TUEDSDAY 3rd JULY 2007
Got bus to wanganui to stay with the family.had a good old catch up ay Brian & Margarets & had a nosy at Brian's "toys' - a modified off road suzuki 4X4 & a quad bike. Gaz got excited at the promise of being able to play on them! We're staying at linda & russels (Gt. aunt & uncle) & they really do live in the most amazing place - r.rural area with hardly anything around, have their own cows & the friendliest little dog ever! Met 1/2 the family - Chris & Richard (2nd cousins) & Richard's wife Carolyn & there newest addition Ethan who is the cutest little toddler ever! Had corned beef for tea which is nothing like our corned beef in England & had actually come from one of their cows in the field!
WEDNESDAY 4TH JULY 2007
Went to south beach with Bri, Marg & Linda to play with the toys. both had a ride on the beach front on the quad - me feeling & looking a bit unstable with Gaz becoming a bit of a speed demon. Brian then took each of us separately for a ride in the jeep through the sand dunes. quite scary although really enjoyed it going up really steep hills & ridges, doing doughnuts & generally getting speedy! Gaz followed us on the quad bike & i thought he was going to break his neck going up the hills especially when he got stuck but he managed to salvage the situation. Things then got intersting for Gaz when Brian let him drive the off road jeep by himself through the dunes. He got stuck up a huge hill & had to be dug out & towed down - was hilarious although Gaaz wasnt laughing too much haha! He did give it another go though & succeeded not before we all managed to get photos of him stuck though. 1/2 way through the day we made a fire from the driftwood on the beach & had a BBQ with sausages & marshmellows - yum! Was a wicked day with Gaz in particular enjoying himself. On the drive back Margaret managed to get the truck stuck in the sand leaving Gaz relieved that he wasn't the only bad driver of the day lol! Had afternoon tea (as is customary over here hehe) & went to the garage which is their family business. Back at the ranch after tea Richard came round again with his 2other kids Dakota & Angus. At 1st they were both really shy but soon got their interest with the photos from the day at the beach. After that we couldn't stop them talking - they were really lovely kids. Later that night we heard & saw a big flash & the winds were ridiculously loud - q.scary!
THURDAY 5TH JULY 2007
Woke up to the front page of the newspaper that showed the Teranaki (place on the west coast of NZ) twisters effects & how the Wanganui winds were caused by it! scary! Russ took the day of work & we all went on a drive to a viewpoint that overlooked the wanganui river valley which was gorgeous. we then went to see the town church which was closed & then ontothe war memorial towerwhich we climbed to get good vies over the city.We then went in the Durie Hill elevator which is a lift going from the top of a large hill, right through the ground leading to a pedestrian tunnel. From there we walked to the centre of the town & went to the rutland for lunch which was lush. Walked around the centre to the river, the community arts centre, the tram shed (where they're restoring the old wanganui tram) & to the Motua gardens (which the maoris recently gained rights to after a big community arguement). We then headed back via Cook's Gardens & the velodrome - a v.busy day but we'd never had seen all of it had we been on our own.
FRIDAY 6TH JULY 2007
WOKE UPTO MORE FRONT PAGE NES ABOUT THE TORNADOS only this time it had come through part of wanganui & narrowly missed Russ & Linda's house by metres taking out power lines, trees, shed & fences on its way. Again Very lucky. It was a 1in 150 year storm so we were piveledged to experience it :) Headed to Tracy's house (Russ & Linda's daughter) for Bailee's birthday (granddaughter). met her bro & sis too (Lachlan & tyler) with Lochlan immediatel taking to Gaz telling him "i love you" 'cause Gaz played on his computer with him! easily pleased :) Also met margaret (russ' sister) as well as Strawberry (the family pony). Afterwards we drove to 2beachs but it was way too cold & windy to go on them. We then met brian & margaret & headed to a stately home & for a good old walk in the bush. was a really lovely day.
SATURDAY 7TH JULY 2007
went on a drive in the morning to look at the damage caused by the tornado which was pretty bad. we then went on a walk around Virginia lak which id say is one of the best laks we've been around - was beautiful. back at the house afterwards the entire family came round for afternoon tea & to say their goodbyes to us which was really nice of them all although Anugus didn't want Gaz to leave In the evening we went out for a meal with Russ, Linda, Brian & Margaret to the Cosmopolitan club & i had a roast dinner which was almost as nice as my dads! miss ur roasts dad! was a nice evening.
SUNDAY 8TH JULY 2007
The time came to leave which was a bit sad 'cause don't know when the next time we'll see them will be but had a lovely time all the same. got the bus back to Wellington.