It's with very mixed feelings that we write this blog to tell everyone that our beloved Northern Pride has been sold. We've had a lovely email from one of the people who bought her, and it seems that they had a very similar story to ours on their journey to find her and they've assured us that they will care for her lovingly. Of course it's still sad to let her go, we've so many happy memories of our two extended trips, but we'll "smile because it happened" not "cry because it's ended". Good luck on your travels Fiona, Linda and families, there'll be many boaters who'll recognise your boat and be waiting to say 'hi' to you on the waterways.
We do still have about four weeks worth of blogs left from our 2011 trip and I know I've been very slack at posting - I must make it more of a priority (sorry Graeme!)!
Barry's mum is now at home and appears to be slowly recovering (long story but misdiagnosis and medical/surgical miscommunication two huge issues!) her strength and joie de vivre.
We had a fantastic walk around Lake Waikaremoana the week before last, though it would've been even better if we were ten years younger and much fitter - goodness me it was hard work, lots of ups and downs (the walking and the spirit!) and I'm not sure my poor old knees will ever recover! However the scenery was awesome, and just being away from civilisation for four days and nights was invigorating.
Here's a short selection of photos from the trip to give you an idea of the scenery and stamina needed ...
We have black swans in New Zealand rather than white
Setting out from Panekire Hut on the final day - dressed for the cooler weather at the top and with stick in hand to try and reduce the impact on the knees
Since our last posting we've experienced the devastating effects of nature as well as seen the beauty of it - luckily we're a long way from Christchurch and as far as we're aware didn't know any of the people who've lost their lives in the earthquake. We also know that one day it could happen here in Gisborne, but that there's more chance of us being killed driving a car so we'll continue to try and live life to the full, fitting in work around it ...
Talking of which, Barry had just started a job giving out and collecting the census forms, but as their offices were in Christchurch (were being the operative word!) this has now been cancelled but he'll still get paid the full amount, thank goodness - so he's back to seeking work. He's sold eight of his framed prints now from his brother's cafe in town, and has almost finished putting the finishing touches to his website from where anyone will be able to purchase one of his amazing images - as prints, postcards, greetings cards, etc. We frequently receive emails from people asking for a copy of a picture that they've seen on the blog - well soon we'll be asking people to order and pay for them on-line or we'll never be able to afford to get back to the canals, lol!
So, back to the blog, and while we've just began autumn here in New Zealand, we're still writing and showing images of the beginning of that season in England last year ...
Monday 4 October 2010
We spent the morning at Denham Country Park, and Barry sauntered along to the nearby Boatyard to pick up a few bits and pieces. We're not in any rush now, with just over two weeks of travelling left before we leave Northern Pride for a few days and travel to the New Forest for a big family gathering with my family. Following that weekend we'll be packing up the boat and getting her to a boatyard near Northampton - at this stage we're still open to someone buying her privately though.
Morning mist at the moorings
We left after lunch, heading for Rickmansworth, just 5 miles and 5 locks away. It had been raining all night and morning, but cleared just as we were setting off. The sky remained grey most of the day though, the taste of things to come in England for the foreseeable future.
We passed a number of locks and lock-side cafes looking dreary, damp and dismal - oh how things change when there's no sunshine to brighten them up!
'Shift your ass'!
Some very tasteful housing developments next to the water ...
Autumn's showing her colours
A pink bicycle brightens the gloom Leaving Stocker's Lock
The woodburners are getting fired up now, and boats are starting to moor up for the winter
A glimpse of sunshine brings a haze over the canal
Glorious afternoon light as we approach the Aquadrome water park
A swan puts on a performance for us ...
... or was it for these geese - "Eyes right girls!"
You can almost see the fairies from the forest!
Wow! An array of autumnal shades
Not a lot to say today, but some fabulous photo opportunities, despite the initial gloominess.
We stopped late afternoon close to the Tesco's mooring at Rickmansworth, had a short walk to the store to stock up, and decided it wasn't a bad place to stay for a couple of nights and do some painting on the outside of the boat.