The Route March

I picked Fiona up from work after at 6pm and we headed to Ardmore park to meet Rob, Helen and Chloe in their Autotrail Tracker.

Early start and it was cold!
Early start and it was cold!

The park was chocker as there was an air show on for the long weekend starting the next morning so we were up early and after getting some diesel in Papakura, we were on the motorway heading south.

Remember to click on the images for Hi Res or slideshow

The frost at Ardmore
The frost at Ardmore

The holiday traffic hadn’t started yet. At the bottom of the Bombay hills, there was really heavy fog and it didn’t really lift until we got to Paeroa.

At  9:30 am, we were having morning tea at the Talisman Cafe at Karangahake. We’d been here before and it’s a great place to stop with a motorhomes as there is a huge park right opposite by the swing bridge beside the river. See our earlier blog on Karangahake here.
About half an hour later, we passed through Katikati and met Rob and Helen buying Limes and Manderins on the road to Sapphire Springs.

Rosie arriving.
Rosie arriving with Gary and Dianne.

Gary and Dianne arrived shortly after from Taupo in their newly named “Rosie”. It’s great as I can now refer to her as Rosie rather than “the XLI”!

Kids playing in the river
Kids playing in the river

Sapphire springs is a lovely little camp built around a meandering river. There are quite a few cabins and permanent caravans there but it is well setup with clean loos and showers, and of course, the hot pools.

The pool complex is very smart and well setup but we found the pools a wee bit on the cool side. I think the hottest was around 35 degrees but it was very pleasant all the same. After getting dressed and getting ourselves organised, we had sundowners (without the sun as it had gone), in Rosie.

The route march home. Helen in front
The route march home.

The next day, the decision was made to walk into Katikati. Those who know me will know that I while I love bike riding, I’m not too fussed about long walks! This was 6.5 k in each direction which was  ok in the end. The original plan was to walk in and taxi back but there were no taxis. Good excercise anyway.
imageWe had a lovely lunch at the Talisman Hotel which has a huge car park out the back if you’re looking for somewhere to park your motorhome. As far as I’m aware, it’s not for overnighting. After our hearty lunch, we had a quick look through one of more than 3-4 antique or second hand shops, and then we set off for the camp.

We got as far as the Countdown supermarket and there was a chap in a near empty bus waiting for someone. Gary joked with him if he was going our way and he replied if he saw us, he’d stop and pick us up. We were about 1k down the road and there he was. He’d stopped to pick us up and he ran us up the road to the motor camp.. another 4ks odd. Rob decided he’d walk so carried on walking.
It turns out he has a motorhome of his own.

As we got off, I gave him $20 and suggested he buy himself a beer as a gesture of thanks but he was adamant he wouldn’t accept it and left it on the floor. Everyone got off behind me and no one would accept it back.
Rob arrived back about 20 minutes or so later with the $20! Apparently he pulled over to Rob, opened his hand out of his window so Rob couldn’t see what he was doing and dropped the $20 in his hand and drove off ! Bugger!
We did our best ! It was really nice of him to give us a ride back.

Later on the first day
Later on

We had a few drinks in the Tracker with Rob, Helen and Chloe. A quick tea and I was bed by 8pm. A big excercise day 😃
Great fun catching up with our Motorhome friends in a nice spot.

2 thoughts on “The Route March”

  1. What were the Saphire Springs park up costs? Have been there b4 way back times and the place then (1999) was pristine and deserves another visit.

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    1. It is still a nice pristine park. Two of us for two nights on a powered site was $72.00 which I thought was pretty good. Be nice if they had a slightly hotter pool.

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