Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Tree Decorations

Its that time when you drag the Christmas tree up from the cupboard at the bottom of the stairs, and adorn it with Christmas decorations. I grabbed the box of decorations that has grown over the years, and was pleasantly surprised at the bright cheery view of all the decorations waiting in their box all year, ready to be arranged artistically over the Christmas tree.

Merry Christmas everyone, have a great Christmas and a prosperous New Year!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Epic Weather Today

What could be better than Wok-n-Noodle Calamari and Prawns, and an Epic Pale Ale, sitting on Auckland's waterfront? The weather this weekend has been just brilliant!

Okahu Bay, Auckland.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


BRONZ Bikers Rights Organisation of New Zealand organised a charity run from Sylvia Park to Northcote. The idea is that the 'entry fee' is a toy donated this year to the Salvation Army, who hand out the toys to "bring some much needed light to the lives of those less fortunate this Christmas".

There were alot of bikes, I'd say 300-400?? and more than half had pillions so people everywhere and a real buzz (and rumble) in the air. We set off at 10:00am with a police escort - evidently if we had got 2000 we could have had a "flying block" and on the motorway. It felt like we had taken over the outside lane - except for the odd car that persisted in staying there surrounded by bikes.

It didn't take long to get to Northcote - welcomed in by a Salvation Army brass band playing Christmas Carols, hand in the present, meet the guys from the cruiser group and of course do the rounds a couple of times ogling at the bikes. Yes there were a few "sights" there on the day but hey... everyone's got to be somewhere, as Eccles so poignantly pointed out.

Then we headed for the obligatory visit to Cycletreads and scored some very nice biker-chick gear - for a very nice biker-chick :-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Police College and Back

We drove the wee Nissan Micra to Wellington and back last weekend - and what glorious weather it was for a roadtrip! Too bad it wasn't on the bike. There were plenty of bikes on the road though, but the point was to go down and visit Sam at Police College, so the bike was impractical (for three).

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We headed down to Turangi on Friday night, getting away at 4:00 and arriving just before dark. By the time we had un-packed and got an aweful coffee in Turangi it was dark. We stayed the night at Creel Lodge Turangi, and I can whole-heartedly recommend it as a top place to stay. The place was very clean, the setting is idyllic - with the Tongariro River right on the boundary. We were more interested in getting a good nights sleep and taking off again in the morning, but there are walking tracks and mountain biking tracks accessible that look very enticing. We will definitely be back. []

The run to Porirua was around 4 hours, with the Police College 20 mins shy of Wellington. We stayed at the Aotea Lodge in Porirua - I don't know what I should have expected - clean? no, quiet? no, we slept? hardly. It was close to the college, but next time we will be staying in Wellington.

The Royal New Zealand Police College

We explored Wellington, finally getting a descent coffee at a lovely place overlooking Evans Bay - by appointment only I'm afraid. We had Hataitai Fish and Chips sitting at Lyall Bay for dinner and watched the planes come into Wellington Airport. As I said, not much sleep because of partying neighbours that finally shut up at 3:30am.

Fish and Chips on the Beach (on that seat) - thank Google.

Home via Wanganui and Hwy 4 north to Te Kuiti - a great road, but with the heat of the weekend, the tar was very slick on the road. Then did Otorohanga to Ngaruawahia, and once you get to Huntly its the Expressway or Motorway all the way back to Auckland. We stopped for lunch in Wanganui - 8 and a quarter hours total trip. It had been such a nice day for driving, I wasn't even tired. I must say that the Nissan Micra went really well, comfortably handling the twists but struggling on the hills a bit. In total a bit over 1500 kms for the weekend. Bike next time?