Thursday 13 March 2014

What a Ride!

My Mavora blogs have taken a break for a moment because I wanted to post this one before it becomes old news. As mentioned previously we are now parked up at the lovely Manapouri Motorhome & Caravan Park, at Lake Manapouri in Fiordland where we've been for a few days while we catch up on chores & take a break from day trips & exploring.
The Park is one of the best we have visited on our travels, Selwyn & Gloria run a great ship, everything is spic 'n span and the grounds are very well maintained; I'm sure Selwyn is glued to his ride on mower. Good sturdy wooden picnic tables are placed at regular intervals around the sites. There's plenty of space on the grass sites, or gravel if you prefer, and various options available depending on whether you're wanting power or not. The amenities block is fabulous, large lounge & kitchen, nicely appointed toilet & shower ensuites & near new washing machines & dryers. Everything is spacious, the clothes lines are fantastic and have their own large hedge enclosed lawn (who ever thought I'd be extolling the virtues of a clothes line, but when you're on the road these small things mean a lot) Water is available on most sites & the dump station is easily accessible from small to very large vehicles.
While David was chatting to Selwyn yesterday he mentioned (as he seems to do on a regular basis) how much I enjoyed photography. I think he must have played up my abilities because next minute they were both at the van door, Selwyn wondering whether I'd be prepared to take a flight in a helicopter and take some aerial shots of the park for their website & other promotional advertising. Well what could I say! I was thinking well he has to get a helicopter organised & then it might be a day or two & then the weather might have turned so I really didn't think it would come to fruition. And then I wondered whether I'd be able to manage to get good enough shots. I know how I've been when I had to do a couple of weddings, I get very stressed. It's ok when the photos are for myself  but when they're for somebody else it's a whole different story.
So it was a bit of a shock when Selwyn appeared at the door again an hour or so later to say "It's a go, 5:30pm tonight" He had a mate with a helicopter who was flying over after he had finished his work. In fact he was delayed by 45 minutes (enough time for the nerves to settle) and right on the dot while we were enjoying "happy hour" with a few couples (no wine for me) we heard the "whoop, whoop" of an approaching helicopter and across the paddocks came this small little Robinson R22 looking more like a tiny black mosquito than something I was about to take a flight in!

I was ready to go & with one last (nervous?) toilet stop I quickly made my way down to the back of the site where the pilot had dropped down onto the gravel pad beside Selwyn's workshop. With some quick instructions on what to do I climbed in and put the headphones & seat belt on. A seat belt I might add that was exactly like a car's, with the same free movement. Yikes! With no doors on you wouldn't want to lean out too far.

And so here are some of my photos, I was pretty pleased with the results, the sun was low so there were some long shadows & unfortunately the sun was setting over the lake so I couldn't get too many in that direction without sun strike on the lens but the ones I did manage look reasonable.

Lake Manapouri in the background

Paddock Hill in the foreground & Mt Titiroa behind with it's white granite rock peak.

Manapouri Motorhome & Caravan Park with our 5th-wheeler taking centre stage!

Looking east with the beautiful Takitimu mountain range on the horizon. This one is my favourite.

Heading back in to land, we had flown around the park twice, the second time a little lower. It was magic, perfect weather & a thrilling ride. Very cool when you're on the underside of a steep turn & the only time my tummy took a dive!  I'm only annoyed I didn't take in too much further afield,  I was concentrating on the job at hand too much!

The welcoming party back on terra-firma!

You just never know what the day is going to bring when you're on the road.


  1. Double wow! What a thrill! Must have been a real buzz for you - I can just imagine Dad's conversation.
    Good to see him behind a camera too!

    1. Behind a camera & having something he can give me at the end are two different things! :) Ask him someday about the horse riding photos I don't have :) It was a real buzz & an exciting end to the day.


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