Just Bluffing

Here we are at the southernmost tip of the South Island in Bluff.20180729_120140

We made contact with our new travel friends Warren and Toni whom we met at Lake Te Anau and they had arranged two options for our stay in Bluff – one was at the back of the RSA; the other in a secure yard owned by them. When we arrived we met them at the RSA and checked out both locations; choosing the secure yard so that we had privacy.

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Not only did Warren and Toni offer us the use of their yard but also took us sight-seeing (who knew that Bluff could be so interesting?) they also offered us the use of a vehicle for the duration of our stay. We were pretty blown away by their generosity……..even humbled by it.

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After giving Mac a bath at their place following time at a leash-free dog park in Invercargill (covered in mud; the princess was immaculate in comparison) we had coffee and then we returned to Dogonit to freshen up before they picked us up and took us to the RSA for drinks. Boy…… talk about Southern hospitality!! The crowd at the RSA were great, we laughed, joked and enjoyed a cold beverage until it was time to go to the Eagle Hotel for a wonderful dinner that included oysters and paua which was followed by a guilt-free dessert (nah; just kidding lol) and liquers. It was then back to Dogonit and quite late (for old folk) before we prepared for bed.
Imagine how we felt when we pulled the covers back and discovered our bedding was saturated. One of our vents was open slightly and allowed the wind to blow rain inside. We had to strip the bed and remake it; the only saving grace was the waterproof mattress cover or we would have been more in the pooh. Thank goodness Warren had left the keys to his sheds in the car so we had somewhere to hang bedding to dry!!
We met them the following morning and headed out on a dog walk – four humans and the White Dog Gang.

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The weather had cleared so we could see Dog Island and Steward Island in the distance. It was a little cool but well worth the walk despite us all feeling a little seedy from the previous night.
We followed the walk with a lovely lunch of cheese puffs (one of my favourites!! And spent a couple of hours chatting before we headed home to Dogonit to have a rest before Chef Rod prepares a dessert to match the lovely roast that Toni is cooking for our dinner.

Dinner was of course…..PERFECT!! It was lovely to share a meal with them and admire the beautiful view overlooking the harbour and Ti Wai Point. We ate till we were stuffed and then returned to Dogonit tot full to do anything but fall into bed.
Today we did the ‘housework’ before Warren and Toni arrived – Warren to pick up his car so he could go off to work and Toni to chauffeur us around the sights of Bluff starting with Imauri Beach where I collected some rocks. The dogs Mac, Rose, Rastus and Jimmy had a ball playing together and honning up and down the beach.

Our next stop was Bluff Hill to admire the 360 degree views; looking from Stewart Island to the bottom of the Alps….. it was just stunning; particularly because the day was clear and the sun was shining. There was also the remains of a Navy radar station.

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We headed for the bottom of the walking track where we could hear the Tuis and Warblers and watch the wood pigeons. There were also the remains of military posts erected at the end of WWI.

By this time we could feel a poppy nap coming on; so after fortifying ourselves with food we are enjoying some R & R.

Tonight we are hosting Toni on board Dogonit for dinner as Warren will still be at work.

The Long Journey

Morning of the 27th looked at what options we had as we have a rendezvous with the couple we met in Te Anau on Saturday afternoon in Bluff. (Still oyster season aye Donna) So were in a bit of a loss as what to do in the meantime. The weather closed in and when we went to look at the river there was very little chance of fishing as the water was dirty and fast.

Drove along a road beside the river to find it had been blocked off and no turn area. The ground was wet so had to try and negotiate a 60 point turn and managed to take off the drain for the fresh water tank on the curb. The drain hangs down 100 mm below any other appendage under the RV. Bugger and a few other words were said out loud as 170 litres of water dumped on the road  along with the PVC fitting.

