Monday 31 December 2018

Years end

We managed to ride the road past the racecourse..and find yet another cafe with cyclists in it! mountain bikers this time, although the cafe is on the flatlands it isn't far from some gnarly trails. We did 60km which is gradually stretching my range..some sometI really need to do if I'm looking ahead to some gentle touring days.....but the last 10km was a bit hard even on the flat!
I found why I wake to the sound of bees every fine morning.
This is our bedroom window.
This morning, a fresh new year is starting cool and a little damp.
Time to finish off the gardening jobs we have started ready for our friend's return .
We should be moving on in two day's time, hopefully seeing some of the West Coast before staying in Blenheim for a week or so.

Saturday 29 December 2018

Getting on with things

Apart from yesterday's windy day we are getting out on the bikes every day. Tomorrow we will aim to be up and out bright and early as it's forecast clear and 29C later on.
Today's ride was revised "on the hoof" as it were..the one road we haven't followed in this district leads to the racetrack. Unfortunately that made it unsafe for us, with horse transport and what looked like "lads days out" in groups of Ute's heading for the races. Perhaps tomorrow?
A quick route change and we still did 34km.. finishing up at the village cafe for coffee and a shared banana and walnut muffin..with butter AND yoghurt!
After lunch and a rest it was bike maintenance for the pirate and more cleaning brick paths for me as the shade came round to an uncleared patch.

Friday 28 December 2018

Still gardening

 Where else does a cat sit when the humans haven't opened the front door?
There is also a good cat door in the back door..but that is only used when no humans are there to open doors....

It was too windy to get out on the bikes yesterday..even driving was a little challenging!!  I made more gardening progress instead, working around the house to keep in the shade, clearing weeds out from the brick paths.
The wisteria has been well pruned as it was attacking the house at roof and ground level

Wednesday 26 December 2018

And for tea...

Homemade Welsh cakes.. sorry, no currants available..just Raspberry jam and very mature cheese....

Getting fitter

Today's ride was 40km and a little bit faster. Possibly because I'm learning the lanes and back roads so I have fewer stops to check the map!!
The temperature is a little lower, 18C, so riding was comfortable..and we saw many others out too, although only one group.
Now for some more gardening..gently weeding in the shade..but today I think we'll stop earlier as we got well bitten by the local mozzies last night. Apparently the water table has risen since the Christchurch earthquake in 2011 and there are more of the buzzy nuisances about.

Tuesday 25 December 2018

Back "home"

We are back in Tai Tapu, recovering from the driving..but no other way to soak it all in.
A quiet Christmas with bike riding and without the over consumption..but with a very good bottle of local wine for tonight!!
We have a month to salvage some sort of fitness for the NZ Masters Games..the Whanganui..and a month after that for the pirate to build up to the 4 day Tour of the Northland. (He has ridden that before)..

A short ride..35km.. before it got too warm today.


I should have had the camera handy...but at times the experience is too good...
Twizel is in a dark Skies area. The moon..full? ..was beautiful all night and we could see the starry sky through the roof window of the campercar.
We woke at 6.30 and the rising sun painted the mountains orange as the moon set behind them.
We were off at 7.30 with about 300km to go..and we made it in 4 hours with time enough for a shower and change before lunch in the village cafe.
These are the views of Aoraki, New Zealand's highest mountain that the Pirate managed to take as we travelled.

Not in the right order..the tablet computer has just changed how I get to the
images...sigh...I'll be glad to return to a laptop and proper camera in April!!!
I wanted to put another image it says unable to because of low memory..but doesn't say where.. defeated by technology again.

Sunday 23 December 2018

Travelling back north

We had breakfast in the Zookeepers Cafe in Invercargill before having a look round the Southland velodrome..a marvellous welcoming facility. Then on up state highway 1 to Gore where we took the wrong road going  further .west than planned....but that meant we saw the Moth museum..
I ran out of energy at Twizel so we are camping in the campercar! It's a dark sky area so the cover is back on the roof window and hopefully we will see the stars.

Saturday 22 December 2018

Down South

 We had lunch in Port Chalmers, the freight and cruise harbour for for Dunedin. Another Cosmic Chuckle..met Tina..

 At the Crafty Banker where she sells beautiful things..and her own work...and she is also a potter and printmaker. Born in Griffith's town in Wales, now definitely a Kiwi!

 Then on to Invercargill...

 And the Zookeepers Cafe...hq of the Tour of the Southland race..

Despite being Saturday evening it is very quiet as most places have shut for the holidays.


 After many years of blogging friendship...we have met properly at last!!

 Talked kilns and who we knew..and the fact that Pirate was in Rye on the day that Peter was born...another Cosmic Chuckle!
They have much in common too, with other interests too. I'm interested in old roses like Laura..
We stayed in a marvelous relaxed camp thanks to a wee cabin..

 And a beach
 Where people landed from Kent and Scotland via Sydney..before Dunedin was thought of
We had a wonderful time in Waikouaiti... including wood fired pizzas at the next village along!