Ann & Peter

in New Zealand

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Our travels

Haere Mai

We spent Easter Monday at the Karangahake Gorge where the gold miners in the 1880's to the 1950's worked alongside the Ohinemuri river to dig the gold out of the surrounding hills.

Now it's the site of a number of scenic walks and cycle routes so we decided to take the dogs for a walk somewhere new.

The walk we went on is a loop going down the river on one side, crossing over the river at the bottom, through a 1100m long railway tunnel, back over the river and then following the river back to the car park.

The walk starts with a swaying, bouncy suspension bridge which Ann and Jaz were not too sure about.

As we go down the river there are several old buildings from the areas time as a gold mining settlement.

At the bottom end of the walk is a bridge over the river and road which goes straight into the railway tunnel.

Luckily we'd read the info and taken torches. Although there was some basic ceiling lighting through the tunnel it was dark and damp and Jaz was very nervous and needed lots of reassurance.

As the walk is part of a cycle trail we were passed by many cyclists in the tunnel - some had lights but not everyone - one woman even kept her sunnies on as she cycled through!

Coming out of the wet dark tunnel we found we were walking two strange dogs - our nice clean dogs (after having a bath the day before) had been swapped for two dogs with black legs and bellies - the tunnel was very dirty and wet - a pity the info hadn't mentioned how muddy the tunnel was.
After a picnic lunch we drove up the road to Waihi - a gold mining town - and had a walk around the town (small place - short walk).
There are a number of sculptures along the main street depicting scenes from the town's history.....
and finished the day driving back through Matamata to see Graham at Kaimai Gardens and buy some bonsai pots.

The warm, dry weather came to an end in the middle of the month and we've had several days of heavy rain but the daytime temperatures have barely dropped below 20 degrees. The good news is that the water tank is full and the grass is growing again.

This month's bonsai club meeting was fun. We all had a go at making our own pots. These will be fired and we'll see the results in May.

The bonsai club also arranged a trip to Tauranga to look at three very nice collections.

We ended up at Adriaan and Poppies place where Peter bought a large redwood and Ann chose a large ficus. As there was not enough room on the mini-bus we'll have to go back over there in a few weeks to collect them.

Poppies dog took a liking to Ann. Then when we arrived back home Ann had the third degree sniff inspection from the girls - why did she smell of strange doggie?

There was another book fair at the racecourse - this time for Rotary. Ann managed to find 17 books whilst Peter came out a poor second (as usual) with only 5 books.

We also had our water bill for the long hot dry summer. We needed 1/3rd of a tank of water from the trickle feed we had put in when the house was built. So rather than spending $200 - $300 for a tanker of water it only cost us $6.94 (the only negative bit is that the water is treated and tastes disgusting - not like our fresh, clean collected rainwater).




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