Getting from one side of the Tararua Ranges to the other is not a quick journey, we have discovered, since we have moved to Levin. There are no handy tunnels burrowing through the mountain range, so our journey took us up SH57, up and across the narrow Pahiatua Track which brought us to the Wairarapa side of the ranges, down SH2 to Masterton. A total of 150 kms. With no entry to Opaki School, our rally site for the weekend, we spent a very pleasant couple of hours at Henley Lake. Perhaps a couple of other vans from our caravan club would join us there, we wondered.
Spring has certainly sprung at the lake, and we were delighted to see several swan families with their broods of fluffy grey cygnets gliding smoothly across the lake. Then they clambered out of the water and energetically groomed themselves, the babies copying the actions of the parents. These birds were introduced to New Zealand in the 1860s and are now very widespread throughout the country.
WE watched as the little shags dived under water and appeared quite some time later. These small protected birds feed on fish, eels, crustaceans, insects and frogs, and like to fish alone, close to the shore. After a busy time fishing, this little shag sat on the handy pole to dry out in the sun.
Peter and Elaine pulled in beside us, and we spent a very pleasant hour sitting out in the sun shine and watching the birds.
It was a short 7km trip to Opaki School, which unfortunately has a very narrow entrance. Two of us scraped the sides of our vans as we tried to get through the entrance beside the school buildings. What a #+?%%!! – Robin tried very hard not to hit anything. The morning’s ride over the hill must have been particularly bumpy, as all of the hangers in the wardrobe had jumped off the rail.
Seventeen vans rolled into the school and found a handy park around the perimeter grounds. It should be a good sunny weekend, full of fun and companionship, so we will see what the weekend brings.