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Published: October 14th 2009
Monday morning came and Raphael and I were dragging our bags through the streets of Christchurch, looking for the Wicked Campervan offices. After I very hard 15 minute walk (I am out of practice at dragging around a backpack), we found the Wicked offices. After some paperwork and an introduction to our new home for the next 17 days we were picking up some food supplies. I have no camping experience and don't have two clues on what we really need and what we don't. We fueled up and hit the road, driving the streets of Christchurch without any idea which way north really was. So after some backtracking and a friendly guy at the traffic lights who told us which way was north we were on our way. While we were driving we decided we needed to name this van as it was to be our home for 17 days. The van is a Lucinda or something like that so we named her Lucy in the Sky.
Our first stop was Hamner Springs, I don't know why but that is what we chose. We spent less then one hour in Hamner Springs just walking the streets enjoying the sunshine.
Kaikoura is a place that we had wanted to visit as it is a little surfing town between Pacific Ocean and the mountains. We took the back road to Kaikoura which meant that we drove through farmland and into the mountains then down into Kaikoura. A quick drive into the town and a little walk and we found ourselves in a fish n chip shop (as always). The guy working there just wanted to talk to us about surfing and this he did for sometime. But our listening did pay off as he suggested a place for us to park our van on the beach for free. Under further investigation we found this beach to be perfect. We got our chairs out and the guitar and went set up shop on the beach. We played until the sunset, just enjoying the views until we realized that our van was not ready for the night. We rushed back to the van to use our last few minutes of light to pack stuff away and get the bed ready. It was dark by the time we got it sorted.
Today I awoke and went directly for a beach walk. I love
the sea air first thing in the morning. Then back to the van to get some coffee on the go. As I drank my coffee I watched the clouds roll towards us. Our plan was to do a quad bike tour in the morning then drive north in the afternoon. The clouds didn't look friendly. We lingered around the town til about 9am before it started to rain on our plans. So we drove to Blenheim with the intentions of a drive through Marlborough wine region. The farther we drove north the clearer the skies got. So by midday we were driving, with our wine region map in hand, past vineyards of different sizes in the New Zealand sunshine. We stopped at Cloudy Bay for a little Sauvignon Blanc tasting then to Allan Scott for a couple of tastings. Then we enjoyed a coffee outside at a different winery. In no time we were in Picton, enjoying the afternoon sun (but not the cool breeze) and watching the boats in the sounds. We didn't really do anything in Picton besides find out about some campgrounds along the Queen Charlotte Drive. We set out with the windows down and the music
up driving the narrow twisting road with breathtaking views of the sounds. We stopped many times for some photos. We checked a few camping sights out with great views but just decided to keep driving anyway. Then I seen a sign for a farm stay campground, we turned around and went to investigate. I was looking for a place with a shower, because i couldn't go much longer without one. This place had a kitchen and a shower for us to use, so I was sold.
So now I am sitting watching the sunset, finding it hard to believe that I have access to wireless internet while my mobile doesn't work. I have to say that it has only been 2 days in this van and it is a hard adjustment. Harder then I expected. I am finding this to be a learning experience about myself. as I am used to being a solo traveller. I enjoy the freedom of going where I want and setting up camp wherever. I do miss the comforts of having regular showers and a real kitchen to cook and even the chance to spend some time alone. All in all I think I
am going to learn alot in this 17 days of travel.
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