After a stinking hot day, the temperature dropped dramatically overnight. Brrr – it was chilly, so cold that we could see our breath in the air while we were talking in the morning. It was pitch black when we got up today, after setting the alarm clock really early. We had arranged to drop our caravan back to the manufacturers to get some work done, and were worried about arriving late. Just before we left the Glenview Club grounds to tackle the early morning rush-hour traffic across town, we noticed a hot air balloon high up in the sky. It was going to be a beautiful day – lovely and still without the troublesome wind that we had yesterday, which made towing the caravan a bit difficult.
On arriving at the Leisureline factory Robin was informed that we couldn’t replace our original water tanks with larger ones as we wanted, as there was insufficient room under the chassis. The boss man suggested that they add a second fresh water tank to match our existing one, which doubles the capacity. We also wanted an extra locker door fitted to the right hand side. With the instructions noted down on the work sheet, we unhitched, and left Romany Rambler to their ministrations. “Call back later in the afternoon”, we were told, “and it should be ready for you”. We certainly hoped so, or else where would we sleep overnight?
Then we backtracked right across town again, to leave Muffy at a cattery for a few days. Oh dear, the cattery lady didn’t have us written in her book, but she did remember us phoning, so that was OK. Originally we were told that the work on the caravan would take three days to complete, so it seemed sensible to leave Muffy at a cattery while this was happening. We are going to miss her company for the next few days, but certainly will not miss her current habit of waking us up several times during the night.
Next was a trip out to Gordonton so I could visit a quilt shop. Robin waited patiently in the car reading the paper while I got my fabric fix. Our Garmin had a little trouble with the new roading system and showed us travelling across empty land for a while, until it found the road once more. Looks like we need to update it again.
Back in car again for a return trip to the city. We bought some lunch and decided to eat it alongside the lovely Hamilton Lake. This picturesque spot is popular with visitors and locals alike.
There were plenty of mallard ducks about, and we noticed several which were quite different. Referring to our bird book, we found out that they are Australian Coots, dark sooty gray, with a distinctive white frontal shields and beaks. They came over from Oz, and have established themselves on lakes and lagoons throughout the country.
Pukeko were also quite plentiful, and came rushing up looking for handouts whenever someone offered leftovers from their picnic lunch. They are quite colourful birds, with royal blue chests, and red frontal shields and beaks.
There is a very popular cafe overlooking the lunch and we needed something to wash our picnic lunch down. I waited, and waited, and waited some more for my coffee to be delivered, while Robin made short work of a large ice-cream. It was very pleasant sitting comfortably in the shade at the cafe looking out over the lake, and watching the people go by.
The hours slowly ticked by and it was finally time to go and collect our caravan. We had to wait a little while till the paperwork was completed, then came the hard part, paying the bill. Reunited with our caravan once more, we hooked up and decided where we would spend the night. Morrinsville was suggested, and why not? We had never stayed there before, so that seemed as good a reason as any.
It seems that we have been driving to and fro across Hamilton all day, so what was another 40km or so at the end of the day? We are now staying at a dairy farm, with very friendly hosts. It’s been a long day, more about Morrinsville tomorrow.