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Well that changed our leisurely plans for the rest of the day either I effected a repair or we were buggered for the rest of the trip with no fresh water. We parked in the middle of the Gore Town and Country Club in the camping car park all of 200 meters from where we stayed last night.(hence the title “the long journey)  Backed the Dogonit up on the leveling ramps so I could slither my slim body under her. (A while since I have been able slither under usually working on top)

Two options to effect a repair either epoxy the original fittings or find a way plugging the hole. Off to the hardware store – 20 minute walk got me to Placemakers found the perfect fitting a tank gland with a screw in bung. Problem was that they only went up to 20mm and yes bloody Murphy had been and I need a 25mm. Next stop PPG Wrightson and thank you Murphy for staying away they had the fittings.

All fitted and secure no leaks – touch wood.

The Club was awesome last night with good food and the patrons and staff were very friendly. Bought a raffle tickets to help support the club and yes the day only got better – Pork chops for tea.

For $8 per night we get water, power and toilet inclusive. Washing machine $3 per load and $2 for 45 minutes in the dryer. Showers are $1 for 10 minutes. There are 14 sites here and and a staff member was telling Donna they turnover $20,000 plus per-annum. My hat off to the Town and Country Club what a facility.

On the road agian …………. Watch out Bluff Oysters!!!!!!

Piano Flats Doc Camp

Left Oreti River Bridge on Sunday 22nd and travelled to Riverton to complete a SWS (shit water stop) on the way to Piano Flats Doc Park. The winds were gusting in the order of 80-100 km but luckily were traveling with the wind coming up the rear quarters for most of the trip.  (Donna provided the equal but opposite effect proving Einstein theory)

We arrived at the Dump station in Riverton with a feeling of “this is so bad that we were ashamed to dump our waste here”. (Definitely in need of a makeover) Dumped our waste and headed on to the Doc camp. The road was in good repair but was obviously used by Glenaray  Station (largest single station of private and government land in NZ) as their stock race – All good as no doubt they do most of the leveling and repair. Must admit I was astounded with the break feeding of both cattle and sheep and the size of the paddocks that was visible from the road. The weather along with the high level of stocking left the paddocks in a quagmire. The dogs would need to be very long legged or have webbed feet to operate in the conditions.

Arrived at Piano Flats to a vista that meets the best we have seen so far.

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The isolation is enhanced by the 360 degree surrounding of native bush with a fast flowing snow fed stream through the camp site. We walked the area but were concerned as to the potential of the ground becoming boggy with the forecasted rain so erred on the side of caution and parked on the graveled area next to the children’s playground and his and her long drops. (Doc needs to be given all credit due to the cleanliness and presentation of the long drops). We settled in by early evening and roasted beef rib on the bone accompanied with roast kumara, carrots and onions. The sun had set behind the hills and the clouds lowered down dropping the temperature in great steps.

We were sent to sleep with the patter of rain on the roof of Dogonit.

Morning bought the continuation of the rain and low cloud – Mac and Rose were not pleased as it was too messy to walk the bush trails for a morning walk so had to settle with the short walks in the camp site. We walked the river during non-rainy spells looking for potential fishing spots. With the rain the water was up and was moving very fast. (Warning by Doc signage that only level 5 Kayaker’s should attempt descending the river).  Rigged up our own off the roof water supply to fill the tank. This worked out well and meant Donna could clean my whiskey glass after each tipple.

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Very quiet day with the eye lids being checked out for potential pin holes on at least two occasions. By three o’clock in the afternoon we were sitting down to a wine and cheese for two while playing cards. Donna did try hard but the skill and charisma of the better half came forward yet again and she had to accept second place yet again.

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Tea was quiet grilled pork chops with kale salad – just a light affair. Had to run the generator for extended times during the day due to the lack of sun and the use of the lighting and TV during the day.

Quiet night and awoke to a much dryer day so left Donna to tidy Dogonit while Mac, Rose and myself went on a loop walk of 4km through the bush up the side of the valley. The track was sloppy but the dogs enjoyed the walk

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I had to be mindful of keeping the dogs close to the track as there are open gold mine shafts in close proximity to the track. Donna had not long got out of her scratch sack by the time we got back from the hour long walk. (Her comment will be worth the read)

The day was overcast and we realised that the generator would be required as the sun was not going to show much if any during the day. So packed up Dogonit and headed back to Riverton to fill up the generator and bought a 5 litre petrol container so as we could enjoy the day without feeling we had to be conservative in how we enjoyed it. (Charging of all  the bedroom toys takes a lot of power)

We arrived back to Piano Flat and low and behold it had been overrun with nothing, just as we left it. (Awsome). The afternoon was fly fishing time. Those elusive flies are very hard to catch by flicking a small hook at them. Yes no luck but the practice was worth the effort.

