Tag Archives: Unusual

Tea by Winchester

One of the things we wanted to do was catch up with old friends Pam and Campbell who we knew from our old days is Devonport. They have set up an amazing Farmstay B&B business just outside Temuka and had invited us for tea. Yippee.

The next issue was where to put Rafe as Google Earth showed their driveway impassable for Motorhomes and there wasn’t roadside parking either.

Plenty of room

There was an great camping ground a few K’s up the road at Winchester which was $18 a night with plenty of room to spread out so we headed there.

The campground is actually in the Showground’s so there are times of the year when it isn’t available. Nice showers which don’t require any money and a big kitchen common room which looks the business.

Lots of space
Showers and Toilets

After an afternoon of lazing in the 20 C plus sun, we got the bikes down and headed down the road to Pam and Campbells place. Drinks in the sun on the deck and amazing roast meal and it was really neat to see them after having not seen them for at least 20 odd years. They look really well and the House they have done up looks great and they’re now running it as Olivers  Farm Stay  Bed & Breakfast. Campbell is a Chef so the meals are stunning !

Campbell and Pam

Campbell very kindly dropped us off at the campsite later, with the bikes on a bike rack on the back of his car as it was a bit dodgy in the dark on State Highway 1 ! Thanks very much guys and it was lovely to catch up again after all this time.

The Boulders

I can’t believe the great weather we have had in the South Island. Almost every day has had temperatures of around 17C plus and perfect blue sky. Today was no different as we left Dunedin.

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In the carpark

Our first stop was to check out the famous Moeraki boulders. Its interesting that the signposts for the boulders all point to a restaurant above the beach which provides a nicely made set of steps and track to get down to them. Clever marketing I thought!

Boulders

We parked in the huge carpark and wandered down to the beach where there were already a good number of people with their iphones getting piccies of the boulders. These are amazing. Apparently they’re over 5.5 million years old and were made on the sea floor with mud!

Interesting shapes and they certainly drew a large crowd while we were there.

Next stop was Oamaru for lunch. We stopped down in a large carpark by the Historical Precinct and had a wander around through the old buildings and shops. We were only here a few years ago and it has changed quite a bit since then.

The Criterion hotel

While I was standing in the middle of the road in the old precinct, a chap on a penny farthing came screaming around the corner! Later when I checked out my images, the best one was with his eyes shut looking really brave 🙂

The man on his Penny farthing


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Its always a pleasure looking around Oamaru and I can see why my old friend Grant and his family moved here. Its got a lovely feel and atmosphere to it.

The waterfront

Small World

As I had driven past a few Fruit and Vege stalls as we came into Roxburgh, I could tell Fiona was getting edgy and one finally came with plenty of parking and warning 😀. As I drove slighly past it to get to let traffic past so I could reverse and drive in, another Motorhome came in behind me so after waiting for them to park, I drove in next to them.

Fiona recognised the them as old friends  and there was an immediate reunion in the fruit stall carpark 😎

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We made arrangements to meet in town later at the Gold Cottage Campground across the river.

Nice!

The camp is run by a lovely lady who has had it for 7 years but is making huge changes to it. The grounds, the amenities and the parks are absolutely top notch and all for $30 for two on a powered site.

A sluicing lake behind the park.
Pipe seats

There are also tracks out the back of the grounds which take you to Roxbough and lots of historical bits from the Gold mining days around with some great explanation boards.
Very easy and comfortable and it is all beautifully terraced so its easy to get a level parking spot.

A relic of the area.
At the campground

Lloyd and Kate arrived later on and we enjoyed several hours of fun with a few drinks.

Rafe with Lloyd and Kates Carado next to us

Lloyd was a bit of legend with the whitebait and cooked up some fritters that were sensational. It was a great night. They’re great fun and I’m sure we’ll catch up again soon.

Some of the Gold Cottages
Playground

They’re currently living and working up past Wanaka and having a ball with their new Carado Motorhome.

Rafe’s track to Roxburgh

Old things Transport , Collectables and Lawnmowers

One of the things I wanted to do when we got to Invercargill was go to Bill Richardson’s amazing truck Museum. We settled for the Coachmans Inn which is just down the road from the Museum and was $34 a night for two. The receptionist was ex Auckland and we had a great old chat about things Auckland and other things.

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The Coachmans Inn Motorhome Area

Its has a whole bunch of powered sites behind the Hotel surrounding the amenities block which while it was nice and clean, it did seem a little tired.

Amazing new building

We had a lie in with the sun coming in the windows and eventually walked down the road to the Museum. Fiona was walking into the city, another 1k down the road and was going to walk back and meet me in the cafe.

The Texaco Tanker
Early Fords

The Museum is a fantastic place. From first walking in, there is an amazing Texaco Tanker. I forgot to look at the details of what it was but what a mean looking machine. Then onto the early Fords.

