Day 238 (501km to 512km 5/45) – Monday 9th May – Hanmer Springs – Conical Hill Walk

Kelloggs sunshine breakfast. A beautiful day and a beautiful walk up Conical Hill to 560m with 360 degree view across Hurunui. And gnome-friendly funghi. We’d been without wifi for 2 days and the withdrawal symptoms were showing. As luck would have it the local library has wifi so we parked up outside to get our free fix. 4 hours later and laptop batteries dead we realise we missed our opportunity to drive to Kaikoura and have ended up back at Alpine holiday park....

May 25, 2011 · (Updated May 25, 2011) · 2 min · karen

Day 237 (381km to 500km 4/46) – Sunday 8th May – Hanmer Springs

We can’t believe how much water we use and how much waste we make. This is an eye-opener. We have no more water again and we need to empty everything. Our tank holds 91 litres and apparently the shower uses 10 litres a minute. Can’t quite believe it. Shared the driving today. A little scary at first on the winding roads after 8 months of no driving but it was like riding a bike and I soon got back into it....

May 25, 2011 · (Updated May 25, 2011) · 2 min · karen

Day 236 (166km to 380km 3/47) – Saturday 7th May – Mt Thomas Forest to Kaiapoi to Deer Valley, Lewis Pass

That muddy field we were in had increased in bogginess overnight and also half-filled with anorak-covered people putting up tents whilst we were eating brekkie which meant fun for us getting out. We discovered today that our campervan doesn’t have great traction so we slid about all over the place trying to manoeuvre around tents, cars & vans to just about get out safely. We also discovered that although we thought the grey water indicator wasn’t working it in fact is....

May 25, 2011 · (Updated May 25, 2011) · 2 min · karen

Day 235 (0km to 165km 2/48) – Friday 6th May – Christchurch to Wooded Gully campsite & getting lost a lot

It’s raining. Quick trip to Spencer Beach to see the sea & sand minus sun. Found the Department of Conservation (DOC) centre after our 2nd attempt to arm ourselves with a list of the DOC campsites across New Zealand which are much cheaper than commercial sites or even free. Went in search of the first motorhome dumpstation getting lost a couple of times circling Christchurch. The not so glorious side of campervanning is getting rid of waste water and filling up with new water....

May 25, 2011 · (Updated May 25, 2011) · 1 min · karen

Day 234 (0km 1/49) – Thursday 5th May – First day of campervanning around New Zealand (practice run)

First aftershock felt this morning at the hostel. I was sat checking my email and Matt was coming out of the shower. It felt really surreal. Everything seemed to shudder but you couldn’t put your finger on what moved or even if you moved. The sound was like someone running across a landing with hobnail boots on but we were on the ground floor. The adrenaline pumped for a few minutes afterwards....

May 25, 2011 · (Updated May 25, 2011) · 3 min · karen

Day 233 – Wednesday 4th May – Christchurch

Mmmm beans on toast. Lush. Booked our campervan. Have opted for the posh option because we’re old fogies and would kill each other being cramped into a VW with only enough headspace for a hobbit. SCF update: 280,000 unique visitors in the past week. That is an 35,600% increase!

May 25, 2011 · (Updated May 25, 2011) · 1 min · karen

Day 232 – Tuesday 3rd May – Christchurch, New Zealand

Qantas again delivered. Both the Bangkok to Sydney and the Sydney to Christchurch legs were on time and well fed. Had about 6 meals in 12 hours as our clocks turned forward 3 hours then another 2. We’re a total of 11 hours ahead of the UK now so when you’re waking up to eat your cornflakes we’ll be finishing dinner and off to bed. Look Australia! Arriving at Christchurch airport customs we were scared into throwing our packet of crisps into the bin....

May 25, 2011 · (Updated May 25, 2011) · 4 min · karen