With an unexpected trip to Hastings coming up we packed the van and set off after an early lunch today. We drove our usual route over the Pahiatua Track, and drove a rather convoluted way wondering if we had in fact got lost in the rural countryside. But luckily we reached the Ballance Bridge, crossing the Manawatu River and onto Woodville, so we weren’t lost after all.
Ballance Bridge over the Manawatu River
Then it was up SH2 through farmland and small towns, through rain showers, with a few road works along the way, stopping at Waipukurau, the largest town in the Central Hawke's Bay District. The old station building houses a quirky little coffee shack, and we certainly needed coffee after several hours on the road.
Stopping at Waipukurau Railway Station
It was obvious as we drove closer to Hastings that there had been quite a lot of heavy rain recently. These low lying paddocks have water almost swallowing the fences.
Flooding south of Hastings
We pulled into the driveway at one of our favourite CAPs (charges apply parking) at Dick and Elly’s apple orchard. My goodness, there were vans and buses everywhere – hope there is room for us. Manager Rose welcomed us with open arms, as did Dick and Elly, we always get such a friendly reception here. Dick helped us get on site in the muddy conditions, and commented that his property has had plenty of rain and flooding too. Once we were organised, the power plugged in, we went to join the others having Happy Hour under the awning.
Just in time for Happy Hour
There was plenty of chatter going on around the table, and one couple recognised us from our last stay here back in March. As the light started to fade, it is mid winter after all, we all departed back to our vans to prepare the evening meal. There was just a little bit of colour in the western sky on the way back to our van.
And the sun sets in Hastings
We are making this trip to support my sister Kathleen and Dennis as their younger daughter died of a brain hemorrhage in Australia last week. We are joining the family at a memorial get together on Saturday to remember Jody and celebrate her life.