Saturday, 1 July 2017

Waitangi weekend: New Plymouth - Festival of lights

Some members decided to go up on Friday where as the rest of us working folk had to contend with going up on Saturday. It was an early start by usual means.
Ride up was good as was the weather. Bit cool to start but as time went on and through the gorge it got better. Stopped for a pee break at Feilding then on to Wanganui for morning smoko and rest. On to Stratford for a lateish lunch before the last leg.

After we got to motel, sorted out rooms etc, we all caught up and decided that we would have a bbq tea at motel complex. This is always a great wind down after days ride. Catch up with people that we haven’t seen in awhile. Bit of an exodus for people getting food for it later in arvo. It was a bit quieter than usual as we were all going out later to Festival of Lights in Pukekura Park later.

At about 8 o’clock we headed down to park as it was only about a ten minute walk from motel. It was still a bit light but that didn’t matter as it let you look around before it got dark. Very easy to get lost or loose the group. The crowd wasn’t as large as was expecting as it was the second to last night of it. I would not have liked being the person or persons responsible for designing or putting it up. There were areas of wow and other areas of yeah ok. 

I was personally peeved off that I couldn’t take my tripod on bike as it was too large. So I didn’t get many good photo’s that were sharp and in focus. But I did get some good shots. 

After a couple of hours there we found each other and headed back to motel. It was a great warm night out.

Sunday, some headed off up the coast the Mokau to try the whitebait fritters there and have a look at the Museum as well. From there they headed on up to the tunnel in the Awakino gorge as some people haven’t been through a tunnel before, I think. 

Annette and I headed south to Okato as my daughter was over from Melbourne and she and her partner were going to a wedding there. We met up in a cafe there which, in a small town like that, was great. Was a bit hard to find though. Signage wasn’t good. After lunch, we headed back to motel and they headed home to Masterton. 

The group was looking at heading out of town to go to Transport and Aviation Museum but it was closing at 4pm and by the time most of the other group got back it was too late to go there. So instead, some of us headed back to the light show to see what we had missed out on and also see what park was like in day time.

Some of us headed into town for tea while others had another bbq with leftovers. Then again we headed back to the show to have a look at the parts we missed the night before. Bugger having no map to guide you. The mild nights made it so great to look at without the thought of rain spoiling it. Well worth the trip up there.

Monday. Home day. Bugger. We headed off at usual time and off down the surf highway to Hawera for morning tea. Refuel then enjoy the ride to Feilding for lunch. Going through Patea, there was a fair going on by the canoe. It made me think of the film Poi E which was centered there. 

All in all, a great weekend away with great company. Thank you.

Cheers, Kevin.  

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