Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sanson, Flat Hills and Turangi

We’re travelling north to Hamilton to get our caravan’s hot water cylinder replaced the Leisureline factory – more on this saga to follow.  Today we’re just enjoying the first part of our journey.  The first stop of the day was Sanson, where Robin called in to the truck stop to top up the diesel tank.  45 litres later, we were ready to roll.
DSCF7621 At the Sanson Truck Stop
DSCF7620That’s very handy, and right next door
We travelled up State Highway One,  through the small rural towns of the Rangitikei region, up and down hills with flurries of rain chasing us on our way.  It must be lunch time, we decided, as our tummies started to rumble, and it’s  certainly time for another stop and to stretch our legs.  We pulled into the large roomy car park of Flat Hills Cafe, hoping that their famous hot roast meat sandwiches were still on the menu.  This is a popular lunch stop for tour buses, and we noticed two large buses in the car park.  Luckily most of the passengers had finished their lunches so there was plenty of room inside for us.
DSCF7624 Flat Hills Cafe
Yes indeed, the sandwiches were available.  It was roast pork for me, and lamb with mint jelly for Robin, and they were delicious, with very generous portions of hot meat.  With a piece of apricot shortcake each, and a Coke for him and a latte for me to finish, those rumbling tummies were happy again.  There was a wonderful painting on the wall, by  Julia Rosie Greig, showing a farmer looking out over his domain, with his trusty dog at his side.  She had added the words of the poem “Flat Hills,” penned by the father of the original owner of this property.
DSCF7623 Flat Hills, painted by Julia Rosie Greig
Flat Hills is the dream land of the high country
Shepherd and his dogs exhausted from climbing the steep rocky mountains
Flat Hills is a curiosity, it’s a geological impossibility
A pipe dream of simplicity, brought to reality
Replete after our lunch, we continued travelling north, driving through the Army town of Waiouru, and continuing along the Desert Road,  The scenery changes from the tussock covered Rangipo Desert, a restricted Army Training area, to a tree covered landscape with an Alpine flavour.  Towering over the changing scenery as we drove along were the three mountains  Mt Ruapehu, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Tongariro, their tops hidden by cloud cover.
DSCF7633 Mt Ngauruhoe is under here somewhere
Our stop for the night was Turangi, at a rural small holding with free range chickens happily clucking away over the fence.  The chance to buy a dozen free range eggs still warm from the nesting boxes was too good to pass up.  Mmm, perhaps bacon and eggs will be on the menu for tomorrow’s breakfast.
DSCF7639 Free range chickens
DSCF7640Our rural stop for the night

1 comment:

Katie said...

Oh my! I was so surprised to see Julia Rosie Greig's painting on your post. We have a print of it (without the verse) signed both by Julia and the farmer in the picture. I had it properly framed as a surprise for The Tramp and it's on the wall in our living room. Small world. :-)