Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Week 52/52 - We Made It!!!!

Another year gone, well nearly it is the very last day of 2018 and me and TOF are heading out to Raglan to celebrate with friends so here is the last week of what happened in my world.

Christmas Day was brunch with Jak and Alex and her family.

Followed by Dinner at ours later that evening with Max and Toni joining us.  We had a fabulous time together, nice and relaxing, just how it should be.

On Boxing Day I went out to Raglan and went with my friend Diane to a Gypsy Fair.  Not how I remember them but that is how things are these days.  Always nice to be out at Raglan tho.

 Mind you, I did rather like Frank the 14 week old Kuni Kuni pig!

Thursday TOF and I armed with the above map/guide took off on a day trip to another beautiful part of our little country.  We could have joined the hordes of tourists lined up to go to the Waitomo Caves.  But neither are us are huge on crowds so we went to...............

A short walk took us into our beautiful Native Bush and the most amazing Limestone Bridge called Mangapohue Natural Bridge.

Another short walk had lead us into Piripiri caves.
Then a 10 minute walk in the bush resulted in the spectacular Marokopa Falls.  Each time we were only with about half a dozen or so other people, and all of this was FREE!!

Marokopa was our next stop, beautiful but so isolated.  No shops and couldn't even find a public loo!!

Then to Kiritehere, where rock fossils lay on the beach and interesting driftwood. And thankfully a public toilet, well a long drop actually!! 

The drive to our next stop was often on gravel winding roads but so worth while.

At the very end of a gravel road that was only one land width and slightly crazy at times is the Waikawau Tunnel. Back in 1911 three men using pick axes and shovels dug this tunnel through the hill to the beach, for easier access of their stock to their farm lands. High enough for a man on a horse and wide enough for the stock.

This was amazing and the view at the beach end was magnificent.  Another lovely West Coast beach and we only had 4 other people to share it with, and 1 dog!!

Our drive home took us through the tunnel in the Awakino Gorge and past numerous rock formations and Native Bush.

We had a couple of days just mooching around home before we set of on another adventure. Oh and I added some colours to my hair, some pretty unicorn/my little pony-esk ones!!

As we drove out of Hamilton on Sunday morning at 7am we had low mist.  But it wasn't long before it lifted and a beautiful day unfolded.  We were heading to Mangaweka just under 4 hours away.  TOF decided to take some back roads that took us past Lake Arapuni and another Fancy long drop toilet that again I needed.  Its an age thing!!

Crossing the Desert Road in the middle of the North Island I was happy to see Mt Ruapehu still had Snow on it.  The scenery was for ever changing, no wonder tourists love NZ so much.  I had not been this way for quite some years so it was good to be back.

Finally we arrived at Mangaweka Camp on the bank of the Rangitiki River.  Max and Toni and the dogs were camping there, hence the road trip.

A very relaxing spot indeed and dog friendly.

Homeward bound back through the Desert Road with better views of Ruapehu.  Then into Taupo, well around Lake Taupo first before finding a cafe for a coffee stop.

And on our way out of Taupo we stopped off at the Huka Falls, a bit of a tourist attraction.  OMG so many people!!!  A very fast moving river where you can have a jet boat or helicopter experience but for a pretty penny I would say.

So the last week of 2018 was an adventurous one. 

Farewell 2018
it has been great.

Another 12 months of ups and downs.  We lost some people and welcomed some new babies.  There were health scares, but mostly we all enjoyed a year of happiness and that is a good thing.

As we all welcome in a new year, this is my last post.  I am debating whether or not I will continue to blog in 2019.  I may just blog once a month, who knows, but I know it won't be weekly anymore. So if I go missing you will know why.  But you can find me on Instagram or Facebook.  Just message me if you want to know how.

All the very best to you all for a very happy and healthy year ahead of you.

It's been a blast!!!