Grahame and Gretchen Benvie


Grahame and Gretchen Benvie

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Plenty » Tauranga May 5th 2019

It has been months in the planning but now it is just 18 days away before we start out on what promises to be the greatest adventure,in more ways than one,of our travel experiences. This adventure all came about through Gretchen wanting to tick off one of those 'things to do know what'(not that she has any intention of doing 'you know what'!and see the 'Big Five'live in their backyard and not a zoo. The planning has been extensive despite the fact that this will be a trip of just under a month and no where near as long as the 6 or 8 month BBA's have been. For a start Kiwis don't get a simple stamped 3 month visitor visa when they arrive in South Africa anymore,like we do in so many other countries ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Berkshire » Windsor August 25th 2016

Thursday and our last full day in London and its going to be another perfect warm late summers day. Today we have a plan to visit Windsor Castle and get it ticked off the bucket list. Our previous trips to London have seen us staying either out the east side or south of London Bridge and too far away to make Windsor a day trip without leaving really early in the morning. From Brentford though we are just a stone’s throw away, so to speak. Actually it became a bit of a logistical nightmare to select a transport route to get to Windsor mainly because there was a slightly closer over ground railway station called Kew Bridge which Google wanted us to use yet there were infrequent services from there to take us to the line ... read more
The outer walls of Windsor Castle and open double decker bus
Queen Victoria outside Windsor Castle
The old moat is now a beautiful garden,Windsor Castle

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London August 24th 2016

It is true! It is going to be over 30C in some parts of London today and we had better be prepared. We didn’t actually intend of venturing into the city when we arranged to stay at Brentford. The idea was to be close to the airport to take the car back and also have a day to visit Windsor Castle and just chill out on the other full day we had left. However along the way things changed a bit and when our niece, Joanne, had her production of a one woman opera confirmed for the Arcola Theatre in Hackney for two of the three nights we were to be in London then we simply had to be there to represent the family. So we chose the second night to attend and that is tonight. ... read more
Selfies in Green Park
The Palace
The Cake Stand

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London August 23rd 2016

The weather forecast for the last few days has been predicting hot temperatures from Wednesday but it looks like they have arrived a day early. It looks like one of those days that is going to turn out rather sultry. Seems like it has taken almost all of the six months of the BBA V3 for such a period of fine, warm weather. Although in essence we couldn’t have expected warm temperatures such as what is predicted when we first arrived in March. The Skoda has to be taken back today so we needed to make sure everything that was floating around in the back seats is either packed away in a suitcase or backpack or thrown out. Our hostess was out as we got ready to leave this most comfortable apartment so we locked the ... read more
The last piece of road with hedgerows on the BBA V3
We should bring the Tauranga club over for a visit to this pub kust before the A419 near Stroud

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Oxfordshire » Burford August 22nd 2016

Looks like a perfect day for some hiking through the fields and trails of the Cotswolds. It is such a quiet location we have on the hill above Stroud and serene surroundings with a large grassy area in front of the apartment. Breakfast in the covered area in front of the apartment is a relaxing way to start the day although we are sure Wendy has other ideas with a walk she has got planned for us. Gretchen worked with Wendy at the rest home in Matua. However we have had probably more association with Wendy and her sister Sharon through helping them plan their big overseas holiday a couple of years ago which sparked Wendy’s interest to work in England after she returned from that holiday and got saving seriously for the airfare. We are ... read more
Pathway through where there had recently been some sort of grain growing.
Late summer rose
Pumping for water on the village green

It is Sunday and what better to do than have a lie in. We plan to take the short drive to Kingswood just below the Cotswold escarpment to check out some of the places one side of my mother’s family, came from. Mum’s father was born in New Zealand to immigrants who arrived in Wellington; NZ in the latter part of the 1800’s.Why they came to New Zealand is not clear but as far as I can find out my Great Grandfather was the only one of a large family to emigrate. Through various websites we have been able to follow their movements at 10 year intervals of English census’ in the village of Kingswood which back in the 1800’s had a sizeable mill like many of the villages surrounding Wotton-under-Edge, the principal town in the ... read more
St Marys Virgin Church,Kingswood
Inside the gate(mid picture)is the location of my G G Grandparents graves
The Walk,Kingswood

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Gloucestershire » Stroud August 20th 2016

The BBA V3 is ripping along towards its final days and our three days in West Wales has gone in a blur. The wind and the rain really performed overnight and it is not that often we are awoken by weather events going on outside but last night was one of them. The wind has died away a bit but there are still showers passing by as we get ourselves ready for the relatively short drive to Selsley West near Stroud in the Cotswolds for another three night stop. Checking the weather ahead though is interesting as the weather office is predicting up to 30C for next Wednesday in London! We have been very comfortable in the loft above the garage at the rear of Clive’s property. The Air BnB page showed he had a wife ... read more
Abergavenny town houses
A tour of the back streets

Europe » United Kingdom » Wales » Pembrokeshire » St Davids August 19th 2016

As forecast the rain and wind did arrive overnight and this morning it is still raining so a good excuse to stay in bed a little longer as we are going to be later hitting the road to the far west of Wales. By the time we thought we had better be stirring, the sky was starting to look a little more like clearing. We haven’t had much rained off on us on the BBA V3 with the wettest days being when we have been travelling between accommodations. The west coast of Wales comes with some wild beauty and it may be that the wind that got up overnight might have made the seas on the coast the weather was coming from a little rougher and provide some photo opportunities. Our plan is to head northwest ... read more
Lower Fishguard river and basin
The houses along the quay,Lower Fishguard
The Stena ferry off to Ireland from Fishguard

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Fife August 19th 2016

Today is the day of the Benvie Reunion party luncheon and the second cousins from Montrose and Brechin are coming down to catch up. Also ,Amber who came to Tauranga late last year for a short period as she was completing her training as a doctor and her parents Ian and Carol who had visited us earlier in 2015.Ian is the son of John, who was Aileen’s late husband. So it really is time of great reunion! Carolyn and Trevor have gone to great lengths to make the day enjoyable and we can’t thank them enough and makes us feel very privileged to be part of the clan. Somehow they have put together a huge square table so all 16 of us can sit around together making it easier for conversation. We did offer to help ... read more
Rural view Arncroach
Turnips growing under cover
Watching the alpacas watching us

Europe » United Kingdom » Wales » Carmarthenshire » Ammanford August 18th 2016

Another reasonable day of weather ahead before it all turns to custard overnight. There are prospects for the weather then clearing tomorrow from around midday. So we will head off to the Brecon Beacons today in the hope that we can find a trail and do some hiking. While we are out and about we plan to get as far as Talgarth a town we heard about on a TV programme a year or so ago. The town was in need of some rejuvenation and the community applied to the Lottery Grant Commission and received enough money to repair a rather dilapidated building that had been a flour mill with a water mill and also built a cafe which serves bread, scones etc using flour from the mill. So we thought we would go and see ... read more
Only building remains where lime was mined,Black Hills
Sealed off lime mine
Some Welsh lamb on the hoof

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