Sometimes you just have to chill out for a few days.

~ stay put

~ reorganise things

~ read a book,

Good finds from the kiosk…



~ visit some remembered favourite places,

Havelock North…

Clifton Cafe, now called Hygge…

Clifton Beach’s new sea wall…

Clifton cycle trail…



~ catch up with cousins, Judith and Lewis

~ book the Triton in for a routine service

~ visit the laundromat, twice, and while we’re waiting for that…

go to Flight Cafe...

…who make the best sticky buns I’ve ever tasted…



~ enjoy Marine Parade…



~ and think about the bike lift problem.

Since we’ve had our caravan we haven’t been able to get our bikes down off the bike rack, which is fitted above the spare wheel on the back of the caravan. We have electric bikes, and even without the batteries, they are still very heavy bikes. And we’re in our seventies. In fact one of us is closer to eighty, and average height, not super tall.

A friend of ours put them up for us in the beginning when we tried and discovered we didn’t have enough strength in our arms and shoulders, and we’ve spent the last four months looking for a solution.

Very frustrating.

A lift rack would have been much simpler and easier for us but we weren’t offered that option, and didn’t know to ask. We were just told it had a e-bike rack, and we thought, “Great!”

One look at our white hair should have told them we’d need a lift rack. You’d think.

And when we discovered lifting the bikes to that height was beyond us, and phoned them to see if they would change it…


“We can’t do that. You’ll have to buy one and find someone else to fit it.”

So, we asked around. Got lots of conflicting advice.



“No” again.

And “Yes” again.

So we thought we’d order a Fiamma Carry-Bike Lift 77 (everyone was out of stock till the end of January 2019.)

They’re not cheap. And then there’s finding someone who will do the job. (Hopefully from the ‘yes we’ll find a way” people.)

Can you see the problem?

You’re probably thinking, “you’re really talking third world problems here.”

Meanwhile, while we’ve been road-tripping, John has been thinking, and talking, and thinking some more.

In the Napier NZMCA Park we met Lloyd and Sue, who were good sounding boards, and very helpful. We were neighbours for several days there, and Lloyd got our bikes down for the first time in, well, ages.

So after all the talking and thinking, while in Napier we bought a couple of small ladders that would fit in the ute, one a two step, and one a three step, one for me and one for John, and wha’ do you know?

We climbed the ladders, John got a good low grip, and up they went.

No problem.

Bikes on rack.

So guess we won’t be needing that new Fiamma Carry-Bike Lift 77 after all.

Napier’s Eriksen Rd NZMCA Park is huge…

Well done to the team here. It never seemed crowded, and plenty came and went over the days we were there. We had rain for a few days, and did some of that reading, and binge-watched a series on Netflix.

We moved to the back fence for our last few days, and watched as pukeko dived in and out of the maize, their white bottoms disappearing into the army of tall green stalks.

It was harder than I thought to photograph them through the window. They’d hear me and disappear into the green so fast…

On our last Sunday we went to the Hawkes Bay Farmers Market, which we always try to fit in if we’re there on a weekend…

It’s not just the fresh produce and variety we enjoy. On a sunny Hawkes Bay day, amongst the trees, it’s a very pleasant way to spend a few hours people watching.


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