Chicken Korma and rice for tea, and the end to a very quiet and peaceful day.

Awoke to Ice Age two outside (no global warming here). The van had ice over the outside with the condensation from the central heating had formed a stalactite on the bottom of the body of the motorhome.

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There was no way the morning walk was happening until the morning thawed a few degrees.   The three intrepid travellers left at 9:45 on our trek up the road. A half hour into the stroll we came across a track with the destination being announced as THE Swing Bridge. The only swing bridge known to us being back at camp. 15 minutes into the walk we came across another sign much older than the first advising that the destination was still 1 hour away and the description had changed to the UPPER Swing Bridge. Although the scenery was great the track was extremely slippery and steep in places. Imagine if one of the dogs slipped and broke their leg I would have to get them medevac’d. What a drama that would be so decided that it was best to retrace our steps back to the camp.

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After a light lunch Donna wanted to be the intrepid explorer and cross the swing bridge so off we went and enjoyed the walk around the camp with the dogs rolling in the frost still thick in the shade.

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Just enough time for a quick Poppy nap before having happy hour prior to completing cooking duties. Steak, onions, mushrooms and eggs cooked on the Webber Baby Q for tea. Earlyish night as we were on the move the next day.

Heard a vehicle around midnight but otherwise had a quiet night. We must be sound sleepers as some nice person had managed to hoon up the park in a 4 wheel drive. It wasn’t a freedom camper more about this in a separate blog I will write.

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On we went down the road to Gore with empty roads and great farmland arriving at the motorcamp in time for Donna to do the laundry while I went to a wash world to clean the sheep shit off the van.

Here for the night then down the road tomorrow!!!!!

The Deep South

Spent a second night at the NZMCA in Te Anau mainly due to the wonderful companions who arrived late on the first day and who also had two little white dogs (although not Westies); Warren and Toni are from Bluff and were taking their caravan for it’s maiden voyage. We got along well enough in the afternoon that we suggested happy hour at our place. They arrived with nibbles; enough said that dinner was late that night!!

The next day Mac-Rose enjoyed an early morning walk and then we went shopping– sorting more tackle etc. for Rod’s trout line, and more groceries/wine etc. Rod gave the van a wash and we did some ‘housework’ stuff.

Toni and Warren suggested another happy hour for that evening which lasted longer than the previous night but was also really enjoyable!! It is really great when we meet such lovely people and we have arranged to catch up when we visit Bluff. Had some excitement with another member (no, we were not involved). The next morning prior to departure we had coffee with our new friends and made our plans for Bluff where we will meet up.

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One of our new friends living opposite NZMCA

We enjoyed Te Anau and felt we should enjoy more of it’s scenic delights so decided to spend our ‘On-Power Night’ at the Lake View Camp just off the lake-side. The staff were friendly and we were quickly settled into our spot.  I did the laundry and then we were taking Mac-Rose for a long stroll through the park. We enjoy the luxury of being on power as we can have long showers and in this instance the shower rooms were really modern and heated but the other of this coin is that there are more people coming and going.

The next morning meandered south via Manapouri  (Damn the Dam – for those in their late 50’s) and detoured  to Lake Monowai.

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South heading for Tuatapere for the night but temporarily changed our minds and headed for Monkey Island (no real monkeys were involved in the naming of the island – it had something to do landing supplies in the early days).

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It was a great surf beach and Mac-Rose loved their time there but we were not really impressed with the freedom camping area; thought it was more suitable for smaller vehicles than Dogonit so we headed back to Tuatapere to Wairoa Town and Country for the night. We arrived and had a couple of drinks before heading back to Dogonit to watch TV and bed.

