It was a lazy day on Friday, with no particular rush to get away to our weekend rally. Not that we are going very far, about 30km up SH1 to Oroua Downs School. (Meaning of place name - Ō: place of; roua: dredging for shellfish.) Being a school day, we could not arrive till till 3.30ish to allow the children time to depart the grounds.
Our club was hosting a Combined Rally, with caravan friends joining us from the Wairarapa, Wainuiomata and Wellington Clubs, a total of 19 vans on site. The weather for the weekend was fine, but with quite a chilly wind blowing – Autumn has definitely arrived.
We were instructed to gather in the hall on Friday evening with a pen and reading glasses, looked like there was to be another of those intelligent tests. And there was – the first competition listed abbreviations from the Oxford Dictionary and we had to guess what they meant. At first glance it seemed quite easy but as we found out it was not so. I thought the letter K was an abbreviation for kilometre, or as a second guess, K for 1000. Both wrong, in this case, the Oxford Dictionary tells us it is K for King. Eileen won this competition hands down.
And for the second one we were given several pages printed with logos. Some were rather obscure, and some, although we knew them we just couldn't think of the business. Robin blitzed through the many car logos, and I managed several more, so with out joint effort we did reasonably well. Companies spend vast sums trying to get their identifying logo “just right” so it is easily identifiable, such as Nike’s big tick, but others were much harder to guess.
The programme for Saturday was fairly busy, and after lunch we pooled cars for our eagerly awaited Cream Horn trip to Viv’s Kitchen in Sanson. Our large group queued up to place their orders and then enjoyed afternoon tea in the gazebo.
The large cream horns are not easy to eat with any degree of finesse, usually we get cream and icing sugar everywhere. But someone decided if they were sliced right down the middle, they would be much easier to handle. Our large group was served very efficiently, well done to the staff dealing with all those unruly OAPs.
My cream horn, sliced in half
Several changes have been made to Viv’s Kitchen since our last visit, and I went to check out the new addition of the Ice Cream Parlour in the grounds. Perhaps not much call now the weather is getting chilly, but it was sure to be very popular over the hot summer months.
Ice Cream Parlour
On the drive back to the school we stopped at Sanson Domain to check out the blokarts whizzing around the new all-weather blokarting track which opened in 2015. The track is over 8000 square metres and is only the second purpose-built, all-weather track in the country available to the public. A blokart is a class of land yacht, invented and made in New Zealand, the three-wheeled cart and sail are propelled along by wind.
Blokarts at Sanson Domain
There was a film evening on Saturday night with Robin presenting a slide show of our recent South Island holiday, emphasizing the many and varied places available to stay, from NZMCA parks, park over properties, A&P Showgrounds, Race Courses, and the occasional motor camp. We are so lucky to have so many reasonably priced options available to us throughout the country. Many thanks to Selwyn for the use of his projector.
Robin and Selwyn setting up for the slide show
This was followed by some slides from prospective members Jim and Kay’s recent trip to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine. Their slides showed the abandoned buildings from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, and how the area has become overgrown in 30 short years, with Mother Nature taking over buildings, covering up roads, with the forest complete with packs of wolves creeping ever closer to the abandoned city. It must have been quite an eerie place to visit.
Most of us stayed on for lunch on Sunday, before packing up and heading off to our respective homes. It was a lovely weekend, and great to catch up with friends from the other clubs who we only see now and again. On our drive back home we noticed that most of the recent snowfall had disappeared from the Tararua Mountain Range, with just a light covering still in place.
Just a sprinkling of snow left