Later Fords

It seemed like there was every single model of Ford from 1904 onwards into the 40’s and 50’s.

British Beddy

Every model of truck you could imagine and there were some early lawnmowers too. There was an interesting collection of tools for service stations and I was really interested to see an early tyre changing device.

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I worked in a service station in Glenfield when I was a teenager and had to use one of these beasts. Swinging on the end of a tyre lever with grease. Lots of fun. It brought back some old memories.

A Tyre Changer

Petrol Bowsers, Oils and some motors along with a GM 671 setup as a generator and a 171 too.

A Gm 671 set up as a Generator

My old boat Rorqual had a GM Turbocharged 671 in it so I was interested to see it setup as a generator and normally aspirated too. In all the *71 series motors, all the pistons, conrods and bearings, valves etc are the same so easy for parts.

A Bean!

Fiona rang and said that just about everything was shut (saturday afternoon) and she was heading back. I was just about finished so I headed for the Cafe where a few minutes later, Fiona wandered in.

Fiona in the café done up as a 50’s Kitchen. “That’s the oven we had in Waiouru”!

An amazing place and a must see if you’re in Invercargill.

Our track to Invercargill

One the Czech Republics Hidden Gems

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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One of the Squares. Gary, Fiona and Dianne on the right

It is now a UNESCO protected World Heritage site.

A weary traveller having a rest.. Gary in the blue on the right

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.

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.

The Castle above the town

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.

Arnumber See in Hanover

Thats the name of the Motor camp we stayed in in Hanover and is about 4 k’s south of the City.

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It is a huge area surrounding a lake of Chalets and parking areas for Motorhomes Caravans and tents and is fully equiped and even has its own restaurant.

The View

In Germany, everything is priced separately including “Strom” which is power and is charged by the KWH but actually works out to be pretty reasonable.

A happy wee Ralph
Fiona and Gary at tea time

Some caravanners just along from us seemed to spend quite a bit of time in the water and it looks nice.

Our view at Drinks time.

Stepping back a wee bit … As we approached the border into Germany from Holland, the motorway suddenly became a parking lot and everyone was redirected off into a parking area and separated into lanes by the German Police.

We were selected for an extra look and presented our passports and our smiley faces. After answering a few basic questions of where we’d been and where we were going, the nice older Copper waved us through. I think he was more excited about seeing some NZ passports for a change 🙂

It seems they were quite stressed about the G20 summit that was on in Hamburg as he advised us not to go there as it was “difficult”!

Drinks time

Needless to say, we were relieved to be sitting down under Gary and Diannes awning having our first glass of wine that afternoon in a very nice Camping Ground 🙂

The City of Bikes

And it is Amsterdam. Dianne found a great camping ground just on the edge of town surrounded by Canals. The campground sold 3 day tickets where you could swipe on or off the tram as much as you liked. This worked really well.

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Ralph and Harry in Amsterdam

The first night we went in to have a bit of look around and ended up having tea in the town and checking out the red light area.

Fiona, Gary and Dianne trying to find somewhere to eat

Day two we got up early and headed in so Fiona could check out the Art in Rijksmuseum.

On the way there was a car accident on one of the bridges so that was as far as the Tram could go. One of the downsides of Trams of course is they can’t go  around the obstruction so we walked the rest of the way.

We stopped at a pub on the first night by the Cathedral for a beer
One of the larger canals where the accident was.

While Fiona was at the Art Museum, Gary, Dianne and I got on a Hop on Hop off round and Round open roof ferry. For 19 Euros, we could go right around the city by Canal with an audio commentary which was fantastic. Not great for taking piccies as you could only shoot out of the sides.

During the Hop on Hop off trip

One of comments which came across was that the canals are 3 metres deep. One metre of Water, One Metre of Mud and another Metre of bicycles 🙂

Madame Tussauds in the Dam square

On our third day there, Fiona and Dianne were keen to check out a Diamond Factory. I didn’t think I’d like it but I found it quite interesting. It was quite tourist tatty and the free coffee was awful but great to see.

Fiona with a big sample Diamond

One of the curious things I found with Amsterdam is Bikes have right of way over EVERYTHING!

One of the oldest foot bridges over a canal

The Bike lanes are everywhere and they go like the clappers and they simply ring the bell if you get in their  way. It is quite intimidating. Also in the bike lanes are scooters and small cars and they go even faster. Often there is only a few inches between the edge of the footpath and a scooter doing 30-40kph! .. Its not uncommon to see people speeding along on bikes on their cell phone with a child strapped on somewhere.

Bikes rule !

So much history.. most of the buildings are centuries old and some have a lean either forward or sideways 🙂

Next to the campground.

Amsterdam is a really interesting city. Next were moving on to Germany.