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Please no jokes about – “Where is Phil”

The next morning we packed up and headed for Invercargill. I have to admit that the last time I travelled through here it was a weekend and the place was sooooo quiet but this time it was really lively. We went to the Caltex to fill up and couldn’t have had better service from a lovely young Irishman. I asked him how long he had been in New Zealand and he said 13 years; he met a Kiwi girl and they married and now have two children.

We did some dog-meat shopping and then we headed to a dog park which was amazing; what a great resource for the locals!! We also went to Spotlight for me so I could finally finish the shawl I have been making while away. The knitting is complete but I am adding a fur edge to it.

We left Invercargill and headed for Oreti River Bridge; a freedom parking area. It is beautiful and the locals are friendly (fantails and wood-pigeon) make for a lovely welcome.  Rod has been out with his trout rod but he has tweaked his back so is taking it slowly…….the trout prove elusive at this stage but it is a whole new style of fishing to adapt to…….patience is a virtue as they say. Watch this space!!

Tomorrow we intend to head off and make our way to Piano Flats following our usual WSS. Piano Flats is a DOC park and we are hoping that it is high enough that we may ‘see’ some snow!! More than likely there will be no cell-phone/internet coverage so we may be off-grid for several days. Fingers crossed as these intepid travellers face adversity looking for the perfect snow so Donna can make a snow angel lol.

Until our next post ……………….be careful out there!!

Off the Grid – Orc Hunting

Day 1 – Fanghorn Forest

We left Hamilton Burn early in the morning (temperature overnight had dropped to under 0 degrees), while the earth was still frozen and had no difficulty extricating ourselves from the farm. We thanked Macka for his hospitality and gave him a donation for power/water  use and headed towards Lake Mavora.

We had emailed- Invercargill DOC and checked the conditions advising them of our capacity/abilities and asked about cell ph coverage/campground conditions/other considerations and received a response advising us to just use common sense and consider the conditions (not park in the mud etc).

Lake Mavora is where they filmed the Fanghorn Forest scenes and when the fellowship split up.

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The road in is mainly metal but in great condition and the scenery is spectacular!!! We entered Fanghorn forest but did not spot any Ents, hobbits, elves or orcs so thought it safe to continue. We checked out several of the camping areas but wanted to ensure that our choice did not end in us having to walk out 20km to arrange a tow. We are close to the swing bridge  (much to Rosie’s disgust) and near the boat ramp and there have been several cars with hikers or boaties so hopefully if we need help it may be close to hand.

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As you can see, it is freezing lol

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Our camp is set up in the location where the fellowship split up with Frodo and Sam sneaking off in a boat while the camp is under attack and again the scenery is full of LOTR atmosphere……..I can see why they chose the location.

Great location to practice more fly fishing!!

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It is early evening and we are sitting down to a pre-dinner cocktail while temperatures outside keep plummeting………while the view is crystal clear.

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Tonight’s dinner – roast chicken with vegetables & garlic mash

Day 2 Unverified Orc sighting

The day broke and the sun shone over Fanghorn Forest and we started the day with coffee and breakfast. We did our bit by cleaning the DOC toilet and Rodney went wood foraging with Mac-Rose who did their rabbit poo scavenging. Whilst in the forest Mac-Rose thought they sighted an orc but this is indeed unverified at this time.

Rod then went trout fishing but the target species has at this time continued to elude him.

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We thought we would be experiencing solitude in the wilderness but there have been comings and goings of vehicles of all makes and models including two other campervans.  We had a moment of concern when a vehicle pulled in behind us just after midnight – I was thinking of all the horror movies I have ever watched but they left soon after. In hindsight they were probably just looking for a camp site – not sure why they would be doing that at that late hour but……..

Decided to have a bonfire after our T-bone steak dinner…..the sun had been shining and Mac-Rose took the most of the opportunity to sun-bathe.

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It was enjoyable although colddddddddd having evening drinks under the stars lol

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The snow continues to elude me…..starting to take it personally now.  The ice in the puddles is not longer solid and although it is cold we are well-prepared for it.

Day 3 Moving On……..

