Ruakaka. "Place of the windy campsite". 
Had a good holiday at Ruakaka, even if it was rather windy. We had a cyclone come down from Vanuatu, so we had winds from just about every direction. one of the poles on Brenda's tent began to split, so I bound it up with duck tape and a branch of willow. It survived, but then another pole broke in several places a few days later, so we took that tent down and squeezed into the old frame tent. That one survived unscathed thanks to several extra guy ropes, tent pegs and quite a bit of baling twine.

Went to the Waipu Caves and found several more chambers we'd never seen before. There aren't any maps of the place on the internet, so it's always a bit of an exploration! The girls spent plenty of time in the estuary, bringing back cockles and mussels which were alive until I demonstrated how to cook them. Sarah tried one, but Rachael couldn't be tempted! I spent a lot of time flying a kite (well, I thought I'd make the most of the wind!) and trying to learn Chinese.

Got some dirt in my eye on camp, which then got inflamed, and it's still not quite right. Got a splinter from the broken pole, and my jaw has been hurting all week. I think it's time for the dentist tomorrow!

Brenda wasn't well for the first few days, probably due to the long journey and the hot weather. And her knee has been hurting. But she's been out around the district with Bronwyn and the girls, and yesterday she made it all the way round the bush (on the farm) to the big trees and back. Took lots of photos, until her battery ran out! She's bought us a new TV, which we had fun wiring up yesterday. Now it seems that all the other bits need upgrading to work with it properly! But at least we can see 95% of the width, instead of 80%!

Erica's back in town, and working hard on her course and practical work. The girls start school tomorrow, and Cooper is back at school too. It's going to be quiet in the house. Well, until 3:20pm at least. Next weekend we'll be in Queenstown...

Warm and dry here, but we've had quite a bit of rain from the cyclone and there's another lot on the way. Probably when we're in Queenstown! So everything is still looking nice and green for now.

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