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Let The Good Times Keep On Rolling

Written on: Thursday March 8th, 2007

A journal entry from: The Winter of 2006/2007

Here we are at week five of our New Zealand trip and we?ve got the price of our golf games down to around $10 a round.   We?ve played lots of golf mostly in a morning and then in an afternoon Roger and I will saunter down to the beach which is a five minute walk from here.  The beach is the only sandy one in Mapua, there?s a campground nearby and for some reason this area attracts nudists, mostly older nudists and mostly men.  There?s a restaurant on the beach which stipulates they don?t want nudists in front of the restaurant so that?s where we usually park our towels with those that are unclad being about 100 yards away ? they do tend to keep together.  Like to make comparisons I guess.  Roger was delighted last weekend when on two consecutive days he had a young girl lying near us who went topless, made his month it did!!  Anyway we?ve named the beach Sausage Beach because of the number of unclothed men walking around, and yes they do walk around, they seem quite proud of their appendages. 


We?re still enjoying Greenacres Golf Course, the views can change quite rapidly whilst we?re playing as the tide can be in when we start but out by the time we?ve finished.  On one hole Roger always hopes that the tide will be out as he tends to pull the ball into the hazard but if the tide is out, the ball is still playable.  Take a look at the picture of him playing the hole when the tide is out ? he quite frequently can par the hole from this position.


Mike has a book of walks in this area, he asked us each to pick walks that we would like to do after which he compiled a list of those that were the most popular.  We came out with about six walks but so far haven?t been able to do any as Mike is suffering with knee and leg problems, poor guy has hardly played golf for the last ten days.


We?ve had a few people over for dinner and/or drinks. First we had the Penticton people..  Don and Linda (Avison) arrived in New Zealand at the beginning of December, this was their first trip outside of North America so quite an eye-opener for them.  They returned to Penticton a week ago looking forward to getting back to their own home but I bet they haven?t enjoyed the weather too much.  David and Aleda (McCurry) actually own a house in Richmond, they?ve been coming over for many years, renting at first but eventually deciding to buy their own place.  We also had the owners of Blue Chianti, Pam and Bill, in for drinks, they?re very fun people.  Mike was a very sociable host, making sure that he kept the glasses filled, one for them and one for himself, so he wasn?t feeling very well the next day.  We sure had a laugh at him though ?cos he says some funny things when he?s had a few and then doesn?t remember a thing the next day.


Mike and Jean had some Canadian friends, George and Janet, who were holidaying in this area, so we went out for a meal with them and the next day they came over for dinner.  Nice people who now live in Nova Scotia.


Tuesday is ladies day at Greenacres so one Tuesday we arranged to play at Motueka again, this is the course where Doug and Lou Johnstone from Naramata play.  They joined us after nine holes and then we went back to their rental place where Mike cooked us a spaghetti feast and Lou prepared a delicious strawberry flan.  Lou and Doug have been coming to this area for 16 years but as they?re now both in their eighties, they think that this may be their last trip to New Zealand.  Lou and Doug chose to stay at Motueka this year because the course there has quite a few motorized golf carts, Greenacres only has one!!  We were amazed when we first played there to see men on motorbikes with their clubs on the back, this tends to be what they go for rather than a cart.  


When Mike and Jean were here two years ago they rented from Fiona and Ron who are currently building a new place between Mapua and Motueka.  Their site overlooks the estuary and they also have glimpses of the Tasman Sea.  When the tide is in the estuary is quite beautiful but unfortunately it looks a bit muddy and sad when the tide is out.   We had a drive out to the building site last weekend where the house has reached the framing stage, it should be beautiful when finished although it could be quite a hothouse as they have tons of big windows to take in the views   They?ve built it with a guest area on one end so that they can rent out if they wish.  The guest area would have its own parking and entrance. They?ve parked their trailer on the site so were able to brew us a coffee and we sat outside for coffee and cookies overlooking the estuary, the tide was in so it was stunning.


Once we?d left Fiona and Ron?s we drove into Richmond as we?d seen a gypsy market advertised.  Couldn?t find much to buy but took lots of photos of the gypsy motorhomes, we couldn?t believe that they had slide-outs as all of them looked homemade and made out of wood.  The builders had been very inventive with balconies on the back and some on the roofs but I can?t imagine how much the gas costs to move them around.  The gypsies were actually more like hippies than the gypsies that we remembered from our youth in England ? at least they didn?t put a curse on us when we didn?t buy anything.


Each couple cooks on alternate days Arnetts do three nights and Handleys three and then we go out on the seventh night.  It?s worked out well so far, we get lots of variety and it?s nice having a day off every other day.


Today is the first bad weather day we?ve had since we arrived in Mapua and then it?s not that bad, just not good enough to go to the beach but we?ll probably go for a walk.  Weather really has been perfect around 24C so very comfortable for golf and beach but not too hot.  


Tomorrow we?re heading for the Queen Charlotte Islands where we?ll overnight for a couple of nights and do a couple of long hikes.  Have to take a boat to get there so hope the wind dies down.  Look for more on that trip in the next blog.