Tongariro Alpine Crossing

For the last 15 months we have been opening our home to airbnb guests. It’s been really interesting. We have met so many lovely people, and we now have new friends from all over the world! For reasons which I will explain later on in my post, I have filled in the availability calendar for our home, so it is unavailable for a time, but we did have two guest rooms which have been well used. Here are the links to those rooms if you would like to have a look.

https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/5197223?guests=1&s=0RoqnXBa

https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/5232994?guests=1&s=0RoqnXBa

The summer months seem to have been the most popular for tourists visiting New Zealand. The most common places of interest that our visitors have been to see before they got to our home in little Waitara (Taranaki), has been the Waitomo Caves and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Most of our visitors travelled south from Auckland and were making their way down to the South Island, where they planned on driving down to visit Queenstown. The popular cities that I heard mentioned visited in the North Island were Auckland, Rotorua and Taupo. And, of course, I would promote a visit to our local city of New Plymouth, of which I have already written a blog post about!

New Plymouth – It’s a fabulous city!

When our guests spoke of the wonderful experiences they had seeing the Waitomo Caves, and walking / tramping the Tongariro Crossing, I would feel slightly guilty. Here I am a New Zealander, and I haven’t even been to either of those places myself, well I hadn’t! But I have now. In April I took my grandson to the Caves 🙂 We only went through the Glow worm cave but it was fantastic. I have visited the Jenolan Caves near the Blue Mountains in Australia, and I have to say that the Waitomo Caves are equally as good. Definitely worth the visit.

In March I joined a group of local people to travel North to The National Park to walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and I have to say it was the highlight of my year so far! It was amazing, and what a sense of achievement to have completed it! Yes, I can definitely say it was on my bucket list (after hearing about it so much from our visiting tourists) and it has now been ticked off!

The distance of the crossing. We had a guide with us so we turned at the highest point of the crossing, carried on to Tongariro summit and then our guide led us back to the start point.
The distance of the crossing. We had a guide with us so we turned at the highest point of the crossing, carried on to Tongariro summit and then our guide led us back to the start point.
Full of excitement and energy as we start the crossing :-)
Full of excitement and energy as we start the crossing 🙂
This is part of the path from the starting point. By mid morning there is a steady traffic of people walking/climbing the crossing. It is a very popular and manageable climb but is definitely challenging as well.
This is part of the path from the starting point. By mid morning there is a steady traffic of people walking/climbing the crossing. It is a very popular and manageable climb but is definitely challenging as well.
The only toilets en route!
The only toilets en route!
One of our first stops. And look at the wonderful view!
One of our first stops. And look at the wonderful view!
Mt Taranaki way in the distance
Mt Taranaki way in the distance
Walking across the plain towards the climb to the Summit
Walking across the plain towards the climb to the Summit
further along the long plain
Further along the long plain
Looking across to Mt Ngauruhoe
Looking across to Mt Ngauruhoe
Looking over the edge :-)
Looking over the edge 🙂
Our little group of trampers- plus the photographer :-)
Our little group of trampers- plus the photographer 🙂
That was much harder to climb than it looks!
That was much harder to climb than it looks!
The big climb up to the Crossing peak
The big climb up to the Crossing peak
Just a little climb from here to where the main crossing walk starts the descent to the car park
Just a little climb from here to where the main crossing walk starts the descent to the car park
The last slope upwards
The last slope upwards
The view of an old vent on the volcano
The view of an old vent on the volcano
another view of the old crater vent. Can you seee the people climbing across the other side?
Another view of the old crater vent. Can you see the people climbing across the other side?
Daughter Joanna looking at the wonderful views with the lakes below
Daughter Joanna looking at the wonderful views with the lakes below
Mt Ngauruhoe with Mt Ruapehu behind
Mt Ngauruhoe with Mt Ruapehu behind, and the Tongariro summit ahead 🙂
Joanna with Ngauruhoe behind her
Joanna with Ngauruhoe behind her
Yay! We did it. Mt Tongariro Summit!
Yay! We did it. Mt Tongariro Summit!
My friend Julie with the two magnificent mountains behind her
My friend Julie with the two magnificent mountains behind her
Our lunch spot at the summit of Mt Tongariro
Our lunch spot at the summit of Mt Tongariro
From the summit looking back to the crossing
From the summit looking back to the crossing
The terrain we meandered down back to the carpark
The terrain we meandered down back to the carpark
Sitting on damp spongy moss for our afternoon tea :-)
Sitting on damp spongy moss for our afternoon tea 🙂
Such a wonderful feeling! We had just climbed Tongariro with Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu in sight :-)
Such a wonderful feeling! We had just climbed Tongariro with Ngauruhoe and Ruapehu in sight 🙂
The long walk back down! But it was sure worth the effort :-)
The long walk back down! But it was sure worth the effort 🙂

