This weekend saw us take our second outing in the van to Castle Point, on the east coast of the North Island, 67km from Masterton. The van’s working name is now kiaoma – which we think more or less translates to ‘Escape’ in Maori – it’ll stick if we can actually remember it!
The weather treated us nicely which was a bit unexpected but it saw us base ourselves in the same bay for 2 nights which was great. We managed to go for short walks, fly my kite (for at least 10 minutes – I was being worked out!), explore the rock pools, but unfortunately we never managed to explore the cave at low tide due to seals blocking our pathway. Luckily there was a local surfing competition on as well which me managed to watch as we walked up to the headland as well.
On Friday night we managed to park up right next to the beach, but had to move to the campsite (urg!) on Saturday to avoid the partying surfers….but that was ok as we managed to chill out and watch a movie on the laptop and were still within 10m of the sea. They gave us a good demo of beach ‘boy racing’ before we left when the beach was emptied!
Kiaoma got a good outing as he managed to get a drive on the beach and along a gravel road on the way home as we managed to check out the swing bridge in the Waiohine Gorge in the Tararua Forest Park. This bridge is about 40m above the river below so we were fortunate it wasn’t very windy. We checked out a couple of tracks which we hope to walk in a few weeks to take us to a Department of Conservation hut overnight.
It’s a shame that work gets in the way (erm, for Ciara anyway!) as we reckon we just love travelling in the van. It’s the closest we get to a typical family setup – Ciara, me and our 2.4(x4) children – us and our two 4×4 vans…..one in Scotland, and one in New Zealand! Ciara wasn’t being the most responsible parent though as she got her hands on some gluten free beer which she is starting to appreciate!
There’s a couple of things going on in Wellington just now (well there are loads but we’re trying to minimise our socialising) – the main one we want to see is the World Press Photo exhibition which has stopped here for a month.