Tag Archives: ferry

Heading south for the winter. Pukekohe to Wellington.

Gentlemen! Start your engines.  We have set off. Managed to get the trailer sorted by Wednesday afternoon so Thursday morning get the air up and off we go.


Now like all good adventures you need a plan.  After all how can you tell if it has gone wrong if you don’t have a plan.  Looking on the TomTom at the route I thought we would run as far as Tirau and park up there for the first night and then jump the Desert Road the following day.  I was looking to get to Palmerston North by the weekend, to meet up with Ed Teece.  When we lived in Sharjah the Teece’s were are best mates and Ed and his brother Will, were big mates with my two daughters.  Weekend would see us on the beach or up the Wadis picnicking or BBQs while the kids set fire to anything they could find that would burn. Ed is all grown up now but thought it would be nice to catch up.

Any way Got to Tirau in good time so thought, press on to Tuapo and make that the night stop. Tuapo saw me arrive just after lunch, so what the hell, let press on we can stop at the war museum on the desert road.  Nice flat parking area a few takeaway spots or just cook in the bus. Inshallah. So Friday morning sees me wake up to 8 deg C on the desert road and almost a day ahead of schedule.


Roll in to Palmerston just after lunch. Get parked up.  Idea was to meet Ed on Saturday as I did not want to impact on his weekend.  Using Google maps located an Irish bar with in walking distance Thinking behind this was. A couple of pints and some Jockey’s Whips and then off to bed.  First pint of Kilkenny and post the event on Facebook.


Ed sees this and messages me.  Had I arrived?  he would drop down and have a beer with me.  This of course led to. Come back to the house and we’ll get a takeaway. Then the offer to stay.  This I declined as I had not planned on being there until the following day and had left the bus heater running and all the lights on.  I promised I would stay Saturday night and his partner Jo said she would do a roast dinner.

Saturday was very bright but had been windy through the night and the temperature had dropped.  but we all met up and went for a walk

then back to Eds for beer, wine and a lovely roast dinner. Sunday, Ed and Joe provided bacon butties for breakfast and I returned to the bus.  My plan was to set off towards Wellington but it was 10 o’clock and I needed to stow everything before I could travel so I decided I would leave early doors Monday morning.  Spent the day tidying up and packing most things so I could get an early start.  Looked at ferry timings and prices but decided I would park up close to wellington on Monday and book a ferry for Tuesday or Wednesday.  Nice NZMCA park poped up at Plimmerton which is about half hour from the ferry so that were we headed.  Settled in and set the computer up so I could book the ferry on line and also up date my Tom Tom.  Coming down from Palmy the new express way was not on my maps so I was a bit in the dark to where I actualy was.  The nice lady on Tom Tom ke[t telling me to turn left at the end of the road then turn right but I’m bowling along at 90 on a duel carageway with no exsits.  not used the new computer to up date TomTom befor and of course it could not see my device,  After much messing around and trouble shooting it appears that all the USB ports are USB3 and TomTom only works on USB2.  not sure what I did but eventually we’re connected.  7 updates availabkle 3 hours forty minutes remaining.  Hate it when it says that.  We had a few goes befor we managed a clean download and then it had to up date the device another 40 minutes.  Any way look like we are up to date now.


Going to be cold tonight so light the fire now it too bloody hot  cant win.  bet it goes out around 4 in the morning and ill wake up freezing.

easy drive to the ferry but arrived a bit early.  Got to the check in line and it was closed.  Now it did not say when it would open or if it would open so I went around the block.  Anyway a guy stopped me and said it would be 12 before it opens and I would be okay just to wait outside the terminus and park in the shuttle bus bay.  This I did and went for a coffee.  Get back the bus and another guy says “you cant park there.  Go around the corner and find a spot there you’ll be alright there”. Get parked up and finishing my coffee and the first guy appeared and said that I was okay in the original spot and the other guy was new.  Anyway we have opened the check in just for you so head down there now and the lady will sort you out.  And she did.  First on the wharf and first in lane 5.  While waiting I heard on the wireless that they had closed the desert road behind me, so that was a bit of luck.






In preparation.

