The Vista escape cabin

With the weather behaving the way it is, its time for some offshore Motorhoming news.

escape-vista-1New on the market is the Escape Vista Mobile Cabin from US$27,000

escape-vista-4It is described as modern architecture on wheels and while its not the Motorhome that we’re used to it, it is too nice to ignore.

escape-vista-3It is clad in cedar, has all the essentials. A bed, fridge /freezer, sink, some storage, a shower, toilet and also has a washer and dryer.

It can be fitted with optional extras like Solar power, different glass and on board water tanks.escape-vista-2

For more info check out Escape Vista Mobile Cabin

Bruce’s Drawers

While we were in Napier in the waterfront park, who should also be there amongst the 150 odd motorhomes but Bruce and Raewyn in their Dethleffs Sunlight.  They came in a little later than us and were lucky to get a waterfront view site where they could put out their awning.  You can see the back of us on the left in the background. We spent a very pleasant happy hour with them with some others one night.

Bruce and Raewyns Sunlight
Bruce and Raewyns Sunlight

When they took delivery of their new van just before Christmas, it was missing a knife and forks drawer and just came with a shelf where you could put a plastic tray down on non slip.

Bruce decided that he was going to go one better and took the shelf out and make some drawers so he could make better use of the space.  After finding that the veneer used in the rest of the van was almost impossible to get, he cannibalised the shelf into drawer fronts so he could match the colour of the van.

Bruce with his drawers
Bruce with his drawers

He measured up and bought some soft close drawer sliders and made three drawers to accommodate all their kitchen bits and bobs. A big improvement and one that really adds to the functionality of their galley area.

The Cupboard closed
The Cupboard closed

It really looks the part.  ..Well done Bruce

Wairakei Steam

I don’t know how many times I’ve driven past Wairakei over the years but as we left Gary and Diannes place this time and we had  plenty of time, I thought we’d get a closer look at where some of our power comes from.

The plumbing undera bridge and the steam
The plumbing undera bridge and the steam

After taking a couple of wrong turns and ending up at a  semi rural café and camping ground down a dusty road and getting rafe all covered in muck and another turn ending up at a Contact office block, we found the Lookout road alongside a BP service station. There is very little to say where the lookout is but the road leads along fences, past lots of expensive looking plumbing and you end up driving up a hill to the lookout. Well worth the effort.

A panorama from the lookout. Click on this for more detail.
A panorama from the lookout. Click on this for more detail.

I took a few piccies and we were on our way.

From the lookout of the Bores
From the lookout of the Bores

Amazing to think that all that heat comes out from under our feet and creates our power or at least some of it.

Oliver and Noeline’s CI Munro / Fiat

On arrival in Taupo on the waterfront, we pulled up next to Oliver and Noeline from Hamilton.

The Fiat / CI Munro
The Fiat / CI Munro

They purchased their 2009 2.3 litre Fiat Ducato 2 years ago so they take away their grandkids. The ex rental with a CI Munro back had done 110,000 odd k’s but is in exceptional condition. They’ve added solar power and more battery power along with a bigger TV and are really enjoying it. They recently did a trip right down to Bluff around the South Island and enjoyed some time at former west coaster Noelines old  region.

Looking forward. Bed up stairs
Looking forward. Bed up stairs
The Galley are at the back
The Galley are at the back

The van performed faultlessly all the way around and they are planning a trip into new territory up to the Bay of Islands and beyond.
Bikes on the backA really nice  tidy functional Motorhome.

Music, Motorcars, Planes and old Bikes

We missed the shuttle for the second day in a row by all of 5 minutes! Punishment was a reasonably pleasant walk into Napier in the sun to see the Art Deco parade, the event of the festival. There were more than 250 cars, dancing on street corners, motorbikes, the NZ Army band, pipe bands, it was all on. Everyone was having fun.

An amazing car/caravan combination on the walk to the parade.
An amazing car/caravan combination on the walk to the parade.

It seemed like half of NZ was in Napier, people everywhere.
I parked myself on a traffic island after talking to a marshall and hearing the planned route.