Awoke to freezing cold this morning and an intermittent issue with one of our gas cylinders so made the decision to move on…………..Mr and Mrs Super Cautious!! We made our way to Te Anau to a WSS to discover that the freezing cold had caused our waste water  pipe to burst…………….a simple repair once we find a plumber……Rodney lol!!

We are currently parked up at the NZMCA park in Te Anau with a café nearby to fulfil our dietary needs although we are dining on pork belly on Dogonit this evening and may take the opportunity to eat at the café tomorrow night if we are still here. Our neighbours are a caravan (we are having happy hour with them late afternoon and a pack of alpacas or llamas (not sure which)………it is a lovely quiet location.

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We also met up with the Te Anau NZMCA custodian and when Rod mentioned he was taking a trip to Placemakers for some plumbing parts they generously offered him a ride. He has repaired the pipe which means we can dump our water as usual (yay!!).

So as the sun sinks slowly over the yardarm we will say goodnight here in the depths of the South Island!!

On the road to new adventures……..just over the border in Southland

Well here we are on Hamilton Burn; a farm just over the border in Southland. This is a park over property so not available to the masses.

We packed up this morning after a last night at the Glenorchy Pub having had a slap-up dinner and a few drinks and chatting to the staff (mainly Irish). We cannot fault the pub’s hospitality. We advised them that we would stay an extra night but were concerned that if there was any change in the weather we might have ‘toilet’ issues

. As I explained to the young lady; when we get to our age and the instructions state that a toilet cassette can last last at least 3 days I advised that at our age we are lucky if it lasts 2-2 1/2 she provided the key to the backpackers so we could use it instead…………as I said; they went the extra mile for us!!

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We left this morning but had an issue with the RV – this time the satellite (all issues we have experienced have been related to the extra work undertaken since the vehicle landed in New Zealand…..go figure!!!). As the satellite was continuously alarming we contacted Apollo Entertainment and they gave some advice so Rod could disable it and we could continue our adventures.

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These Tuis are at the entrance to a private road…..

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Success disabling the satellite and off we went!! We headed to Queenstown (just like being in Auckland except for the scenery)……..we went to BP for a WSS. We had difficulty finding it due to the rubbish truck but eventually completed our septic needs and purchased a swap-a-bottle we then had to go the Caltex LPG refill (only 1 x swap-a-bottle) and then headed for the PackNSave. Mrs Garmin thought we would like to take the scenic route which was frustrating to say the least but at last we made it!!

We stocked up and then headed to The Warehouse for extras and then we were on the road again. We had an issue when we were travelling along when a vehicle started using it’s hazard lights and brakes and had open their window  open and were tapping the roof which had us concerned as Rod had been up there fixing the satellite earlier; so we pulled over. We were on a clear road with no vehicles behind us and had pulled over as much as were able with hazard lights on and had just spent a few minutes checking the roof when we saw a truck coming so we quickly started up the engine. It was at that moment that two vehicles pulled out to pass the truck,  by this stage he had little space to pass so stamped down on his brakes which locked.

He slid onto the berm and was quickly joined by another trucker who was quite truculent asking what the hell………did we not see the vehicles behind. We pointed out that there had been no vehicles and we had been there several minutes and that he had not even spoken to the first truck driver but he was not listening. We left shortly after…………

We spent some time discussing the situation but felt that we had done everything we could do to safely pull over  and then decided to leave the situation where it was……..in the past.

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We found our destination several kms later and were met by Macka who indicated where we were to drive to. I must point out that when I contacted him I asked how soggy the ground was where we would be parking and he said it was ok………….so imagine our surprise when we got stuck in the mud lol. Macka towed us to our spot and we will see whether we can extricate ourselves from our location tomorrow.

We have been cautious and contacted our next potential location (a DOC camp) to ensure that the conditions are going to be ok for our vehicle so watch this space!!!

Following our stressful day it was great that Rodney was able to repair our satellite dish and we are watching TV following a quick meal and for me a rum and black-current while Rod had a green ginger and rum.

We may be off the grid if there us no cell phone coverage so till next time (if we don’t post in three to five days; worry lol)……..

