, Finn was really very happy to have his photo taken, with me trying to look even a little taller!!they were all very handsome guys!! Cheers from Jean.

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Nicky said...

Love this post, the tall and the short of it! How does Finn find a mattress or sleeping bag to accommodate him I wonder? Our last camping trip involved stretchers and they were terrible, just impossible to get comfortable, must try an airbed again I think.... well done Hugh, great shopping skills.

Nancy J said...

Nicky, I'm not sure how Finn managed, as they were all in what seemed to be a smaller sized van, Airbeds, we tried them last year, but they seemed cold, someone told me, you need to have wool rugs under, and on top, then a sleeping bag etc. this one was extra good, yes, Hugh did so well, he had gone into town originally for extra food, wanted a leather hat that wouldn't blow off when on the quad, and came home with food, no hat and The BED.Cheers, Jean