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Monday, June 7, 2010

Surprise 300th Rally

It was Queen’s Birthday observance here in New Zealand over the weekend, so all the workers looked forward to a nice long three day weekend, with Monday off work. We travelled 100kms up to Levin on Friday afternoon after work to meet up with our Caravan Club buddies at Playford Park Motor Camp. The weather started off nice and fine, but deteriorated as the weekend wore on. We woke to a good frost on Saturday morning, which promised a nice fine day. The Tararua Ranges in the distance looked so clear without any clouds to obscure the view. Usually at this time of year we could expect to see these hills topped with a sprinkling of snow.

P6050832 Tararua Ranges

The nice sunny weather during the day gave us a chance to relax and unwind after a hard week’s work. There is a dovecote situated in the middle of the grassed area of the campground. The doves looked so pretty as they fluttered around in the sunshine.

DSCF3666 Resident doves at the camp

There was a special celebration on Saturday evening. The pair of us arrived at the hall early to put some goodies on the table and cover it up before the guests of honour arrived. Barbara and Bill had reached their 300th Caravan Rally and the club wanted to celebrate with great achievement with them. Everyone arrived at the hall at the appointed time and it seemed clear to us that Barbara and Bill were not aware that they had reached their 300th rally. As President of the club, it fell on Robin to make the presentation. After a short speech recalling special moments and fun times, Robin presented Barbara and Bill with their 300 Rally bars. We were right, they hadn’t realized that this weekend was such a special one to them – it certainly was a surprise to them both.

DSCF3672 Presenting the 300 Rally bars

Barbara and Bill, helped by daughter Jacquie, then cut the celebration cake. “Pop”, the bubbly was opened, the glasses were filled, and we all made a toast for many more caravan rallies. Sipping on bubbly, we soon made short work of the chocolate gateaux and then nibbled on chocolate coconut balls.

DSCF3667

DSCF3675 The Celebration Cake

Then rest of the evening was spent reminiscing. We had asked everyone to talk about their most memorable rally, and the memories certainly came flooding back. Barbara and Bill talked about their very first caravan from many years ago, nicknamed the The Hindu Bus because of the colour scheme. Kathryn and Graeme remembered their first rally with our club - they were required to make a horse out of driftwood from the beach then take part in horse races. As the club members seemed to be a bit crazy, they thought that they would fit right in! Robin reminisced about a very early rally where a trip along the beach on the back of a tractor had a very expensive outcome. The tractor became bogged down in the sand, and two tides covered it before it was finally pulled free. You can imagine the damage done to the motor. My story was about the rally when the club members were taken up on a helicopter ride - what an exciting time that was. Each memory triggered others, and the stories kept on flowing.

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