It’s been a long time between caravan rallies, as far as the man of the house is concerned. Never mind that we spent several weeks travelling around Australia – that doesn’t count. With the three day Labour Weekend to look forward to, he finally got his wish, and we travelled about 30km up SH1 to Oroua Downs school. The only problem with having a caravan rally in school grounds is that entry is not allowed till about 4.00pm, to allow the children to leave the grounds safely before our caravans turn up. But we had a cunning plan so that we would not waste all those hours. Those interested would leave home early, and meet up somewhere for lunch.
Our lunch stop was to be the Manawatu Boating Club grounds, on the banks of the Manawatu Estuary, and we were first to arrive. The wind was fierce, and luckily we had parked the caravan against the wind, so that we weren’t fighting to open and close the door.
First to arrive for lunch
The cold wind didn’t seem to deter the keen fisherman trying their luck from the wharf - and with the number of noisy squawking gulls around this fellow, it was obvious he was hauling up a few fish from time to time.
Fishing off the wharf
One by one the other caravans arrived. I put the billy on for a cuppa, sandwiches were prepared, and we all ate lunch together in our van. It was a very pleasant afternoon, chatting away and putting the world to rights.
We now have company
The time ticked by and it was finally time to leave and drive up to the school grounds. Not too far to go, and we all made good time.
There was a bit of too-ing and fro-ing as the drivers decided where best to park the vans. Although the ground looked flat, there was a definite tilt, and some of us had to get the levelling blocks out. Finally, five caravans and three motor-homes were parked up, and our weekend began.
Parked up at Ororua Downs School
We had the use of a small hall for the weekend. The hall was built in the 1890s and started life as a Sunday School hall in Sanson, and cost 166 pounds to build. In 1963 the hall was put up for tender, was moved to Himitangi, and was used by several different groups in the area. It was moved again in 1992 to the school grounds, where it now used by a group running an after school programme.
The old hall, built in 1890s
We did wonder the story behind the aircraft propeller mounted on the wall. It came from a RNZAF training aircraft which had crashed near Ekatahuna in 1943, and was donated by Mr Bill Kendall to the Air Scout Troop which met in the hall in earlier years.
Propeller from training aircraft
Friday evenings are fairly low key and we met in the hall to catch up with everyone’s news. As usual, Friday night is joke night, and we can always count on Val to come along with a few jokes to read out. With a three day weekend there were plans afoot to keep everyone busy and entertained. To make these plans happen, we really wanted fine weather. Check in later to see what we got up to.