Tag Archives: vodafone

New Start

Well finally got around to starting my blog again.  It all went pear shape due to the bloody awful connectivity in NZ.  Vodafone claim 95% coverage of North Island, what they don’t tell you is that’s only in populated areas and as most of NZ is empty, when you hit the city limits the phone goes blank.  I have now switched to Spark which, although not much better does have free Wi-Fi spots dotted about in strange places.  We will see.

My plan on returning to NZ for their summer was to head to South Island for a few months “Tiki Tour”.  After the events over the last couple of days, which I might add are still ongoing, I may have to re-schedule.  The infrastructure, roads and communications seem to be in a mess and will be for some time.  Guess there will be workarounds and alternative routes and I guess as I am not in a particular hurry or have any particular destination in mind should not affect me too much.  So currently parked up on my daughter’s path watching the news and planning my next move.

I managed to get my Royal Enfield certified and registered so all street legal.  The local dealer said it could not be done and basically said the bike was scrap.  My first thoughts were to ship it to Cyprus as if you pay enough money to some local, anything is possible.  Anyway I found a guy in Wellington who said he could do it for me and just before I set off for my 4 month in Cyprus he rang to say it was all complete.  he suggested I did not register it until I got back in October.  Fair play, dropped him a mail as I left Cyprus to say I was on my way and low and behold he got the rego done.  Ten hours on the train from Auckland to Wellington on the Thursday and a night in the backpackers hostel and I collected it on Friday morning.  She did not want to start.  after a plug change and a few kicks she was up and running. In hindsight I think a service prior to setting off on the 600 kilometre ride would have been prudent, but hey ho, will know better next time. We did the trip in two days, well one and a half. My big fear was getting stuck on the desert road.  This is pretty remote but once I got to Waiouru I decided to push on with a vague plan to find somewhere to stop for the night once the desert was behind me.  As it happened I got to Taupo and stayed there for  the night. Up early on the Saturday and rolled in to Pukekhoe and home around midday.  By now the Enfield was coughing and farting like a docker who smokes Capstan Full strength.

Now looking for a trailer so I can take the bike with me to South Island but it needs to be covered and have brakes.  the brakes on the bus are drum brakes and you have to stand on them to feel any effect.  hopefully a braked trailer will help a bit in shortening the stopping distance.



At last

Let’s have another go.  Finally got a good signal and am holed up at Rainbow Fall due to the bad weather.  I was here last month when I did the trip up to Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach.  This followed on from my trip to Ocean Beach.  Rather than re write my last attempt I shall just follow on as though nothing had happened.  So here goes hope it’s not too much out of sync


Well in an attempt to catch up on my blog, which has been ignored for so long.  This has been due, in part to Vodafone’s pathetic attempt at coverage.  They claim 98% coverage on North Island.  This can only be described as farcical, that, or I spent most of my time driving from one part of the 2% to the next. I had started a few blogs but Have no idea where they are saved and it’s not so much the drafts that are the problem, I can do them off line and just up load when I get a good connection.  No it’s this stupid WordPress thingy.  Not found it the easiest to navigate but eventually managed to work out how to do it, still cannot find any saved drafts though.  It’s the pictures.  WordPress won’t, or, I cannot find a way to up load pictures off line.  It did not like down loading pictures from any of the many clouds out there so I would have to make a folder on my hard drive, of whichever computer I was using at the time and first down load the pictures to that then up load them to WordPress from there.  This takes ages so unless I have a free unlimited connection I cannot do it.  If my literary skills were better that the pictures wouldn’t matter but unfortunately I did not pay enough attention I school so we need the pictures.

Not sure where I left off but I have returned to New Zealand for their summer an rented a place up in Whangari The idea being it would give me a base and I could empty the storage unit I was hiring in Pukekhoe.  This has not worked out quiet as planned but that’s another story.  The place is a two bedroom cabin on a hill overlooking Parua Bay.  Lovely location but windy.

Somewhere there is the start of a blog on the “little Cracker” fire I have fitted.  I have now had a chance to light this on numerous occasions and now have it down pat, so will finish that when I find it and up load it and I think there is another one on the move to Parua

Enough of that.  I spent the last two weeks ripping out the cab and fitting a new floor and re surfacing the dash with vinyl.  I have a vision of Art Deco so its avocado and cream.  I now need to put the Art Deco bits in so looking for a wall clock and need to find a way to attach some motif to make it look like the inside of Biba. I suddenly realised that this was exactly what I did not want to do.  The bus had become a project and not the vehicle to my new life on the road.  I got to the stage where it was mobile again and decided to just travel, no particular objective or goal just move.

Packed the cats up and made the bus ready to sail, inshallah, and we set off on Monday.  First stop, Ocean Beach no more than 20 click away but free parking on one of New Zealand’s best surf beaches.


Travelling has many rewards and I guess issues.  Pulled up in the car park and although not full difficult for me to back the bus in Inshallah, so picked the best spot for me and set up for the night.  Opposite was a small Mazda Bongo van with a large black dog chained the front bumper.  The dog “ young Jack” belongs to Kevin.  Now Kevin anywhere else in the world you would shy away from.  Very unkempt and unwashed judging by the smell but a nice enough guy it turns out.  My dad  told me “ never pat a stray dog coz it will follow you home”  I have ignored this advice on many occasions and lived to regret it but I think Kevin is different and Jack,  I may live to regret this but hey ho you only get one shot at these things.  Will be moving on tomorrow but have said I would meet up with Kev at some pub up north were the landlord is his mate.  Recipe for disaster or another adventure.

