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Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Year that Was

We enjoyed lots of time away in our caravan during 2014, and Robin’s log-book told us that we towed the caravan 5915km around our beautiful country during the year.  We attended 15 Caravan Club Rallies, often taking extra time to extend our weekends away by leaving home early and returning back several days (or more) later.  The highlights would have to be hosting the Wellington Regional Rally in January, and taking part in the Heretaunga Caravan Club’s 40th Birthday Rally in May.  Then there was the NZMCA Chocolate Éclair Rally in Ohakune in June, where a group of us went on to stay a little longer  in the area and partake of High Tea at the Chateau, before wending our way slowly back home.

P6140016 View from our window at the Chocolate Éclair Rally

P6160011 High Tea at the Chateau

There were lots of other trips away while we did other things which we enjoyed.  Our trip to Mystery Creek in Hamilton in February was certainly something while we experienced our first stay at the huge Camper Care Show. 

P3010024 Camper Care Show at Mystery Creek

It’s really handy having our own accommodation when we travelled to other centres just so that I could visit a quilt show or two.  Or to visit the rellies for  major family birthday celebrations.  And we took the caravan to Ashhurst for the weekend in May while we walked the Track and Tunnel Walk along the railway track through the Manawatu Gorge.

P5040006 Manawatu Gorge Track and Tunnel Walk

Our year of caravanning was not without a few mishaps and extra expenses.  We added a new fresh water tank, and had another locker door  installed in our van in February.   The caravan suffered some damage a month or so later after dropping down hard while turning a corner, and the brake cables, wheel assembly and an axle all had to be replaced.  And the Toyota 4WD tow car needed two new tyres, and the batteries replaced during the year. 

After checking out the new caravans at  the Field Days at Mansfield Showgrounds we were smitten with a new design by Leisureline Caravans and placed an order.  It was the large roomy bathroom across the back of the van which was the selling point.  Back we went to Hamilton in May to collect our new acquisition.  We are very pleased with the New Zealand made Leisureline caravans, so when it was time to upgrade, it just had to be another Leisureline.

P5270030  Our new Leisureline at Taupo

We've enjoyed the company of our caravan club buddies, and members of the NZMCA.  It was great to finally meet up with fellow blogger Frederick who writes his Travels in Retirement blog.  Our cat Muffy continues to travel with us, and is very comfortable being a caravan cat.  All in all, the “year that was” has been a good one.  Let’s hope 2015 will be just as good!

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