Many Days and Nights Later

8th of July –  Ohaua B Canal was nice and calm in the morning so decided it was time to move on as if we believed Metservice we would be exposed to force and fury of mother nature.  (Donna the ice Queen was in search of Snow)

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First stop was sorting out the waste water and fresh water. We are becoming connoisseur of these dump stations and with out a doubt the station at Omarama is the best so far. Didn’t even get my slippers wet.

South we headed and crossed Lindis Pass with the clay cliff standing to the right as we entered. What country side and what hardy farmers (unlike the Nancy boys in the Bay).  You get 10 x rabbits to the acre at best.

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The crossing was uneventful even with the narrow but well maintained roads. No ice thank goodness.

Rain started to set in after the crossing the pass – Donna praying it was snow with every drop hitting the window.

Headed inland to Wanaka and past the War Birds static display. Didn’t pick our timing well with the rain pelting down and all the Jafa styled ski bunnies prancing around I couldn’t wait to set a new destination for the night.

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Found a chemist which stocked the real medicine (good old super liquor even in Wanaka) and headed up between lake Hawera and Wanaka to our destination for the night a camping ground nearly at the Haast pass in a small community called Makaroa where the opportunity to fish looked good.  But talk about rain – no way was I going to get to fish. If I had been 545 years old I would have started building the Arck. (Good old Google) We hunkered down connected to power and watched movies and partook in the medicine gathered earlier.  By three in the morning I was sure we were experiencing a form of Chinese water torture. The rain on the roof had gone from therapeutic to F —n anoying.

9th July – Took the dogs for a walk in the rain and Mac actually chased his first rabbit. I must admit not very successfully but the attempt was made.

STILL NO SNOW. The Ice Queen was not best pleased.

Decided to head to Cormwell to do some laundry and a quick shop. On the way we did encounter some sleet . We stayed in the NZMCA camp ground at Cormwell – we were the only revelers in the camp for the night. Greenhithe Auckland experienced a power cut – one of at least 5 unscheduled cuts in the past 6 months. Vector in their wisdom send you a nice Text to tell you that the cut has occurred but some manager must have had a brain fade because they procedure does not include that another text is sent when power is restored. Welcome to the third world with sewage in the harbour,  jammed traffic systems, and general infrastructure a mess and what do we do build more bloody infill houses. Go figure. (I had to have a rave sorry)

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10th July (1967 – remember) – Woke to a brisk but sunny morning. Had the normal start to the day – the Satellite dish decided to play dead ants and lay on its back pointing to the sky. So couldn’t go anywhere until the nice man from Apollo Entertainment gave me instructions how to reset it. Glad it wasn’t raining as had to climb on to the roof.

All good and off we went with ice warnings on the road to Queens Town. Scenery again was beyond the boy from Otorohanga college literary skills to describe.

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Passed through Queenstown with haste – full of Lycra leggings and Puffer jackets. Not a fashion statement – bring back summer and the mini skirt.

Arrived at our destination Glenorchy Hotel in time for lunch and a couple of pints. Mac and Rose have been invited into the bar this evening so they are having to have afternoon naps so Poppy can remain longer in the bar tonight.

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Good night God Bless – just might have to stay another night!!!

In a land far, far away………near Twizel

So the intrepid quad are currently hunkered down on a canal near Twizel watching the rain in the comfort of Dogonit.

We stayed at the Combined Services Club in Twizel……not much to say we paid $5.00 to stay out the back and almost got stuck in the mud at one stage. Found a reasonably stable patch of grass and headed in for a drink before dinner. No meals available (Fir, Sat, Sun only) but were offered some savouries while we enjoyed our beverage.

Dinner that night was simple – fried rice and sausages and then relaxing until bedtime.

The next morning was off to the laundromat…….expensive exercise in Twizel!! In my next life I will own several of these and live high on the hog lol!!! The laundry took most of the morning due to a young man who took ownership of all the driers but we eventually finished and headed off for Ohau Canal B. This area is off-limits except for Meridian staff but NZMCA has an agreement for members who can park alongside the canal……beautiful location!!

