Before I get into today’s blog I want to wish my Nephew Andy a very happy and special 40th Birthday today and also my Brother is oh I am not allowed to say how old tomorrow…Hope you boys have a great time with the family and the celebrations!!!
From the left to the right at the back is Claire(Tom’s Mum)…Sam(J&M daughter)…her husband Daz….my very special and wonderful SIL Janet with the only grand child Tom….
Front row left to right is Mark….Tom’s Dad…Andy and Malc my Brother!!!
The below photograph is of my wonderful friends Eileen and Roy…Eileen is in the red the other lovely lady is Eileen’s SIL Irene…….I took Irene out for dinner in September she is a lovely lady.
I first met Eileen and Roy in the restaurant where I worked for 14 years in Nanaimo..we became good friends and when they would travel which they did often I would house sit…it was hard…… a beautiful house right on the water with an indoor swimming pool!!!!
Very sadly Roy started to suffer from dementia and Eileen hired me to take Roy out on outings to give her some space and a rest and it turned into almost 5 years of being with Roy Monday to Friday for about 4 hours before I started work in the restaurant.
The three of us became close friends and Roy was like a Father figure to me a gentle soul honest as the day is long and funny but he just could not remember and got confused…..Roy’s condition deteriorated and he was so confused that Eileen had to place him in a care home where I continued to see him until he passed away.
Eileen and I remained friends and i saw her often until she moved about four years ago to Northern British Columbia to stay with her daughters…..we kept in contact and I even went up there to see her when I still had my beloved motor home Ramona…..in the last months Eileen and I lost contact and I received word in the early summer that she had passed away.
I received a call from Jan her daughter and we had a nice conversation …..I received word yesterday that during the probate of the will Eileen had left me some money. This is an act that humbles me and an act of a wonderful kind lady.
As Eileen and Roy loved to travel especially cruising I will put the money to cover my cruise…so now when I talk about the cruise and I do often I will refer to it as Eileen’s cruise…..thank you so much Eileen and your family!!!!!
Well I said goodbye to my very kind hosts after they cooked me a nice breakfast and I was off on the slow drive north…..I have done lots of research and with the help of the wonderful Visitor’s information centres have picked a route…even though I have lots of days on the North island I cannot see everything so I have picked the things and sights that appeal to me.
Left Wellington which is at the bottom tip of the island and drove first to Otaki Forks you can see it circled in pen to the left of Masterton I then travelled north to the town of Sanson which is to the left of Fielding by about an inch….sorry this was not a very large copy if anyone can tell me how to copy and paste Google maps into my blog there may be a free week’s subscription except to Croft who no longer gets anything free from me….
The drive to Otaki falls was firstly on a motorway
I did make one stop on the way
I was raised in the Salvation Army religion so I am partial to their thrift stores and because I needed some items and I was lucky enough to find what I needed…..a large tea mug, a cooler box for my drinks and sandwiches, gloves and a tuque for some hiking that I am planning to do and also a small canvas bag so I can put my overnight things in save me carrying my suitcase in and out of the places I stay every night…..I managed to get all of these for 7 dollars!!!!
The turn off for the forks put me on a country road
Little mellow yellow came with a free one of these thank goodness!!
A typical scene…
The road got narrower and then gravel and I was still about 4 km away from the hiking start but i did not feel comfortable driving the car down that road so I found somewhere to park and hiked…the river on the way down to the bridge..
I love signs with yellow arrows remind me of my Camino days!!!
I did the Arcus loop enjoy the views and the hike!!!
Almost back to the bridge
It was a great hike and with the walk back to the car I reckon about 12 km….as soon as I figure out how to get my Fit bit working I will know exactly!!!
Back on the road and I started looking for a place to stay around 5pm this is all new to me so I am learning how it is to travel by car what I do realize is that prices in NZ are higher than I am used to but it is what it is and I accept that…I did find a nice small motel and I looked at the room and took it for the night it was 75 dollars which is about 68 Canadian but that is the last time I convert because I have to get used to these prices….one of the criteria was some where to get Little Mellow yellow close by, cooking facilities and a fridge…the room is nice, clean and fits all the above and the Wi-Fi is great!!!
There was a store across the street selling food so I managed a nice dinner….. a long hot shower and then started to pack and get organized for the road and now the suitcase contains all the things I do not need everyday and I can just take my back pack and the new bag I bought into the motels…..
Time for my late night tea.
I have not forgotten to tell and show you about the cruise and I think I will put little snippets of it after each blog for the next while……this is interesting shows the mileage from Vancouver to Sydney!!
Just for future reference if the blog does not appear any time it is because I do not have internet!!!