The camp at the apple orchard mostly emptied out today, with us being the last to hook up and leave. Never mind, our trip today was reasonably short, at 82km. But we needed two quick stops in close succession before we even hit the main road, to stock up on some more of Hawkes Bay’s delicious fruit. Another large punnet of luscious, juicy boysenberries from the property next door to the camp soon found a home in the caravan fridge. We have them for dessert with ice cream, and they are just as nice with our breakfast cereal. Then a stop at the end of the road at Kirsten’s Corner for our second large punnet of delicious cherries, they are just so yummy we needed to take some home with us. Eating cherries has always seemed a posh and rather decadent thing to do as they are usually quite expensive, but buying them direct from the growers makes this tasty fruit so much more affordable. And it is still Christmas, after all, that’s my excuse, anyway.
Stopping at Kirsten’s Corner to buy more cherries
Rejoining SH2, we drove along, commenting on the dry, yellow hills and paddocks. That’s what often happens in this region over summer. The dark green colour of the hill covered in pine trees really contrasts with the other dry hills.
It’s very dry in Hawkes Bay
Arriving at Mathews Park in Norsewood, our stop for the night, we found it deserted, so if no one else turns up we will have the place to ourselves. The Ruahine Ranges in the background would be covered in snow during the winter months. There is an old sports club building on the site, and we understand there are plans to replace it sometime with a modern toilet block and a dump station.
Parked up at Mathews Park
After a late lunch we drove into “town” to pay our camp fee at the shop and have a look around. With street names such as Odin, Viking, and Thor, and Swedish Line further out of town, it is obvious that this community is a little different. In 1872 the sailing ship “Hovding” arrived in Napier carrying 483 new settlers, all but 11 being Norwegian. A few days later the men trekked through dense bush to reach their allotted 40 acres of land, previously purchased by the Government from the local Maoris. The plots were balloted, and the price of 40 pounds was paid off over time by building roads, railways, and clearing the bush. Families soon followed their men folk and the community soon became established, despite the rugged conditions. Other settlers arrived from Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Germany and England to add to the diversity and richness of the community.
Norsewood in the early days
Trolls are alive and well in the Heritage village of Norsewood and we spotted these three outside the cafe. Father Norvirke, mother Margit and son Ormvagh watch over the small town, and offer good luck to all, we read.
Three trolls watching over Norsewood
And they make headlines in the newspaper too!
On our way back to the caravan, we took a tiki tour to check out the other place to stay in Norsewood, Anzac Park. This is a nice grassy area, sheltered all around by tall trees, and contains a clean toilet block. Once again, it was empty, but campers often roll in during the late afternoon. It looks another nice place to stay in the area.