Took Steven, Andrew and Annika out to Kaitake Golf Club for nine holes on Sunday. Steven’s been telling me he hits the ball as far as Budda Watson (340 metres) with the driver. Bad luck I broke the driver three weeks back, so he now tees off with the 3 iron. So had to show him how the game is played, with the result of 4 over par for the 9 holes. The best shot being, driving the 15th green (238 metres) with the rescue. But we had heaps of fun. It was Annika’s first time golfing and she could drive further than Andrew off the tee, so won’t talk anymore about golf. We then stopped at Butlers (Oakura) for a couple of beers and a few games of pool on the way back. Worked out that Annika could also play pool, not a good result for Andrew, as he didn’t even win a game. Might have to play darts next time.
Max had his last day at Bubbles and they went to the local New Plymouth Gymnastic Centre for the morning. They test the ability of the kids and then experience the delights of scrambling over various obstacles, jumping off objects of various heights, running/skipping around obstacles, climbing, balancing on various objects, playing with balls of varying sizes, swinging on ropes and much more. And who managed to pick up the Sportsman of the Day award, our Max (dad, was really proud). It was the first time that someone from Bubbles had won the award, so the girls from Bubbles were also really happy. And so Max won a voucher for dinner at the Lone Star Cafe, everything included.
Went fishing for herrings at the Waiwhakaiho River mouth on Saturday. So caught the herrings from the bridge and Steven put them on his surf caster, chasing the bigger fish. And the fish were running. Max caught 7, Andrew 3 (all he does is knocks full cans off beer in the water), Annika 2 (the German exchange student from Hannover), myself 1 and Steven missed out totally. Take a close look at the picture, two in one go !!!!!!!
Have moved to the Back Beach for the bigger waves for Boggie Boarding and there’s a great way to get down to the beach, down this huge sand dune, so shoes off and run like hell, as the sand is so hot, you don’t want to stop. Max and Steven have been having a few races on the boards, Max got really dumped a few times and thought about giving up boarding, but convinced him to continue. We even took Max out to the lagoon on the island. First swimming out through Shark Ally, climbing up a cliff, across the rocks to the other side of the island and jumping from the rocks into the lagoon. Not the best place to take kids but we had some good helpers (Steven and Nick). The bad news was that Max’s board broke in half after getting dumped.
This is the new in sport for a Thursday night out at one of the local bars, Crowded House. It’s Beer Pong and the boy’s, Steven and Nick, told me they are up there with the best in town. So have been checking them out, they won the tournament three weeks back, got third two weeks back and got hammered this week. They have a friend called Kim Bo and she seems to have the upper hand on the boys. But it’s a great night out with the boys. Just for the record, Sam and myself played Steven and Nick back at the flat last Thursday and we won on the last throw. So won’t let the boys forget that one. Was good to have a good partner !!!!!!!!
The good weather is holding, haven’t seen any rain now for over a week and should stay like this for another week. So have been enjoying the sun, blue skies and the beach, the temperatures have been hanging round 24 – 26 each day. Doesn’t sound a lot, but the sun is really hot. Max has started up with his new sport, Boggie Boarding and seems to have a good talent for it, wonder where he got that from !!!!!!! Our earthquake count seems to be drying up at the moment, have only moved onto 19.
We headed up for a three day tramp on Mt Taranaki, where the weather was great, 24 degrees, not a cloud in the sky. Our first day covering 7.5 km from North Egmont to Holly Hut. The track leads steeply uphill and passing below the Dieffenbach Cliffs. Further on we crossed the Boomerang Slip (a dangerous place, one wrong step and you end up 200 metres down the mountain), its only allowed to cross one person at a time. Its one of three slips that needed to be crossed. Then heading on past the Kokowai Track junction before descending to Holly Hut. Took us 4 hours 30 minutes, with Max being great, like a mountain goat. Met some nice people who were also staying the night (20 in total), Max even got three girls from Auckland to play Star Wars cards. So it was off to bed pretty early, as was feeling the legs a bit. Next morning was nice and early, as most were already on the way before seven. Day two for us was Holly Hut to Pouakai Hut (4.5 km), following the Ahukawakawa Track and down the boardwalk across the Ahukawakawa Swamp. After crossing the headwaters of the Stony River/Hangatahua, the track ascends a ridge through mountain cedar to reach the Pouakai Track. This ridge is a great test if you still have sore legs from the day before. We needed 3 hours for this, a bit chilli to start with, but improved as the day went on. A bit of low cloud hanging around the summit (2518 metres), but still some great views of the Pouakai Range and back towards the summit. And as we made such good time, we arrived at the Pouakai Hut round noon (our first intention was to stay a night here) and decided not to hang around the whole day and made the descent down the Mangorei Track, a 2 hour walk. But not before having a few Star Wars games and lunch. So our three days ended up being two, but had a great time and I was amazed with how Max went (would have been nothing for Alicia). Needed two days after for the legs to recover.
Have had a couple of days with rain, so have changed from the beach to the pool. They have the Aquatic Centre in New Plymouth which has a wave pool, hydroslides, kids pool, swings and jumping areas into the pool. They also have this inflatable toy, more of a climbing course over water which is 25 meters long. So have been down the hydroslide about a 100 times in the last two days (as you can only go down at the age of eight, without parents) and Max has been mastering the inflatable course, he made it to the end twice today. The weather was good enough this morning to get out with the scooter on the Walk Way, so got a few more kilometers in. And just for the earthquake count, we are now upto 18.
Have invested in a new scooter for Max and what a good investment. Have been out nearly every morning on the Coastal Walkway. The award-winning Coastal Walkway is an 11km path that forms an expansive sea-edge promenade stretching from Port Taranaki all the way to Hickford Park in Bell Block. So we have covered about half of that till now. Started off in town yesterday morning and made or way out to East End Beach, so ended up at the beach again. We headed off to the cricket in the afternoon, the CD Stags (thats the local team here) played against Otago Volts, a 20 – 20 game, won’t explain that, but we lost with 4 ball to go. But they had a big crowd up at the park. Max spent more time racing around the cricket ground than watching the game, but thats OK.
Have been in New Pymouth for eight days and have had 15 earth quakes, the latest being last night, a 4.6, this time being just off the coast of New Plymouth. The Met office perdicts it should rain nearly every day here, but are still having great weather, mostly cloudy in the mornings a bit, but the afternoons sun pure. It’s only 26 degrees but the sun is really strong, feels like 40. So you could imagine what we do, turning into real beach bums.