We parked and took Mac and Rose out to check out their new premises; lots of interest in the birds fishing the canal. We are close to the High Country Salmon farm but sadly no salmon rod only trout rod in our possession.

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Rod got his trout rod out and once tackle set tried his hand at the art of fly fishing. He looked the part but unfortunately the bank is steep and difficult to cast when you are learning so he spent some time practicing casting without tackle.

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We were joined by another RV- Graham and Jan who were spending the night here. Poor Jan had taken a fall off her e-bike and fractured her humerus 4 weeks ago and they had spent the time recovering in Cromwell. It is one of the reasons why we walk as I can fall over quite comfortably closer to the ground lol. We spent time with them talking RV stuff and then headed back for dinner………chilli (YUM)!!

Mac and Rose have been reluctant to go out for their ablutions this morning even with their raincoats on but they did come with Nanny for a walk to the bridge. As we crossed, it gave me an idea how big the salmon farm really is. When I stopped Mac and Rose went to the edge to look over and once they realised they were on a bridge they splayed their legs and looked at me like I had betrayed them.

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The weather is closing in and it was quite blustery last night – wind and rain but today although it has been raining the wind has dropped and the sun is shining but within a half hour the wind is back up…..took Mac and Rose for a walk and the wind was so strong I couldn’t even draw a breath lol.

We are undecided whether to stay for another night as we know the weather is supposed to be crap over the weekend…………….watch this space.

Mt Cook

Spent two days in Tekapo having  a roast beef dinner with Yorkshire puddings for dinner on the first night while temperature outside dropped to  0 degrees again.

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After dinner we went for  a walk to look at the night sky. Unfortunately no photos of the stars so you will have to put up with a photo of our stars under the spotlight.

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Next morning after the dogs rolled in the icy grass we went for a walk to Tekapo metropolis. On the way we passed the monument celebrating McKenzie and his dog and the church of the Good Shepard as well as two bus loads of tourists.

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Spent the day relaxing and planning our travels today. What a waste of time as we did nothing planed today other than leave Tekapo.

Left Tekapo heading south – I had no idea the expanse of the MacKenzie Basin. Lake Pukaki was another gem with chilled blue water stretching back to Mt. Cook.

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Off we went to see if the snow was down to a level where we could enjoy the dogs frolicking on the snow. Disappointment as the snow had all but disappeared but did manage some snow.

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The scenery on the journey up to Mt Cook was again epic and hopefully sitting in the rest home messing myself in time to come I can remember the scenes as vividly as to day.

Traveled on to Twizel and are staying at the Combined Services Club for the night.

 

It has been a pretty busy day today……an early start to check in for our 6 monthly COF which we passed (would have been extremely surprised if we didn’t lol). We took the dogs for a walk and found The Warehouse where we needed to pick up a stainless steel dish for the Baby Q BBQ and a coffee then it was back to VINZ to pick up Dogonit and head to Pak N Sav for dog meat.

We then headed off to Lake Tekapo and the scenery was amazing!! It may be cold and still iced up in the shade but the sky was blue and not a cloud to mar the colour. The snow-kissed peaks touched the blue sky and glistened like millions of diamonds were scattered over the snow.

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We saw some interesting sights along the way that definitely reminded us of England…..particularly the free-range pigs in the fields with their shared and single accommodations lol. Nice to see; even piglets out annoying mum.

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We arrived at the NZMCA site on the lake-side and were not disappointed!! Lots of sites in the sun so we could charge our solar panels and a fantastic leash-free dog park alongside. There were numerous rabbit droppings to hold the interest of a couple of curious westies to keep them occupied. Took a walk along the lake side then it was down to business mincing the dog food (thank goodness for the amazing generator!!!)

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Dog food done, dishes washed, lunch eaten, RV swept out and it was time to relax with some cider/wine/chippies while our roast beef cooks in the Baby Q. We will be having yorkshire puds thanks to my wonderful husband (this description changes at random and mood lol)

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I am looking forward to snow falling as it has been a long, long time since this happened……..not sure if this wish is practical while in an RV lol but we are keeping warm and toasty!! We have decided to stay here for a night or two and will move on when the mood takes us………loving living the dream!!