After four long years of just having my husband and myself at home, this year has completely changed for us. We now have two of our adult children living back home, and we also have three of our grand children living here with us as well. We are so spoilt to have company all the time, and activity filling our lives. Children are great at keeping you young. So, this is the reason that our airbnb is now closed for a time, but I am very thankful for the time we had our guests staying here. If it wasn’t for their wonderful recollections, telling me about doing the Tongariro Crossing, or seeing The Waitomo Caves, I probably wouldn’t have put the effort in to see them for myself!

Now I can be the ‘expert’ when we eventually open our airbnb again.

If you have 20 minutes to spare I have also made a movie file of the crossing 🙂

Last day at home…

It’s 7:45 and I’m still in bed, but definitely not sleeping or relaxing. I’m thinking about the thousand things I still need to do today. I need to get up! But, I do have a list! I love being able to tick off jobs as they are completed and then knowing I am fully prepared for our holiday…. Hopefully!

Mostly I am excited! Eeeee! I have just finished checking Facebook and Snapchat, and have seen photos of my family and their travel shots as they make their way to Poland. Matthew, Daniel and Casey are driving from London to Leszno and they crossed from the Uk to France via the Euro tunnel early this morning. And they are now in Germany!

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Looking very excited! Casey and her Dad Matthew 🙂

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Visiting ‘The Shard’ in London

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Waiting to board the train at the Euro tunnel.

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On the train!!!

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A stop for refreshments in Brussels 🙂

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And now they are in Cologne Germany!
Meanwhile Ben and Chloe have arrived in London and are staying on for a few days while Ben has some work to do. They fly to Poland later in the week.

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Don’t they look very relaxed! Lovely 🙂

Now, I have to wash my sheets and remake the bed! Clean the whole house including the bathroom! Print out travel documents! Phone Visa! Fold heaps of washing! Pack my bag! Prepare a meal for us and my two Aunties for tonight! And… The list goes on!

I really wanted to finish my crochet blanket before I left but will have to leave it at this stage until I come back home in January!

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It can wait! But getting up can’t!

I leave New Zealand tomorrow!

Bournemouth to Daniel and Marysias place

After a reasonable nights sleep we were up bright and early to get started on our big trip to Windlesham. We had so much planned. Our first stop was a little pub in Bournemouth for breakfast. We found a park on the sea front and were blessed with amazing views over the ocean. The sky was a beautiful blue and hardly any clouds and the sea was calm. Bournemouth has an amazing beach, and Poole even better. They just don’t get a long hot summer!

Len has family in Tiptoe, which is just north of Bournemouth and in the New Forest. New Forest is very different from other parts of England as it has lots of wide open spaces and also forestry areas. It also has animals roaming free all over. You see horses, deer and cows often and they are very near the road. We travelled through New Forest after having a lovely morning tea with Lens cousin and his wife.

We drove on to Salisbury to have a look through the Salisbury Cathedral. It is a great Cathedral to visit as the grounds are well kept and picturesque, and the Cathedral itself is very tall, big and interesting both on the outside and the inside. We took heaps of photos and decided to have lunch in their cafe as well.

The next place was a place that Judy needed to see. Stonehenge! Len, Robin and I had already seen it, but it was still good to visit again. Once again we took plenty of photos and the added bonus was that we got in free! We brought tickets to the English Heritage when we first left on our tour of England and they have well and truely paid for themselves.

From Stonehenge we had the biggest part of the journey, and that was to get to Henley on Thames to meet up with Glenda for tea. We were so pleased to get there as we were stuck on the motorway for ages as there had been a car accident. Henley on Thames is a beautiful town filled with historic buildings. Glendas place was one of them. We wandered through the town and along the river than had a lovely meal together.

The final part of the trip was to get to Daniel and Marysias at Windlesham. They have such a neat little place and it was so good o finally be with them again. We had a big catch up, had Daniel blow a candle on his belated birthday cake that Marysia had made him, had supper then went to bed. What a very long day…but a very good day as well.