The plan to head south as far as Fortrose and park up for the winter was all set.  I was getting stuff  together and prepping the trailer.  I had looked at but not booked the ferry and was waiting for the man who was building the box to go on the trailer.  The idea was to protect the bike and other stuff from the weather and prying eyes.  It seemed a simple task, just a frame and some sheet alloy with a tarp for the roof.  4 weeks he recons but could do it in less.  Anyway I rang him over a week ago, we have had three short weeks, Easter and Anzac and something else, cant remember. so no box for the trailer.  I had set myself  today as the start day for the trip [10/05/17].  just as well I did not book a ferry.  I have been waiting for an MRI scan to try and see if they can find out what’s up with right eye after the cold I caught on the plane coming back from Dubai.  This was November.  Talk about slow. it took until February for the CT scan to be done then another 6 weeks to tell me they could not find anything so I need aa MRI.  Lo and behold they sent me a letter last Monday giving me an appointment for the 16 of May.  Close on 6 months and I am still no nearer to resolving the issue. So the trip is now scheduled for the 17th or 18th of May,  I feel pretty sure that it will take the hospital months to get the results and unless it life threating I am sure any consultation can be done over the phone or on skype,  so I am going.

Still not heard about the trailer but that should be this week. Then all I have to do is pack and set off.  The ferry booking can be done as I get near Wellington.  As I don’t have a particular arrival date I can get whatever ferry is available.

I have ben having trouble with my laptop for some time now.  Its an ASUS and about as much use as a chocolate tea pot.  I bought it a couple of years ago because it was small.  I should have done more research.  Yes its small but it also has the smallest memory, just big enough to run the operating system.  Add anything else and it just cannot cope.  Streaming video is just about impossible.  It charges through a USB port but for some reason will not charge from the USB outlets on the bus, only the If its plugged in to the mains.  As I am off grid all the time this means I have to use the inverter which knocks hell out of the house batteries at night. I think I mentioned that I had signed up for Wireless Nation Urban Broard Band in the last post.  After initial hiccups it seems to be working well although it is yet to be proven out in the Wop Wops,  Having invested in this program I thought we need to do something about my computer.  Now in a flash of brilliance or maybe not.  I though, Hey! we live on a bus.  I have loads of space tucked away in the back of cupboards, under the bed or under seats.  Why not go down to RS components or PB Tech and buy the bits to build my own PC and secrete it around the bus.  If it was all Bluetooth then the bits could be scattered around the bus.  As space was not a concern then this could be a super computer, may be even do a bit of Bitcoin mining.

With this in mind, off I pop to PB Tech in Manakua.  Now the problem starts with the power supply.  I have endless amounts of 12 volt DC. so first thing I have to establish and obtain would be a transformer that will bring my 12 volt, up or down to meet the PC requirements..  Lovely guy asked if I needed some help but he couldn’t  grasp the concept.  All PC run on DC power but usually have a transformer where the main 240 volt AC plugs in..  I am looking to get 12 DC to whatever, 7v,15, 5v. I have no idea?  “Why don’t you just buy a laptop and charge it through the cigarette lighter port.”  think he was missing the point.  Anyway to cut a long story short.  he said “how about one of these. A compute stick by Intel. Plug it in to the HDMI port on your telly power it from the USB port on the telly.  You will need a Bluetooth or wireless keyboard and mouse and Bobs you uncle.

The spec was good and the memory could be expanded with an SD card.  Not in stock right now but can get it too you in 5 working days.  So went away to think about it.  Did a lot of research and ordered it on line.  Acquired a wireless keyboard and mouse and bought a set top camera for skype.

Anyway it all arrived as promised but not quiet as the  man said. It plugs in to the HDMI port and there is a handy link cable for the stick.  The stick is about 110mm long 10mm thick and 40mm wide and using the cable, can be plugged in without blocking other ports on the telly.  The power was were it went wrong. It was not a conventional mini USB port but a special which plugged in to a power adaptor, which incidentally also had two extra USB ports, one for the keyboard/mouse dongle and one for the camera or a USB hub..

Other than having to still use the inverter but at least it is only on while I am using the computer not all night trying to charge some manky old laptop., it works fine.  set up was painless and the SD card meant I could transfare my photos, music and files across. It takes up no space at all but there are cables everywhere.  and when its not connected, what do you do with all this stuff.  Biuld a cupboard to put it in under the telly.  so that’s what we did.  All neat and tidy like.