It took us no time at all to drive to Koputaroa School on Friday, to take part in a combined rally hosted by the Wellington Caravan Club. As it was a school day, we had to wait till after 4.00pm till we could gain entry to the school grounds. Koputaroa is a small rural school seemingly in the middle of nowhere. You would think it would be a quiet peaceful place. But no - the Main Trunk Line runs close by and long freight trains roar and rumble as they trundle along the tracks – usually in the dead of night.
Extremely strong winds kept us company all weekend. Wind makes quite a noise too, whistling around the vans, shaking and rattling our TV aerials so much we wondered if they would be safe, and moaning through the large trees surrounding the school. I never feel safe in strong winds like this, and we heard news item stories of a motor-home blown over, and roofs lifted from homes. Luckily members from the three clubs, (Wellington, Heretaunga and Wairarapa clubs) attending the rally all arrived safe and sound without any horror travel stories to relate.
Asparagus season is in full swing in the Horowhenua region so on Saturday morning we took a trip to Tendertips Pack house to buy ourselves some of this freshly picked delicacy.
The pack-house was a hive of activity, with about 40 staff working away at various stations along the conveyer belt, as a never ending stream of asparagus was washed, graded, sorted and packed. We prefer the “skinnies” and a kilo pack will give us several succulent meals. What can be nicer than fresh asparagus served with cheese sauce, or even just a knob of butter and freshly ground black pepper?
Tendertips Asparagus Pack-house
Luckily the rally organisers had arranged to have a large room available for us to gather in for morning teas, 4zees, and the evenings, or else we would be a very sorry wind blown bunch indeed. Saturday night entertainment was a trip down memory lane – we had some vintage movies to enjoy from the Mavtech, Museum of Audiovisual Technology of Foxton. The museum has a wide range of cinematic equipment and old films, and two of the volunteers brought along a selection for our viewing pleasure.
We laughed at the antics of Abbot and Costello as cave men as they went about looking for a wife. Wonder dog Rin Tin Tin saved the day as he helped the troops fight off those dastardly injuns, and the Lone Ranger once again rescued a damsel in distress. We were also intrigued with the 1940s film about the Palmerston North Caravan Club and their antics. Back then, most of the caravans in New Zealand were home made, with commercial production still some time in the future.
Our club members Selwyn and Kath had recently suffered the trauma of a stone through the front window of their caravan. Not such a big deal, one would think. But it is when the window in question is a double skinned laminated window on an imported English caravan, with no such item to be found in New Zealand. In fact, this particular window was no longer stocked back in good old Blighty. The only option was for a mould to be made, and a one-off window manufactured here. Quite an expensive job, as it turned out, so it was lucky that the insurance company was footing the bill. All this only took a couple of weeks, so Selwyn and Kath are very pleased with the outcome.
As often happens, the weather started to clear up by Sunday, and although still windy, it was not quite so strong. We said our goodbyes, thanked the host club, visited the dump station to get rid of the waste water, and before we knew it, were safely home. The caravan is unpacked and cleaned, the washing is done, and Robin is now wondering when we are next going away!