Our BIG move

This is my diary of our new life in New Zealand up to 2011 when we moved to QLD to be near our grandchildren...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

off to the UK

The first leg Invercargill to Christchurch

Up at 5am the weather was mild, and I just had a t-shirt on amasingly enough.
we got to the airport and checked in - it was still dark
we were nearly over Christchurch when the sun rose, the smaller domestic flights allow for some spectacular views of the landscape below.

View of a river at sunrise

The Plane to Singapore

Clouds in the sky....

Rob did his usual - I watched movies (I wish I could sleep!)

When we finally got to Singapore, we got a bus to the hotel, and had a meal and fell asleep!
the next day we explored Singapore by taxi (my ankle was hurting so we splashed out) and Mr T our taxi driver was a very knowledgeable driver and it was well worth it.

This is the Merlion at Sentosa it looks over Singapore

The view from the top of the Merlion

At Sentosa is the Aquarium, we found Nemo and Dory! among other big and small fishies!

We also visited the Botanical Gardens - and the Orchid Garden

We also toured Chinatown

We saw lots of old and new buildings, this one was one of the most elaborate

" Built in 1843, the Sri Mariamman Temple is the largest Hindu temple in Singapore. It is also one of the many religious buildings marked as national monuments for their historical value, another that we went to was Raffles for a Singapore Sling

This is Rob inside Raffles courtyards

After a quick shower we checked out, went to T3 at Changi Airport and watched the movie in the free cinema until our flight was called... good job we were early at the gate - they'd moved it right to the other end of the terminal... but a kind staff member saw me limping and offered us a lift on one of the go-carts and we were whisked off to the gate.
14 hrs of movies and trying to sleep..

We finally got to Manchester, and onto the train

... and Rob fell asleep... Again!

Well thats it for now...we are now in the UK getting over jetlag, and I have my hairdresser coming Tuesday for a well needed Styling!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Catlins Canter 2008 at Woodstock Lodge

This years "Catlins Canter" was held at Woodstock Lodge near Owaka, where an annual Music Festival is held on the 3rd Sunday of January.

This was the first time I had acctually towed the Horse Float more than a few K's (to Hilary's and back) and I was fine until we reached the turning to Owaka, I had been given directions to follow and on the map it looked easy...wow map makers of NZ sure gloss over some bits (straight lines are actually twisty hilly mazes!) and part (the longest 10km's I have ever driven) were on Gravel road which would be ok, if there hadn't have been sheer drops at the side of the road!

In fact when we reached the Gravel part a HGV (Huge one) with a Double trailer on the back was coming at what looked at 100+kms straight towards us surrounded by a cloud of dust!

I stopped dead in my tracks about 500m before the gravel and prayed he'd slow down....he didn't and passed us (poor horses must have choked on the dust for a few minutes!) I was glad to see that the Sheep trailers were empty! but I bet he didn't drive in on the road any slower...Grrrr

well anyway back to our trip (Rachel is now quiet nervous) and my stomach muscles were clamped tight when we finally reached Woodstock - only to be told we needed to go 1/2 km up the road to drop the horses in the "top" paddock....Steep or what, sheer drop at the edge, and only just enough track for the trailer! I was shaking by the time I got to the top, and vowed that when we left for home I was loading the horses from the Lodge! I told Winston who had sent us there that he owed us, but on the last day he took our stuff back to our trailer at the lodge so we could ride the horses down - so I let him off!

The map above shows where it is in the Catlin's - see those fairly straight lines - they are Not that straight and the curves are over hills and valleys its almost like a huge rollercoaster!

But anyway - we got over our scary trip there, the horses were settled into their paddock and we went about setting up camp and saying hi to the rest of the Cavalcaders.

The Function facility was excellent (Rachel said it would make a good wedding venue) we all camped out in the camping paddocks, where the long drops (emergency only we used the one in the function lodge LOL) and washing facilities (sink with hot water in lodge loos) are near...

(picture of where I bathed - Coldest bath I have had in a long time, but refreshing!)

this is the Function lodge, dining, bar and dance floor, LCD TV and Wood burner, it has a veranda around it which has patio doors that open onto it on both sides.

Hilary had 4* camping - room to move too! see

those people carriers are awfully useful!

This is a picture of one of the cavalcaders with a novelty dummy (raffle prize I think?)

plenty of BYO (bring your own) Booze was flowing.

We all retired early(ish) well a few hard cases drank till the wee hrs!

ready to set off at 8am for the ride the next morning (two rides were proposed - one where it wouldn't be too steep and you did not need to get off and one where you would be riding up to the top of the valley hills and would probably have to get off and walk down (its easier for a horse to walk down without you on its back - far safer if it trips too)

Rachel wanted the lower ride since she is not too keen on heights - so you can imagine when the morning rolled up, and we were about to set off she wasn't my best friend when they announced that the High ride was the only one on the cards!...But after the first Steep hill she relaxed and started to enjoy it!... here are a few of the pictures I took (and a few Hilary took - Yes finally pictures of me on my blog!)

This is a picture of us riding to the top of the highest hill.... the feint sticks in the foreground are actually Transmitters - We rang home on our mobiles as it was the only place we got a signal (we were right under the transmitter!) But once you were down the other side of the hill you lost it again...

Rachel on Jester

The view on the other side of the transmitter Hill

Hilary taking a break on Jess

and this is Hilary taking Rachels photo after her first climb up a hill....she managed a smile too

Hilary took this photo of me on Keonoa (aint he pretty!)

We rode from Woodstock to Jacks Bay which is a little bay where there are a few cribs, and a few sections which are up for sale at around $300! no sea views either they are the otherside of the road - I suppose you could build the living quarters on the first level and have a garage underneath - then you would see the bay!

The horses were keen for a dip to cool off and relax hard worked muscles... and then we had lunch and a drink which was supplied by the Lions, they even provided water troughs for the horses.

We then set off after lunch towards camp, we had to cross an estuary and then over farmland and woodland and then we met up with some wagons which had taken a road route while we were riding over the valleys... the horses were a little wary of them but we rode behind it for a while and they were fine then.

Nearly home, and a very steep climb and subsequent steep decline to do... Keonoa looked at me as if to say "are we nearly there yet?" I thought this pic said it all...

This was a picture of where we had to go (the valley to the right hand top corner with the forest on the side...And this is a pic of Rachel and Jester walking down the steep road (it was steeper than it looks!) She says we need to do an 8 week fitness programme before the next cavalcade too!

And finally this picture is a little blury but its because it was just after sunrise and I took it as we were driving home. Hope you enjoyed this post - I enjoyed the Cavalcade and can't wait for the next ones next summer...nor can Rachel (she just wants a decent comfy saddle and a horse of her own to do it on!)