A car rally sounded like fun, and we were pleased that yes, we were home, and doubly important, could fit it in. No appointments, meetings, having to be somewhere else – and even better, no lunch and hot thermos to prepare and take with us. We were booked in “somewhere” for lunch, we were told, but the participants had no idea where they would end up. But that is the fun of a car rally, isn’t it?
The Probus club committee seem to run these rallies every year or so, but this was the first one we had attended. We gathered in the car park with all the other eager beavers, and were presented with a little bag of goodies each, an emergency kit, we were told, containing a few sweets and a tissue. The sweets to eat during our journey, and the tissues in case the driver says harsh words to the navigator and makes her cry! Well, that’s what I reckon, anyway.
The cars were sent off at regular intervals, using a stop-watch, no less.
Finally it was our turn. Our President Dave peered through our open window, handed over the instruction sheets, and told us that he had written his cell phone number down in case anyone got lost. With our emergency kits safely stashed away on the dash board, and a bottle of water to hand, we were sent on our way – out into the great unknown.
Dave telling us to go, and our bags of sweets
I carefully read each instruction out – turn right at T intersection, left at the cross road, cross the railway line, and so on. It took an amazing 20 instructions to get out of town and onto SH57 travelling north. Then we left the busy road again and following instructions, meandered through country roads we had never travelled on before. You know you are on a country road when you see signs telling you to watch out for wandering cattle. And it was further reinforced when we travelled along an unsealed road – hadn’t been on one of those for a while.
Unsealed country road
We drove along the back roads to Shannon, turning left and right through lush green farmland as instructed, finally arriving at Ashurst where we were directed to the Domain in case the drivers needed a comfort stop. After all that driving and navigating we certainly did. The sports pavilion was covered in paintings, showing pictures of locals enjoying themselves in both earlier times as well as in the present day.
Painting covering the sports pavilion
More windmills – didn’t we see these last week?
On the way out of town we came across some “tree art” where someone had been busy cutting and shaping their tree into a koru shape. It looked so good we had to backtrack to take a photo.
Interesting tree art in Ashurst
The trip continued on and we started taking guesses as to where we would end up. The last clue guided us into a car park festooned with balloons, telling us we had reached our lunch destination.
We arrived safe and sound
We had made it to the Rangitikei Club, and there was time before lunch to enjoy a coffee, cup of tea, or even a beer. As we sat down to talk about how the rally went for the various car loads, and some admitted to getting a little lost, our President totted up the answer sheets and announced the winners. It was car number 5, with 100% correct answers.
Guess who won!
Our morning concluded with lunch in the club restaurant, and must admit it was very reasonably priced too. Roast pork was on the menu so of course that was our choice, while others enjoyed fish, chicken pie, or toasted sandwiches. Lunch over, it was time to thank the organizers and head back home. Not back tracking over the long meandering scenic route we took to get there is the first place, but the much more direct route along the main road. It was a great day out, thanks Probus.