Sunday was a catch-up day. Washing to do. Paper work to do. Motor home to clean – at least the side the birds had made a mess of back under the trees. It was a lovely day, sunny and warm in the sun but cooler in the shade. It had been cold first thing – only 7 degrees. It warmed to 15 degrees through the day. People are saying how cold it has been up here this winter although ‘cold’ is a relative term for us from down south. And there was happy hour in the evening and preparations for moving.
Yesterday (Monday) we did finally move on – albeit not far. It was another lovely morning, starting at about 9 degrees. There was water to top up, and waste to dump and things to stow away. And a shower of rain to remind ourselves where we are. And goodbyes to say. There is a lovely small community of motorhomers passing all or part of the winter there and we’d enjoyed a couple of weeks with them. It was more like afternoon before we finally got going. I had to see the doctor again in Kaitaia later in the afternoon so we’d have to give up hopes of making it to the beach by the end of the day. It takes a while to get used to the idea that you can walk almost everywhere in a small town; it was a pleasant afternoon for strolling around. A good surprise was finding the guy in the Telecom shop knew his stuff with mobile broadband and aerials. We’d like to be able to boost our coverage and an aerial might be the thing. After my visit to the doctors we moved on to find the RSA where we can use their carpark for the night. Then we zoomed off in the car to the lookout over Kaitaia as the sun was setting in the west, and then back down to the Pak and Save to stock up our food supplies. Back at the RSA and Suzi it took a while to find room for all the food although some of it went straight into the oven for tea – a lovely big Maketu family mince pie. We had our first TV reception for a couple of weeks so watched the news on 7 at 8pm. After 3 weeks parked up at Paihia and Ahipara on power it takes a while to readjust to being off the grid. The fridge is back on gas and the noisy diesel heater is back in business. And everything uses electricity so the batteries will get more exercise as well. I had a go at sorting out something with my insurance company Tower after the bad outcome of Friday’s discussion. It seems they’d been trying to contact me so maybe they are not as completely hopeless as they’d seemed after Friday.
Today has dawned sunny again, although there is cloud around. It was only 8 degrees when I got up and I see it was 4 degrees outside half an hour ago. By their standards up here, this is cold. And at 8.45am we’re making power from the sun – almost enough to balance what the heater and inverter and laptop are using 🙂 We’ve got a couple more things to sort out, and I’ll have another go with my insurance. And then we’ll be off, north east to the Karikari Peninsula. There is a DOC camp at Maitai Bay so we’re keen to start/stop there. The forecast for today is for a few showers with rain this afternoon and a risk of thunder. And the northerlies are supposed to ‘freshen’. Now there is a lovely euphemism – freshen. It has been refreshing to have had little wind for a few days. I think Maitai Bay is exposed to the north, but we’ll see how it goes. For the next couple of days we’re promised temperatures in a narrow band between 11 and 15 degrees. I’m sure there’s plenty of people down south right now who’d settle for even 11 degrees so I’d better not grumble 🙂
We’re not sure about mobile coverage at Maitai Bay so we might be off all the grids for a while. From there we’ll meander our way south around Doubtless Bay and Mangonui and probably stay a while at or near Tauranga Bay. The plan is roughly to head back towards Kerikeri and then to go west to the Hokianga Harbour and south down the west coast if you’re still with me. And then back east to Kerikeri by the beginning of September. I’m sure the 5 weeks will zoom by.