29 April 2016

Loving Mapua

We'd hoped to have a week away in the rig during the school holidays, but Bernie wasn't able to take time off. So we had a couple of weekends away in Mapua instead.
Each time we go away we learn something new, and feel more confident in using the rig.
This time we tried out the heating. The gas heater is AMAZING! So efficient and effective. We also put the electric heater on- so we had some flames for a visual effect, and it was bliss.
This time away, the dogs seem so much happier and much more settled. I think they're adjusting to the rig and feeling more familiar with it (just like us!).
Parked beside us, is a couple (Marion & Doug) who live full time in their caravan. When we arrived yesterday, they popped over and introduced themselves. Actually, it was probably  because they had a wee dog called 'Honey' ... and our dogs had spotted her and they were desperate to check each other out! 
Marion and Doug have lived at Mapua Leisure Park for 4 years now. Marion works in the office and Doug does security during the busy summer season. 
Bernie was keen to check out their awning set up. It provides an extra room, which we thought would be awesome in wet weather, plus it would give extra space when we park in a spot for awhile.
After lunch, we  walked along the beach towards Ruby Bay. Paddy couldn't wait to dive and play about in the water .Oakly was in his ideal world digging up the sand, and Boo rolled and rolled and rolled until she had smothered herself in sand! It's hard to believe it's the last day of April. Other than the gorgeous autumn colours, it still feels too mild to be so close to winter - Bernie is still in shorts and a t-shirt.
In the afternoon Bernie cleaned the truck and I did an online lesson with Shaw Academy on Lightroom.

27 April 2016


Tonight I took a stroll down memory lane - and came across photos of my first campervan.  These photos make me smile. 
This little camper showed Oakly and I fun times and adventures. And, it gave me my first taste of motor homing.

25 April 2016

Sunset over Fifeshire Rock

I was hoping to get a stunning sunset with Fifeshire Rock in the foreground, but the colours weren't as vivid as I had hoped. However, watch this space ... one evening the colours will be just what I'm wishing for.
Here are tonight's photos (Take 1)

24 April 2016

Driftwood Hut at Tahuna

During the week three backpackers made a driftwood hut on Tahuna Beach. They left a note on it saying it was for children to enjoy and that they hoped only the tide would break it. I read an article online through 'Stuff' about it and was interested in all the reader's comments. The comments started off positively, praising the efforts of these backpackers. But, then they changed to tongue in cheek, stating that the council would probably disapprove because it didn't have a building consent.
And, sure enough, after a couple of days an orange fence was placed around it, by the council saying it was deemed unsafe! Unbelievable! 
Fortunately, after lots of back lash from the community, the council stepped back and eventually took down the fence. PC has really gone to the extreme when a driftwood hut can be deemed a safety issue.

18 April 2016

Autumn along the Maitai River

Autumn is my favourite season. I love the crisp, musky smell of the morning air, the warm days (it's a refreshing break from summer's sometimes stifling heat), the leaves changing colour from buttery yellow to amber orange and burgundy red, their brilliant hues are enchanting. Even the sky seems a richer blue.

Autumn at Mapua

How lucky are we to only live twenty minutes from Mapua. This quaint seaside village is certainly thriving and the Mapua wharf has transformed into a bustling area, that hosts a range of restaurants, bars, cafes, galleries and studios.
We booked in for a night at the Mapua Leisure Park and had the choice of many fantastic sites. The managers (June & Tony) are a lovely, friendly couple who couldn't do enough to make our stay relaxing. The beach was only a minutes walk from the rig and we chose a secluded spot to park.
This time we timed ourselves when we put the dog enclosure up. It took us 20 minutes.  I decided I didn't need to put as many pegs in,as we were only staying for one night and our escape artist (AKA 'Boo'), found a way out! It had to be 'Boo'!
Being autumn, the trees were displaying some brilliant colours and there were some interesting toadstools scattered about (that I was itching to photograph).
Bernie was keen to potter around organising things about the rig, so I took the two small dogs for a walk along the beach towards Ruby Bay. 
And, Murphy's Law ... I left the camera behind, and I missed out on some photos of a seal pup posing on the beach and then playing in the waves. It's not everyday you see a seal on Mapua Beach.

We enjoyed our stay so much we are heading back again next weekend.

Crossing the Appleby Bridge.

Heading along the walkway from Mapua toward Ruby Bay.

All parked up.

One Happy Camper

Sunset, a dahlia growing near the beach.

Settling down for the night.

Sunday's sunrise

The road into the park.

Reflection of toi tois, in the soft sunrise light.

Couldn't resist this autumn blooming rose beside the office.


We decided to spend a night at 'Settle Campgrounds" in Tapawera. It's within walking distance to the township (2 minutes) and also a minute's walk to the river. We parked in the front area as the sites down the back are for smaller campers.
One of the reasons for staying away for a night was to set up the dog enclosure and check whether it actually worked. Success! It did! Plus we strung solar lights along the top so we could see the fence at night (and because I'm a sucker for fairy lights!).
The new fridge worked a treat. It got everything to temperature quickly (in fact it was so efficient Bernie had to adjust the cooling temp). We were really happy with it and it didn't draw much from the solar power.
Unfortunately, again, we had a few problems.The water suddenly stopped working. It seemed as though there was an air lock in it as when we turned on the tap, it coughed and spluttered until eventually nothing came out. Bernie checked the obvious ... yes, the fresh water tank was full, the valve was in the correct position and the water pump was switched on. Still nothing! Then, the T.V. failed, it indicated it was unprogramed. Funny, as it was working well last time. Saying we were frustrated is an understatement! So we packed up early (no point staying without water) and headed home. The last thing that failed was the satellite dish which refused to come down, so we had to drive home with it up.
To cut a long story short, we couldn't find any plumber or motorhome repair people willing to look at it. We contacted Heartland's in America and they didn't hesitate in sending us another three way valve. In fact when the package arrived they had included an extra valve, no charge.
Bernie put it on and just like that all was good again. Then the T.V. repair man came out and fixed the T.V. Everything just like new again. Phew!
Overall, we decided it wasn't a complete disaster of a weekend. These are teething problems that are happening before we are full time on the road and we have the luxury of being able to come home and stay in our house while waiting for things to get fixed. It's also taught us to go with the flow. What's the point of stressing over something that will get fixed eventually. Apparently life is all about different types of hurdles and how to respond to them.

All set up and dogs fully enclosed.

Looking down on Tadmore Valley Road from the start of the bush walk.

The sweet fragrance of hops filled the air.

A farm tractor in it's place of retirement.

Okay enjoying a walk beside the river.