We got a rental while we were in Prague so we could leave the motorhomes at the campsite and have a look around. One of the planned outings if you like, was to Cesky Kumlov which is 150k’s southwest of Prague.
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It is now a UNESCO protected World Heritage site.
We set off about 9am and after a stop or two along the way, we arrived at Cesky Kumlov. The town was established in the 1400’s and was then German. Most of the buildings in the town were built in the 1500’s due to a discovery of Gold by the castle.
Tourists enjoying the boats on the river
Amazing little shopping streets
Fiona and Dianne on the bridge watching people boating in the river.
The river. The restaurant on the right where we had lunch.
Part of the Castle
The Castle hovering over the village
The town is built on what is almost an island by the course of the fast flowing river that almost completely surrounds it. The castle was closed on the day we were there as it was Monday. I’m not quite sure how that works but never mind.
There were a few bus load of tourists there but nothing like other places we’ve been to. We had a great meal in a restaurant by the river and walked around the village.
A stunning wee town and if it wasn’t for the local knowledge of Gary and Dianne, we would never have known about it. A great day out. Thanks guys.
Our friends from Christchurch, Rory and Henny were in town for the NZMCA AGM Rally with their friends from New Plymouth so it was a must for me to catch up with them as they had seen Fiona during a shopping trip, but I had missed them.
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Rory and Henny and I met years ago when I was away on a blog hunting expedition on my own and we bumped into each other in Coromandel of all places. It turns out that Rory used to buy ice creams from my Grandfathers General Store in Diamond Harbour when he was a small boy. Later we worked out that he also knows some of my other cousins in Christchurch too.. small world 🙂
While parked down by the waterfront in a carpark, I thought I saw Rory and Henny roaring round the corner next to me and when I rang a few minutes later, it turned out it was them. They were heading for the supermarket and we arranged to meet after that.
Rory decided that we’d head over the a bigger carpark where we could comfortably fit three Motorhomes in while we had lunch without upsetting the car parkers.
Rory had a plan and setup his near new Burstner Lyseo with Tony and Sheri from New Plymouth, with an area in between where could put out chairs and tables out for a bit a knees up for lunch.
It was really nice seeing them both again and also meeting their friends Tony and Sheri and their UCC Mercedes based Motorhome.
Lunch with a great view and there were lots of Motorhomes there, possibly having a break from the rally.
This is THE place for a stop for lunch with a Motorhome. Easy parking right over the road, good service and fantastic food.
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We were heading south from Auckland and it so often happens, it was right on lunch time and we both decided it was time to eat.
We have stopped at this Hotel before and discovered the standard of food to be above and beyond so we were looking forward to lunch.
Within minutes of being in there, Fiona was on the end of a big G&T and I had a glass of Chardy and we were waiting for our electronic beeper to do its thing.
The pub was built in 1904, partially burnt down and rebuilt in 1905 and given that the Maori wars only finished 35 years or so before that, it was one of the early bigger buildings in the Waikato area.
The river flooded early this century and virtually surrounded the pub in water.
The beeper went off and Fiona got the meals. I had an amazing Macaroni Cheese “Mac and Cheese” on the menu for $13 which was very filling and was very tasty.
We had a quick look around and carried on with our journey south.
There is an old Maori Wars Cemetery right opposite which is also worth a look at.
One to remember for both the quality of the food, the service, the price, the ambience and the easy parking 🙂
We were in Rotorua with our Grandchildren Ayden and Liam and on our route was Ohinemutu.
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I think they were pretty taken by the steam coming out of the gutters and the lakefront.
There was a huge crowd set up for a special event where the last remaing Maori Battalion member was being honoured on the Marae and was being presented with a medal by the Italians. A great occasion and there was a special Marque set up with chairs everywhere you looked.
There was a small party from the NZ Army there too representing the NZ Armed Forces.
We had a brief look around St Faiths Church on the lakefront and thought we’d make head into town but its a lovely tranquil spot and the steam and heat from the bores and water makes it a special place.
There is free parking for Motorhomes just along from there towards the city so its an easy walk and well worth doing.
A few years ago I stumbled across this amazing blocked off pedestrian section of Tutanakai St in Rotorua. It is totally set up for Wining, Dining, Craft beers and anything else food and beverage.
It is covered by a huge roof so is all weather as well.
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On my first visit, it had not long been opened and was closed but this time, it was all on although at lunchtime on a Saturday was not at its busiest. I’d love to see it in the evenings.
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Towards the Lake
What a great concept and being 5 minutes walk from the Lakefront and domain, it is right in the Tourist centre of Rotorua.
If you’re heading to Rotorua, a great place to check out.
Ernest and his wife Hannah Hayes emigrated to NZ in the mid 1882 from England and settled in Oturehua. Intially working as a Millright in one of the flour mills here, Ernest’s real achievments began when he began inventing things to make life easier on their 150 acre farm.
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From windmills to rabbit bait cutters, the Hayes inventions quickly spread around the country and overseas. Perhaps his most well known tool is his refinement of J Reid’s fencing wire strainer, perfected in 1924, and is still used around the world today.
