Back on the road again

After three weeks holidaying with friends and family we have taken possession of another camper van (this one is a bit more palatial than Betty Sue) and have resumed our meanderings, this time on the more remote South Island. Once again we are discovering the joy of losing the sense of time, with days dictated by what looks interesting rather than what needs to be done and when. 

Although this van is more upmarket than our first one we have reverted to living very simply, eeking out the life of the battery by going to bed when it gets dark and taking advantage of public facilities when they are available.  We eat more simply too but still insist on a daily ration of Whittaker’s chocolate as dessert after the evening meal (four squares of the 62% cocoa with almonds in case you are wondering) which has to be one of New Zealand’s finest products. 

Armed with an ornithological guide-book we are getting better at identifying the bird life that surrounds us (‘get that wretched red-billed gull off the roof of the van!’). Formerly the best we could muster in England was a reference to LBJs which I am embarrassed to confess stood for little brown jobbies. 

We have become blase about sightings of seals, we expect an encounter with an oystercatcher on a daily basis in the same way we look for a daily heron on the canals of England, and in general we have become far more tuned in to the world around us thanks to the training we received from Sally’s sister and brother-in-law on Stewart Island. Still no kiwi though ☹.

Knackered fur seal

This more simple lifestyle dictates our choice of campsite too (or maybe it is simply the fact we are cheapskates) but we look for freedom sites where possible.  Our first night was spent in the car park of the supermarket we stopped to buy provisions at.  Not a great view admittedly but it was quiet and it did allow me to claim my free cup of coffee the following day when the coffee shop opened, We have spent the last two nights in a remote coastal spot surrounded by flat sandy beaches that apparently didn’t exist until 14 November 2016 when the Kaikoura earthquake lifted the whole area 1.5 metres, exposing land that up to then was covered by sea. That is mind boggling. 

One thing that is becoming abundantly clear, and discovering this is part of the reason for our trip, is seeing just how contented Sally is spending hours walking along the sea shore – more so than anywhere else I have seen her. It is certainly something we will need to factor into our thinking about what we might do after the gap year is over. Perhaps Sally should consider a career as a deep-sea fisherman.

Well as ever here are a few pictures to keep you posted.  

Beach life
Sunset at Curio Bay
Stewart Island

13 Comments on “Back on the road again”

  1. How wonderful. So impressed that you have adapted to your new slow life with such ease. Not to pre-empt where you might land, but find myself hoping that Portishead might pass as seashore?!?! Go well.

  2. It looks so remote. You sure Sally isn’t on the moon in that picture?
    And no mention of NZ wines – perhaps a confession on that point is warranted in your next blog.
    Take care

    1. Whoops, pressed send too soon. Meant to say ‘An oversight indeed. Will rectify in the next blog once we have done a bit more research 😊🍷’

  3. Love the pictures.

    The words are great too, of course, but it looks so different from our own familiar landscapes, the pictures are telling a great deal of the story.

    So glad to learn that you both feel so content and are having such a good time.

  4. Thx for keeping us posted! Giggles with my breakfast…thx. Blessings from grey n chilly Yorkshire (with small birds n no seals in this area, n yes… back to committee meetings n a bit too much like work, but someone has to do it… right.?!). Happy, blessed, joyful new yr!! T & K. …p.s. thx for the Whitakers reminder!! Have some on me!

  5. Another great post…happy to be of service to identify some of our wildlife by their correct names and not just LBJs (fantastic terminology!!).
    Great to hear about your journey – both physical and in terms of thoughts/desires for the ‘what next’…and look forward to where it will take you next.
    Safe travels and happy freedom camping x

  6. Being in SA I definitely started to see why mum likes being by the sea so much! (Although I’m not convinced English seaside is quite so inviting so I’m still thinking the Cotswolds would be perfect!)
    Love reading your blogs 🙂 miss you 2 x

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