The photos for today were loaded in yesterdays blog by mistake so that is where they will stay until I have time to fix them up. I hope you enjoy looking at them. We have seen some amazing sights!

 

 

Holiday Photos

I have finally got an internet connection where I can load some photos. I will try to name each one to give you an idea of where they have been taken. We have had our 10 days travelling over to Poland and back and have also now left Daniel and Marysias place. Tonight we are in Leeds and looking forward to discovering York tomorrow. The next night will be at Windemere…a beautiful place so we have heard. I will let the photos tell the story otherwise I will be on the internet for hours and I don’t want to waste this precious time 🙂

Time goes so fast

I just realised that I haven’t loaded anything onto my blog since last year! And there has been so much to share as well! We had everyone home for Christmas, even Daniel and Marysia from London, and we had some fabulous family times together. Joanna turned 20 on the 15th of January, Marysia turned ? on the 19th of Jan, Jessica turned 18 on the 24th of Feb, Leeara turned 15 on the 24th of Feb as well, Casey turned 6 on the 5th of Feb, Jayden turned 6 on the 29th of Jan and Robin turned 57!!!!!! on the 2nd of Jan!!! WOW!!! So many birthdays and so much fun! We had a big family holiday in Rotorua and Hamilton to show Marysia some of New Zealand. We also walked our walkway twice. Once with Matt, Bek, Leeara, Casey, Jo, Jordan, Dan, Marysia, Robin and me; and the other time with Jayden and Christian on their bikes…I walked/ran behind them! Jordan worked at Powerco with Robin and Jo over the holidays and stayed with us most of the time as well. He is doing well at Uni and is onto his second year. Joanna is now onto her final year of nursing and has been working at Taranaki Base Hospital. She has also left home and is flatting with a friend who is doing nursing as well. Jess has entered her Uni years. She is now living at the Auckland Uni Hall…and loving it I must say (by the looks of her photos oin Facebook….a little worrying I must add). No….seriously…she is a good girl and is studying hard. So that leaves Robin and me at home alone!!! After 6 children and many years, we are now home alone!!! Thank God for our Scrapbook/computer room! It entertains us nicely! I am loving the lower work load I must say. I only need to do washing twice a week! My house stays tidy..everyday! And the bathroom is amazing! It stays clean and we don’t have masses of towels to wash everyday! I do miss the company though and the girls brought LIFE into the house (boys did too, but that was many years ago really as Ben left home at 17 and he is now 25). We picked up Jayden and Christian last weekend for 3 days and that was a very special time. I love having some of my Grand children in NZ even if they do live a 3 hour drive away.

Our family was also in 2 magazine publications. Ben and Chloes Wedding was featured in ‘New Zealand Weddings’ and Leeara was in ‘Dolly’ magazine as a model! I am so proud of them 🙂 and have copies of both magazines to keep forever!!!

I am once again very involved in mainly music and have been leading the second session all term (and helping with the first session). We have 40 families coming along to that session (the same at the first) and we have lots of fun. I love singing and as I don’t worship lead anymore it gives me an opportunity to keep music and singing alive in my life…and hopefully blesses a lot of people at the same time.

Mum and Dad celebrated 64 years of marriage on the 4th of March. Well done I say! We all went out for tea and spent the night chatting about our childhood! We had lots of laughs and I think Mum and Dad realised just how much we appreciated our family and them as our parents. We took some photos outside the restaurant and had a laugh as we looked at the photos. The restaurant name was ‘The Ugly Duck’ and we took the photo under the sign. I was right under it! It was a bit of a shame that Rodney wasn’t there (as all four of us girls were), but we did get a family group photo on Christmas day 🙂

I’ll attach some photos as a sample of the time from November 2011 until now March 2012. Have fun browsing them xx

 

My latest pages and my new Scrapbook room

So now I have started to set up the new room, and it has been so much fun! I am very spoilt! I didn’t realise just how much scrapbook supplies I have, but I LOVE them all! I thought I would share a few more photos with you. Some of the room and others of my latest pages. I hope you enjoy looking and get inspired to create your own pages

Ben and Chloes Wedding

We have just arrived back home from Featherston, where we celebrated the wedding of Benjamin (my youngest son) and Chloe. What an amazing day we had. Everything was beautiful and went perfectly to plan. They are now enjoying their honeymoon and the beginning of life as a married couple. I pray they will be very happy together and will have the grace to love each other always, the committment to stand by each other through every season of their lives, and that they will experience God’s blessing in every way. I love you Ben and Chloe xx