While I was waiting for the parade to start, I received a cell phone call from John, a boatie mate from Devonport. Where was I? Standing on a traffic island in the middle of the main street of Napier was my reply. It turned out he was in Napier too within eyesight and we were catching up after the parade ! How small is NZ !

Once the parade started, I had to keep moving. Great fun.

Warbirds in action over the waterfront
Warbirds in action over the waterfront

Click on the images to see them in hi res

After the parade finished, we looked for a cafe to have lunch.

Parade

On the way home, these people stopped so I could get a piccie if them.
On the way home, these people stopped so I could get a piccie if them.

They were all chocker with all the people so we decided we’d head back to Rafe for some lunch. As we walked, we got a phone call from John who suggested a cafe on the way .. And we met John and Katherine shortly after.. amazing. They had been house sitting out of town and had come in for the parade. We headed back to Rafe after that and joined our Waiuku friends for happy hour and later tea for our last night in Napier.

Old metal with smiles all around

After sneaking out if the park to get some water and groceries and sneaking back in again, we  missed the last shuttle bus to town so we walked the 1k or so into town to check out the fun and it was well worth the walk!

Is that a gun
Is that a gun

Traction engines, steam rollers and so many amazing cars.
I got talking to Dave, the owner of a one off Studebaker that he got his license in when he was 15 and later bought the car. The car was made in Hastings with a wooden frame and has steel over the top with a full genuine Studebaker everything else in it. A lovely car.

Dave with his one off Hastings made Studebaker
Dave with his one off Hastings made Studebaker
The Studebaker
The Studebaker

We bumped into Dave and Rosemarie and all the crew from Waiuku there and they were really enjoying the scene and we’re all dressed very nicely. The pictures below tell the story.

Click on the images for hi res and a slideshow

The retailers of Napier were all decked out in their finery, all enjoying he festival.

The good folk of Waiuku all decked out magnificently. Fiona on the left.
The ladies from Waiuku all decked out magnificently. Fiona on the left.

There was a couple who turned a street into their dance floor with a busker and did a very impressive floor show for the crowd around. Very good dancers and the crowd really appreciated it.

Impromptu dancing to the busker
Impromptu dancing to the busker

I even bumped into an old friend of mine Geoff who was also a photographer with me at the NZ Herald 30 odd yrs ago. NZ really is a small place !

As the day wore on and it got hotter, we found the 1918 Austin Bus was going our way home so after a $5 donation, we were on our way.

The view out of the windscreen of the 1918 bus. Steam roller in front
The view out of the windscreen of the 1918 bus. Steam roller in front
The 1918 Austin Bus that we came home in
The 1918 Austin Bus that we came home in

A fun day and more tomorrow.

Spats and Hats

We woke up this morning to find a whole lot more Motorhomes and another Dethleffs Globe4 right next door. I can count on one hand the number of Globe 4’s I have seen around on the road so to have one right next door was amazing.

Two Globe 4's in the same region!
Two Globe 4’s in the same region!

We met Bill and Lynley at the Dethleffs annual rally at Miranda late last year. They had then just taken delivery of their new van.
Bill is a keen cyclist and suggested we have lunch at Ahuriri Cafe, a neat little cafe around by the port so we got ourselves organised and off we went.
The sky was blue but black towards the west and the forecast was for heavy rain.

A great lunch and nice catching up with them both.
Just biking along by the port, we came across an elderly couple out for a walk in all their finery, him with spats, bow tie and plus 4’s and hat, her with her cloche hat, nice long period dress and fine shoes, bid us a very cheery good afternoon. Very nice and very friendly. Great atmosphere and everybody is enjoying the fun.
On the way back, we stopped at the Masonic to check out the vintage cars and people all dressed up enjoying the moment.

imageWe stopped for a yummy Gelato on the waterfront on the way back to Rafe and just got the bikes back on the rack when the rain came down.

The park is filling up
The park is filling up
And with a sea view too
And with a sea view too. More than 90 Motorhomes and caravans.