Come Sunday, it was time to pack up and start heading home. But not before Bill was called on to come to the aid of another camper with his jumper leads who had a flat battery. It was another damp morning so we had our last morning tea under the veranda. The rain had made the grassy sites a bit boggy and Selwyn needed a little helpful advice as he towed his new caravan off the grass and onto the road. Then it was time to say farewell, head off to the dump station, before the drive back home over the Pahiatua Track.
The origin of Eketahuna, as a European settlement, was Sir Julius Vogel's Immigration and Public Works Act of 1870. Some 7,500 new arrivals, the majority from Scandinavia, landed in New Zealand by the middle of 1873. Vogel's scheme was to open up this part of the country by clearing the bush, and building new roads, bridges and railways. The settlers called their new home Mellemskov which means, 'Heart of the Forest'. However, by the end of the seventies the name had reverted to the Maori one of Eketahuna which means, 'to run aground on a sandbank'; so named by the local Maori people to describe that location where their waka (canoes) could travel no further up the Makakahi River, which bisects the township.
It always seems much quicker driving home than the original trip to get there in the first place. Goodness knows why, it must be a travel phenomenon! Or maybe the roads just seem more familiar. 95kms later we were home.
After a quick lunch, the real work began – unpacking the caravan. First the food, then the clothes. In came the laundry bag, and on went the washing machine. While I was busy inside the caravan cleaning the fridge, the bathroom, and vacuuming the floor, Robin was just as busy outside with his bucket of soapy water and the water hose. Around the corner in our village Derek was doing the same to his motor-home. We had driven through some road works at Shannon, and the road side sign advised drivers to wash any cement splashes off vehicles. There – everything is nice and clean, all ready for our next trip away in a couple of weeks.