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

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hastings to Waiouru via Gentle Annie

We can tick this road off our list of of things to do – we have tackled the Gentle Annie road which took us up and over the Kaweka Range, and through Kaweka Forest Park.  Fully loaded timber trucks came roaring towards us.  If they can manoeuvre this road carrying such a heavy road, we thought, we should have no trouble towing the caravans through.

PB210026 Here comes another timber truck

PB210037 Another cycle – baby pines planted and growing fast

Our original idea was to stop overnight halfway along the road at Kuripapango.  But the camping area seemed to be a long way down by the river so we changed our minds, staying for just a lunch stop instead.

PB210044 Lunch stop at Kuripapango

The vistas changed from pine forest, to farmland, to misty mountains as we followed the twisty road up and down. 

PB210016View of farmland

PB210051 Bright yellow broom was in full flower beside the road

PB210047Plenty of twists and turns

After 130kms we reached Spooners Hill Junction and joined back onto SH1, travelling on to Waiouru.  We had done it!  Yes, it was windy, very hilly and extra steep in places,  but was two laned all the way.  The former unsealed Gentle Annie used to have a fearsome reputation, but these days, as long as you take your time, there is no trouble towing a caravan up and down all those hills.  It wouldn’t be easy to tackle in the depths of winter though, as the snow would cover parts of this high altitude road.

Then it was a matter of “Waiouru, here we come”, and we pulled into the caravan parks behind the Waiouru Army Museum.  There were just us two for the first couple of hours, then several others pulled in too for an overnight stop.  With regular security patrols through the night, this is a safe place to stay.

PB210086 
PB210084Our stop for the night

It’s been a big day, with challenging driving, so I think an early night is on the cards.  Robin and Geoff have decided that they will be having a “Big Breakfast” at the Museum Cafe in  the morning, that should be a good start to the day.   They won’t be dining alone, Eileen and I will be there to too, although I think a big breakfast might well be a bit too much for me, I’ll choose something a little lighter.

1 comment:

Tom and Jan said...

Now you are bringing back memories. My parents met in Waiouru and mum used to drive from there back to Napier to visit her family via the Gentle Annie with me as a baby on the back seat. Of course the road was unsealed, very twisted and isolated. Cars weren't that reliable in those days. Quite an adventure! I assume the old cable suspension bridges are still there?