Friday, 17 February 2017


Much needed rain is falling. Here in Blenheim, steady, light fine rain, nicely wetting and feeding the ground, gently falling vertically.
Where friends are on the 7 Day Tour it has been heavy hard rain and snow on the peaks nearby before they arrived there.
Hopefully Christchurch will get enough rain to damp down the fires in the Park Hills, but it is forecast to be back up to 30 degrees C and dry again by Sunday.

As it started raining before the hoped for bike ride most of the local riders due to be out adjourned to the cafe at St Clairs Vineyard on the outskirts of town.
The coffee and chocolate muffin was perfect..and then there were scones jam and cream all round as one rider celebrates his 83rd birthday tomorrow! ( his grandparents came out from Kilmarnock)

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Paraparas

Today we rode out ahead of the fourth stage of the Wellington-Auckland 7 Day Tour , from Whanganui North towards the Paraparas. We got to where it seriiusly starts to go up!
The road has only been re-opened after the floods a year ago. It is The New Road, celebrating its 100th birthday on 1st April with a ride out of vintage vehicles and a 40 dollar coach trip. The old road is still there but is also still a gravel road with no tar seal.
We pack today for a short trip to Blenheim, hopefully 3 weeks but coyld be less, depending on our host's health, having lately been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease. At least being fit and carrying on cycling is helping. We think that the trigger could have been a double skull fracture when a motorbike pillion passenger pushed him off the road as they drove by goinf down a hill. Thanfully he was wearing a helmet as is the law in NZ.
Now hopefully a few photos from today! Tablet permitting!!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017


The week of the Masters Games proceeds ... over 50 different sports and competitors into their 90s..only 85 years old in the cycling.
I won my road time trial group and the Pirate was 6th in his. On the velodrome I won all my events and he got two 3rds. He was brave and entered the 44km road race, four laps with a tricky descent followed swiftly by a sharp and nasty hill. He missed the podium with a 4th place but rode well on a hot and windy day. We've had that weather for all the cycling, with a couple of wet days.

We had a walk around the River City today and noticed that the lampposts were made in Kilmarnock, not far from Drongan!!

Thursday, 2 February 2017


We had our first earth tremor today..just 30 seconds..although I'm sure it has been shivering occasionally. No, no lorries were passing.....

It has been raining since seven this morning, heavy showers with steady rain in between. We were lucky to get a lift down to the city centre Memorial Hall to sign on for the New Zealand Masters Games. Racing for us starts on Saturday morning. A road time trial then track racing after lunch.

Now we're on kitchen duty, starting to help cook supper.

Sorry for no pics..the tablet has some images of Whanganui from our last visit but wont add them here...back to square one!!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017


At least I'm making a start with getting images on here. This is postbox matching its house, just up State Highway 4 out of Whanganui, and the view up the mighty river past Upokongaro, now the turning point for the Waimarie steamboat.Tablet use is still frustrating
 I'm learning slowly.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

arrived in New Zealand

we are in Whanganui now and I'm using the free wifi at the i-site to stay connected.
I brought a tablet computer instead of the laptop, to save weight, but its lack of speed is frustrating!
I'm still learning how to use no pictures on the blog yet....

Sunday, 15 January 2017

walking by the water

 Hows that for a back gate? by where the Taiglum Burn joins the Water of Coyle

 Sheep keeping their feet dry,off the flood plain.

 Back where we were yesterday
 Our Pooh Sticks bridge!
 Sad to see the Mill o'Shiel farmhouse derelict.
 we traced as near as we could the lead to Millmannoch from the weir we saw yesterday.  It follows the contour naturally, and you can see the line coming towards the road along the hedgeline across the field on the right.
 The line is just to the left of the hedge and comes almost to the road, where it doubles back and heads directly away from the corner of what was a field,now a mass of brambles and blackthorn. a hundred metres or so along it ran into the mill dam with a sluice to the mill.  Before our walk we looked at the 1909 Ordnance Survey map of Taiglum, which became Drongan in the 1930s when most of Taiglum was demolished. It is getting interesting spotting surviving buildings.
 We missed most of the rain.
 They are now measuring how much the earth is moving...
 This stretch of road didn't get the same reinforcement five years ago that the next stretch up did...and the gabions do look rather shaky. There is also 15 to 20 feet width of bank until the river, so it isn't undercutting it (apart from when it floods)
 The Pelton Wheel that was the corn mill's update in the 1940s I think...but the door was shut and the key turned finally in 1970
 overflow and lead to the wheel on the right
 and over the road the lead still traceable, and after the snow and rain, still wet!

 View of Arran from Arran View...a well named house. 
We're packing and weighing, hopefully we'll be way under the weights for the Emirates, and wont have to pay excess to Air Chathams...although their rates are a tenth of the big boys!!