Day 310-312: Christchurch to Karamea, New Zealand

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December 4th 2009
Published: December 6th 2009
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Christchurch to Karamea

Wednesday, December 2nd

Happy birthday boeda Dewald! Hope you had an amazing day an even better year. My God bless you and keep you and make all your dreams come true.

Our alarm woke us early. We'd not been up that late in a long time. After breakfast we drove to the medical centre to have chest x-rays taken. Because we're from SA and want to stay in NZ for more than six months they want to make sure we're not infected with TB. The x-rays came back clear (we could’ve told them that) but left a proper dent in our savings. We drove to Immigration NZ on Cathedral Square and filed our application. With that, our job in Christchurch was done.

We left the east coast and headed back to the west coast, stopping for another pie and hot chocolate in Culverdon. A few kilometers further we parked at a rest stop and had an hour and a half nap.

When we woke we pushed on. We wanted to spend the night in Carters Beach, just outside Westport. As we passed through Reefton lightning was striking all around us. We've not seen lightning since coming to NZ and it reminded us of home.

Just before 6pm we arrived back on the west coast. In three days we'd crossed the back of the South Island twice; west coast to east coast, then back to the west coast again.

At the holiday park we made dinner, had a shower and spent the evening typing emails and catching up with the blog.

Today's highlights:
1. Clear x-rays.
2. Filing our visa extension application.
3. Nap next to the road.
4. Making it all the way back to the west coast.

Thursday, December 3rd

After a stormy night we woke to a day promising clear skies and lots of sunshine. With breakfast in our bellies we headed into Westport to do some last minute shopping and to fill the van with fuel.

The drive back to Karamea was uneventful. At Little Wanganui, a small community near Karamea, we turned off and headed too the beach. Here we had a picnic and fit the new roof racks to the van. Back at Karamea Holiday Park we ended up chatting to John for hours. John and Margaret offered us free accommodation (a cabin or a powered site, it was our choice) and even food for as long as we’d like! They know what happened with Bruce and we suppose they felt a little sorry for us. We accepted the kind offer of a free powered site, but asked to at least help with the cleaning of the units and the facilities. It was the least we could do, being so easily adopted by these kind people.

Later we headed to the Guppy place to say hi. Debs made us some Rooibos tea and then we went for a walk down to the building site to burn some of Julian’s energy because he was rampaging all over the place. Down at the site Julian and Kyran were running around, crossing the river on a moss covered log. Just as Talita asked if it wasn’t slippery Julian slipped, fell off the log, hit a smaller log a meter down, turned upside down and fell another meter head first into the shallow river. Our hearts skipped a beat, but now raced with adrenaline. Ferdi was closest and jumped down. Julian was crying and wet, but he appeared to be in one piece, so Ferdi lifted him out to Debs who looked him over thoroughly. We were most worried about his head and neck because of the way he’d fallen. He didn’t have a bump or a scratch on him! Children are amazingly resilient!

He was cold and a little shocked so we walked back to the bus. Debs carried Julian for a while, then Talita took over while Ferdi had the pleasure of giving Kyran a ride on his shoulder. Before we even reached the bus Julian was running around again and laughing, completely recovered. When Dave arrived home we were invited to stay for dinner. We shared a few beers and had a delicious curry dinner.

Today’s highlights:
1. John and Margaret’s very kind offer.
2. Julian escaping the big fall without a scratch.

Friday, December 4th

We woke feeling a little lost. Coming from a month of plan after plan after plan we didn’t know what to do with ourselves now that there weren’t any more plans. After breakfast we prepared a blog and did some research online, and after lunch Ferdi made a potato salad and helped Talita bake some more rusks.

At 5:30pm Dave, Debs and the boys came by and we went to a bonfire at Seth and Sina’s place. They live in a beautiful old house close to the Karamea River. Gary, Rose, and a Belgian couple with their kids were there as well. We had a BBQ, a bonfire and a few beers. It was a nice chilled night out. We needed some friendly and relaxed contact with other people.

Today’s highlights:
1. Baking rusks.
2. Nice night out with friends.

Additional photos below
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7th December 2009

Hoe lank nog?
Wanneer gaan julle weet of jul extended visa aansoek suksesvol was? Wat hoor jy van werk, Ferdi??? Geluk Talita met jou koeksisters! Waar het jy die resep gekry? Hou jy stroop gereed vir n volgende baksel? En die resepte vir die vetkoek en bierbrood en beskuit? Lyk of julle hande vir niks verkeerd staan nie!! Trots op julle, maar verlaaang baie!!! xxxxx ooooo

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