As the business grew, so did their family and although they had nine children, Hannah became one of NZ’s first travelling saleswoman biking all over the Maniatoto, and McKenzie areas selling their products.
Their factory on the farm was powered by Windmill and Pelton Wheel from water running down the hill and after initially living in a mud hut, later they built a large villa which they also powered from their factory.
The Hayes engineeing works has been maintained by the family and is still in really good shape.
The various buildings for Dairy, Laundry, the workshops and the original Mud Cottage that they lived in is now Hannahs Cafe.
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The orginal Hayes home which is now a Cafe. They had 9 children living here.
Hayes also made Windmills.
The famous Hayes wire strainers
The Laundry and Dairy
One of their Windmills
Fiona and I walked along the road about 1 k from our spot in Oturehua and checked it all out. It is also right on the bike trail as you come into Oturehua.
A magic place and its really nice to see how they lived and where one of New Zealands great inventers and his saleswoman wife lived and worked.
About 3.5 years ago, Australian friends and business partners, John and Bruce bought a beautiful huge Mansion on the main road in Winchester, just a few k’s north of Temuka. It is called MiaFlora and is just amazing. It is open from Thursdays through to Sundays.
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The idea was to restore the house, landscape the gardens using unusual and larger items of Garden furniture and accessories and have a plant nursery around the back with everything that you can think of.
Meanwhile inside the house and on the other side beside the house, John the talented Pastry Chef with his staff run the Cafe. The food is something else and the coffee superb, and of course it is all beautifully landscaped with Bruce’s directions.
We caught up with old friends Ollie and Pam and they bought us to the Cafe. They also introduced us to Bruce and we enjoyed a fun ½ hour or so chatting about all sorts. He’s a real character and when you see the setup, very talented with things Green and Floral 🙂
Outside in front of the House
Ollie and Pam reflected in a Garden display
Outside Cafe seating by the stream
Fiona Ollie and Pam in the Garden centre
Ollie Pam and Fiona on the swing
The Masonic lodge over the road
Just remembering that Ollie is a Chef and he and Pam are pretty fussy with food and things Hospitality, MiaFlora is their bolthole when they want a break somewhere nice.
Directly over the road is the local masonic Lodge with a huge easy access and flat carpark that could be used for Motorhome parking.
Definitely worth checking out next time you’re in the area.. MiaFlora
Late last year, I received an email from our Taupo Motorhome friends Gary and Dianne asking if we wanted to go to the Phil Collins concert.. yes please says I so Gary bought them online. I’m not sure exactly where he was at the time but I suspect it was somewhere in the UK.
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All I had to do was arrange for some parking at Napier for our two Motorhomes. Just as that was happening, I received a very timely email from mary at the Taradale club saying they had limited Motorhome parking for $25 a night.. thats us I thought so I immediately booked us for two nights for both of us.
Fast forward 6 months or so and despite moving out of our house in less than two weeks, we’re on our way for a few days to Napier.
Arriving at Taradale, I met Mary who was happy to change Gary and Dianne’s park so they were next to us and not long after we arrived, in rocked Gary and Dianne in the Niesmann.
The Taradale club was doing a BBQ tea for $20 a head and a $10 cooked breakfast so we clocked oursleves in for those too!
The parking was great and with the temperatures hovering around the early 30’s it was stinking hot. The club’s bar with its air conditioning was a great spot to hang out and the drinks were reasonably priced too.
There were probably about 30 odd Motorhomes there with most taking up the option for the meal and the breakfast.
Everyone was happy to chat to each other in the parking area and it was a very friendly spot.
Over the road, The NZMCA had leased a paddock fromn a local farmer and there was parking there too and that would have helped that Clubs turnover too!
Mary did a gfreat job making sure everyone was where they wanted to be and organising the meals. A neat spot to stay and very close to the concert venue as well.
The Netspeed Speedtest
My old neighbours Terry and Lisa moved to Wangavegas (Wanganui) as he calls it, about 15 years ago and they love it. They’re really settled here with new friends and are currently building a new house out by the Golf course which is perfect for Terry as he loves his Golf.
We arrived early in the day and checked in at Carolines Outback Holiday Park where I’ve stayed before. Its a great park and it is right behind Carolines Outback Bar and Restaurant which was perfect for us to have a meal with Terry and Lisa.
They popped in about 5pm and we had a couple of drinks in Rafe before checking in to the Restaurant at 6:30.
A fabulous meal as always and it was great to catch up and hear all about their new house and their family.
In the morning they popped around and we walked around the river across the bridges with their Dog Archie before checking out at 10am and heading North towards Auckland.
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The Office – Bruce’s Truck
On the bridge Terry, Fiona and Lisa with Archie
Along the River where we walked.
Caroline’s Outback Holiday park is a great spot to stay and Bruce is always happy to help. Unfortunately it was a bit overcast and gloomy this time but check out the images from the last time I we were here and also see Bruces Truck.
The Tracker has popped its clogs so until its fixed or replaced there are no maps.. The Park is by the river about 1 k inland from the city on the Somme Parade.