Our caravan rally weekend at Carterton is now over, but we certainly got up to some fun and games. The Carterton Holiday Park is one of our favourite places to stay, and Pete and Di always make us most welcome. The camp is always well maintained and the golden autumn leaves looked so inviting – we were almost tempted to roll around on the ground and throw them all over ourselves! So just what we get up to over the weekend?
There was plenty of eating going on, starting with a meal out on Friday evening at “The Marquis of Normanby Hotel”. The Marquis, George Augustus Constantine Phipps was born in England in 1819. He had an illustrious career, and was made Governor of Nova Scotia and Queensland, before becoming Governor of New Zealand from 1874-1879. The hotel was built during his time in New Zealand as Governor, but was burnt down in 1924, and was rebuilt on the same site. The Marquis moved on to become Governor of Victoria, where he gave final approval for the hanging of outlaw Ned Kelly. Our group of happy campers enjoyed our very reasonably priced meals which were served to us in the private dining room.
The Marquis of Normanby Hotel
We helped Geoff celebrate his recent birthday with a delicious home made birthday cake made by Eileen. And then “Camp Mother” Di kindly baked a fruit cake and presented it to our club members, which we ate for supper on Sunday evening.
The Rally Captains had some games organised to keep us occupied over the weekend. Saturday evening was Bingo night, and we all brought along a collection of 10 cent coins for the Bingo cards. Selwyn really looked the part of Bingo Master with his dinky little wind up contraption to mix the numbered tokens up. Most of us managed to win a line or two, or scoop the pool for the house. Barbara, however, was pipped at the post by yours truly in the very last game, and she unfortunately was the only player who hadn’t managed a win all evening. Never mind, at ten cents a card, our winnings didn’t really turn us into overnight millionaires.
More games tested our brains on Sunday evening, when we were put into teams. Our team had three ladies plus Robin, who came in very handy when we had to remember the manufacturer’s names of cars available in New Zealand. Then the ladies brains came to the fore when we had to work out what items in the pantry have a medicinal use – everyone knew about ginger for travel sickness. Various questions were called, as we feverishly wrote down the answers. And yes, our team beat their team!
Our friends Geoff and Pauline, fellow travellers on our South Island Odyssey Trip last year were also in the Wairarapa over the weekend. They were staying at Masterton Motor Camp with their own caravan club, so we popped in for a visit. They now have a new addition in their family, so we were introduced to their new dog, Charlie the Schnauzer. Charlie had recently been to the dog groomer, and looked very smart indeed with his latest hair cut. The coat on the body is kept short, and Charlie sports a fine set of whiskers and bushy eyebrows.
A walk up the road one morning to the local bakery for a loaf of fresh bread took me under a large gum tree full of tuis. They were busy feeding and making quite a racket as they hopped from branch to branch sipping nectar from the flowers. These lovely native birds were known as Parson birds by the early settlers because of the tuft of white feathers at the neck, which resembled a parson in clerical attire.
As our three day weekend came to an end, we reflected on how good the weather had been, with none of the expected severe frosts which the Wairarapa is prone to. Then it was time to pack up, break camp, and head off to our various homes. Ours was one of the longer trips, a 156km journey taking us through the northern Wairarapa, up and over the Pahiatua Track, and back via Shannon to Levin. It was a great weekend, made all the better with the good company of friends.