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Book Signing Tour; Matamata, Thames, Whitianga

Driving into Cambridge

Driving into Cambridge

Double checking I had books in my car I set off for my first book signing on this tour I have included a map to give you some idea of my travel plan from Hamilton to Matamata, Thames, Whitianga and then back home to Hamilton below

My road trip

My road trip

I drove through Cambridge and the trees were so beautiful I had to stop and take a photo ! Arriving in Matamata my first stop was a cafe for a nice strong coffee and take some photos of this lovely town and it’s fame for Lord of The Rings as Hobbiton 🙂

My book signing at Paper Plus Matamata was just wonderful!  I met an old school friend I had not seen since I was a teenager and reminded him about our Primary School Reunion in October.

Matamata

Kate & Graham (Paper Plus Matamata store owners) and I

Kate & Graham (Paper Plus Matamata store owners) and I

Gollum's statue

Gollum’s statue

Information Office, Matamata

Information Office, Matamata

One of the most humbling experiences I had was when a young lady came to have her book signed and gave me this letter which said:

Hi Barbara

My name is Patrice Stichbury and I was interested to read your article in the Matamata Chronicle.  I too had a bitter disappointment with the Ironman in 2006.  After waking up one morning a year before and deciding like you it would be a cool thing to do, I embarked on a year of training.  I had little experience and had not even owned a road bike before.  There were many ups and downs, but when the morning came I was read, only for the event to be half cancelled due to severe weather.  Like the majority I battled against the wind and ran down the finishing shoot after a cancelled swim, 90km on the bike and a 21km run.

I went on to complete the full distance in 2007.

With all your ups and downs you have certainly completed an Ironman distance and you had every intention in being in that Ironman line up at 7am so I would like to share my 2006 medal with you.  When you have fulfilled your dream which I know you will, you can send it back to me.

In the meantime keep up the good work and happy training.

Regards Patrice Stichbury

Patrice Stichbury and I

Patrice Stichbury and I

Matamata township

Matamata township

I graciously accepted her medal to share with her and will be catching up with her in a few weeks for a coffee and gossip 🙂 Patrice is now training for the Coast to Coast race in the South Island next year and I hope I am able to cheer her on during this race.

On the way to my next stop in Thames I travelled through Te Aroha on State Highway 26 and stopped at a quaint cafe at Hikutaia.

Driving into Te Aroha

Driving into Te Aroha

The Bridge into Te Aroha

Driving over the Bridge into Te Aroha

Coffee stop at Hikutaia

Coffee stop at Hikutaia

The Paddle Steamer

The Paddle Steamer

At Thames I drove around and took some photos of the town which has lots of memories as a child passing through every time we went to the beach.  It was a break for Mum and Dad from driving and for us kids to stretch our legs and get rid of some energy around the playground.  It was also a compulsory stop to buy a hamburger and chips and half an hour out from Thames, Gael, Allan and I would all think what we would have, a hot dog & chips or hamburger and chips and if we couldn’t decide there was a glorious menu to chose from.

Colette (Paper Plus Thames Store Manager) and I

Colette (Paper Plus Thames Store Manager) and I

I met Colette and helped set up my little table for book signings.  My Aunty Shirley and my cousin Robyn came in to buy my book and it was so good catching up with things and hearing about my Aunt’s trip to Holland seeing Andre Rieu in concert which will be just fabulous!

Robyn, Aunty Shirley and I

Robyn, Aunty Shirley and I

Below are some photos leaving Thames for Coromandel and over the hill to our holiday home.

Look back down the Thames Coast Line where I have driven

Looking back down the Thames Coast Line where I have driven

Driving into the sunset to Coromandel

Driving into the sunset to Coromandel

After my signing in Whitianga I relaxed the day away with a walk down to the beach watching Mike bring in his Electric Contiki Long Line with Steve & Jude and catching 3 snapper 🙂 the below photo is an image I found on google identicle to his Long Line and some snapper 🙂

electric contiki

electric contiki

The Beach

The Beach

Whitianga township

Whitianga township

Whitianga's Buffalo Beach

Whitianga’s Buffalo Beach

The Coroglen Pub on the drive home, that  I must have a drink in one day

The Coroglen Pub on the drive home, that I must have a drink in one day

It was a brilliant weekend meeting the most amazing people!

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