Beach was magic today  went for a couple of walks even tried to get over the head land but that proved too steep so turned back.  Bird life is very prolific here and heard a More Pork last night, there is a cock Pheasant in the woods, not seen him but heard his call,  The Fan tails are funny as they seem to fly around you, I believe this is because, you walking disturb the insects and they eat them.  Not sure but think I saw a bellbird and defiantly chaffinch and California quail.  On the beach there were Variable Oystercatchers and Dotterel or could have been Lesser Knots???

Travelled north as far as Kirikiri and stayed at Rainbow Falls for a couple of days.  Very interesting place and one of the first missionary post set up by the Pakeha when we first arrived.  Had a nice long walk down to the stone basin along the edge of the river and past the falls.  Coming back was a different story as it was up hill.  The poor old knees struggled a bit.

Next we packed up and travelled to Waitangi, the site of the signing of the treaty between the Maori and the Pakeha.  Seems it was all a bit of a con. Well perhaps not intentionally but either way trust the Brits to cock it up.

The Idea was to head up to the Cape from Waitangi but stop one night on the way up to do some washing and have a decent shower.  I chose Hihi Beach resort.  It had just been taken over by new owners and was in a state of flux.  They had had a fishing tournament the weekend before so were busy cleaning up all the rooms and camp sites.  It was fine and I managed to plug in to shore power so I could use the vacuum cleaner and remove some of the cat hair that my two little buddies seem to leave everywhere. Anyway to cut a long story short there was an organised trip to the Cape which included a drive along Ninety Mile Beach so I booked that.  Very good but a little rushed in the end. I think they started a bit late and we seemed to be chasing our tails by the end of the day, so didn’t get long at the Kauri museum and had to eat my fish and chips on the run. Never mind I am glad I did it, even got a bit of sand boarding in.  This would have been better done at the end of the trip not at the beginning, as the bottom of the dune we went down was a shallow stream.  Therefor had to sit in wet, sand infested shorts for the rest of the day.  The Cape is quiet a spiritual place and although I am not religious, there was a certain magic about it.

That was about it for that trip. Then of course we have Christmas.  Plan was that my sister and Lisa, Mark and the boys would fly out from UK and stay at Mel’s for Christmas and New Year with a couple of day up at my place in the middle. This all went great and a good time was had by all.

I have decided to give up the place in Parua Bay as it seems pointless paying for that and still paying for the storage unit in Pukekhoe.  So around the 20th Jan the plan is to hire a van and bring my stuff back and put it back in to storage.  I will then just live full time on the bus and use Mel’s place as a base.  It would be much easier without the cats.  Much as I love them to bits they are very restricting in where I can stay, even to the extent that I cannot sit with the door of the bus open on a nice day.  I am sure they would not go far but New Zealand is big on conservation and look after their indigenous species.  Therefor many of the camp site do not allow pets and the department of Conservation lay traps and put down poison for rats, possums and any other mammal that may be wandering around and I guess that means cats.  I have tried to re home them but no luck so far but must make an effort if this year is to work out.  This decision has had me looking at sections of land to use as a base.  I just need a decent hardstanding that I can park the bus on for maintenance and through winter so this is why I am back up north.  Land is cheaper up here and the weather is supposed to be better, you wouldn’t think so as it seemed to have rained every day since New Year.  In fact I am sat in the middle of a field listening to it pouring down on the bus roof.

Section I was looking at.  Long drop toilet and two sleep-outs  That was it  Site was so steep I would never get the bus on or off.

I was going to move on today but Leo had a bit of a toilet problem last night at 02:30 so after cleaning him up the best I could and changing the bed sheets I decided to stay here today and let him clean himself up and anyway the weather is atrocious so no point in traveling when its pissing down.

Will head back to Parua tomorrow via the Kauri forests on H12 and find a paid camp site so I can was the sheets and do my smalls.


That should have brought us back on track. Now for the photos..

Well that didn’t go to plan.  Lost connection and also forgotten my username and password



Head in the clouds

It has been a while since my last blog and I guess this is down to a few things. One, I have left New Zealand to escape their winter, two, I did not bring my computer with me and three, I found that the Samsung tablet I have got in Cyprus is all but useless.

My plan has been to miss the winter and follow the sun so I left NZ for Dubai, primarily because I had a return ticket. I spent 10 days with old friends but realised about the second day that I have no desire to return to the Middle East. The magic that kept me there for 35 years has gone. Much as I would recommend Dubai as a holiday destination and cannot fault the quality of service there, I have done it and need move on. This retirement thing is magic, don’t have to be anywhere or do anything and no stress.

Planned journey.  New Zealand to Dubai, Dubai Cyprus then UK for whit to see my boys then back to Cyprus.  Return to New Zealand end of August/early September.

While I was in UK I decided to go to PC world and get a new laptop, which I did. Nice little unit with a detachable screen so it can be used as a tablet to. Down side it is loaded with windows 8 and the format is like android but does not work that well. There are almost no useful apps to download or buy. But okay in desktop mode. However there is this “Cloud” thingy. My understanding is that you can now save stuff to this cloud and it can be accessed from any device anywhere in the world, well maybe not China and certainly not in the back woods of New Zealand. Vodafone coverage is shite.

My new computer does not seem to give me any option other than the cloud. I have forced it to save things to the hard drive, which is tiny but it is not the default. Now it would appear that I have encountered Microsoft cloud before because when I logged on my account already existed except it was in Arabic. Think this is why I abandoned it in Dubai. Of course I have a couple of Android devises too and guess what Google have a cloud. Not only that, the new laptop is an ASUS and ASUS have a cloud. Adobe now open and store any PDF files I receive in the ADOBE cloud. This is fantastic I now use very little actual memory and can store tonnes of stuff free, access it anywhere at any time [with the above exceptions]. This has thrown up a few issues, which cloud did I but the stuff in, what is the account name and password for that particular cloud and if I have no internet connection, how the hell do I access my stuff?