What had we been doing during 2016? Going away on club caravan rallies it seems, 12 of them to be exact. We visited sites up and down SH1 from Raumati to Himitangi, and travelled over the hill to the Wairarapa several times too. It was a big surprise when I won the (artificial) cow milking competition while camping at Lutz Farm, squeezing those rubber gloves with all the skill of a milk maid. Not too bad for a townie!
Milk Maid duties
As well as the caravan club rallies, we joined in to the big NZMCA Easter rally held in Levin, nice and close to home for us. These are always huge, well run, and have great entertainment in the evenings. We also enjoyed three longer trips way during the year, a couple of weeks apiece, and got to stay at several “new to us” sites.
Easter Rally at Levin
What else? Several Probus and 60s Up bus trips in the earlier part of the year. Our Super Leisure Group kept us busy and we had fun meeting up with our friends, going on outings and of course the lunches which are an important part of these days out. And looking back we discovered that we had visited eight museums over the year, everything from dinosaurs in Palmerston North, and the Firth Tower Museum in Matamata.
It’s been a great year for train trips too. We boarded the Spiral Snow Steam Express to National Park in August, and had another steam train trip, the River City Express to Wanganui in October. But the ultimate of train travel would have to be our trip on the Ghan travelling right through the middle of Australia in September. With great service and restaurant food, comfortable carriages, interesting off train excursions, it was certainly the experience of a lifetime. And to keep in with the rail theme, returning home after our Aussie Adventure we decided to travel home from Auckland on the Northern Explorer instead of flying the last stretch home.
Ready to board the Ghan train
Robin joined the Menz Shed and enjoys his time spent there. He has also been busy with the Cancer Society, driving patients to hospital for their treatment, and has recently applied to be a driver on the Health Shuttle. And I’ve been busy with my various groups and sewing up a storm with my quilting projects.
There's been a bit of sadness too, this year, especially when we had to say goodbye to our beloved Birman cat Muffy. But we let her go knowing that at 20 years of age she had enjoyed a long and happy life. Muffy came away with us when we embarked on our 3 month South Island Odyssey caravan holiday in 2012 when she was a grand old lady at 16 years old, had many new experiences on that trip. She is sadly missed.
Muffy relaxing “down south” in Invercargill
Then I had a major health issue – many hospital trips were involved from February to the completion of treatment in August. Luckily that is all behind us now, so we can happily keep travelling around our beautiful country. We are looking forward to more safe and happy travels in 2017.