I’ve taken both knitting and stitching projects away on the trip. Must admit I often do knitting in the car while we are traveling, and have finished two little sleeves on the toddler cardigan I’m making and have now started on the back. I’m not in any hurry with this project, and I’m using up left over wool from my own jumper finished recently.
Knitting in the car, and two sleeves finished
After the Covid scare in Auckland we changes our travel plans are have been moving slowly southwards. We drove along the Desert Road and got a snap of my favourite mountain, Mt Ruapehu. There was just a few streaks of snow on the slopes, but it is summertime, after all.
After our lunch stop we continued on the last part of our journey, to drive over the Taihape-Napier Road, Gentle Annie. Known historically as Gentle Annie, it is now lot more gentle on travelers than it used to be. Some years ago the road was full of sections of rough gravel, but these days the road is sealed all the way. Terribly narrow and full of bends, with many mountain ranges to climb up and over, motorists must take their time and drive carefully. Extra research has told us that “Gentle Annie is a long uphill road or trail without a resting place”. Not named after real person at all, so now we know.
Our stop for the night was at the free parking site at Springvale Suspension Bridge. We had to juggle around a bit to find a reasonably level spot each. A lovely quiet place to spend the evening, but no cell phone or internet coverage out here in the middle of nowhere. This beauty was christened Rangitikei River Bridge no 75 in 1926, and very few examples of this type of suspension bridge remain. In 1970 the road was realigned and a new bridge built alongside the suspension bridge. The replacement bridge is functional but very plain compared to it’s beautiful older neighbour.
Springvale Suspension Bridge, on the Gentle Annie Road
From here we moved on to Napier to the Erikson Road NZMCA Park for several nights. It’s always great to catch up with my sister and her hubby who live in nearby Hastings, they both have health issues and have now moved into a rest home complex so there were forms to fill in, and a declaration to sign.
Kathleen and Dennis relaxing with me in the middle
Laundry always needs doing while on holiday, so we found a laundromat and took our big bag of washing for a ride in the car. One of the regulars recommended we brush down the filter tray on the dryer, makes it work much better, we were told. Makes sense, as we all do this at home, don't we.
Robin clearing all the lint from the tray
Our Weber BBQ got a real work out on Sunday. Robin cooked our traditional bacon and eggs for breakfast, then we had toasted sandwiches for lunch, that’s the first time we had cooked them on the BBQ. Then for dinner we had BBQ belly pork in maple sauce, so yummy, with roast kumara, (sweet potatoes). With a couple of extra veggies cooked inside the van, it was a great meal indeed.
Pork and roast kumara for dinner
It seems that our time in Napier really focused on food. We We went out for a Fish and Chip and Oyster dinner at Takitimu Fisheries, our first visit there. Certainly a popular place, with patrons queuing up and the waiting time for orders extended to 40 minutes. It was a lovely evening so we took a drive around the coastline. The marina was full of expensive looking boats, and there were several trendy restaurants full with patrons enjoying dining with a sea view. After all the Covid doom and gloom with hospitality venues, it was good to see these businesses booming again.
Marina at Napier
We lunched one day at Silky Oak Chocolates. As it was such a hot day we both ordered an Iced Chocolate, so rich and decadent! And of course a few hand made chocolates came home with us too. Guess these items aren’t on our keto diet, but goodness me, did they taste delicious!
Our decandent lunch
The weather in Napier was glorious, hot and sunny and temperatures about 25C most days. Just right for a trip to the iconic Rush Munro’s Ice Creamery in Hastings, a much loved institution dating back to 1926. With plenty of flavours on offer, it was hard to choose. We both took a while to ponder the many possibilities. And this is what we came up with, two lovely ice-cream sundaes. The big one for him and the smaller one for me, so delicious. We enjoyed them in the lovely shady garden.
Ice cream at Rush Munros
Gemma is not too keen on the car, but enjoys her time in the caravan. As long as she is well fed, and gets plenty of attention, and gets taken outside now and again, she is happy. Here she is, relaxing on the caravan vanity unit, almost falling off, it seems. She is certainly well relaxed.
Gemma relaxing the afternoon away