. We find the Countdown that Jenny had suggested for parking, and I set off into town to find an i-site. Once booked and checked in, I find Helen and Mum have finished packing their bags in the campervan. We wander around for a little bit, trying our best to soak in our last day together in NZ. After a few peruses of menu’s, we find a lovely little grocer/ café for lunch. It’s lovely, and has the most amazing fruit bowl I’ve ever seen! I take a photo, for, urrr, mum of course. For her book. We have a great soupy lunch here, and somehow take 90minutes doing so, but we’re all so chatty and having a great laugh, that time is irrelevant. We decide to get Jenny a new electrical ‘Whizz stick’ for her soup as hers looks a little sorry for itself, and I’ve given her the soup-bug, just as a thank you for being so hospitable over the last few weeks and making our holiday so enjoyable. We make our way back to the farm and set about the laborious task of cleaning the camper. I set about the inside, Helen on the outside, and mum has mild panic attacks over excess baggage weight. Urghh, cleaning wasn’t a great experience. I find that the den has been accumulating condensation for the past 6 weeks, and underneath my mattress lies pools of water… disgusting! Whilst in the middle of cleaning, Ioee arrives back with Kiri. It sounds like they had an amazing time, and it worked out ridiculously cheap too! Dammit! I should have gone, but c’est la vie
. I have an excuse to come back for the winter season. As I’m feeling a bit precious about my cleaning, I stay at Rhys’ place, in a bed, yes a bed! Mum preps dinner for Dewi and Jenny’s return from their day trip to Christchurch. Everyone’s pretty tired and anxious about the next 24 hour’s. So everyone goes to bed. Ioee and I sit up in the house watching Rhys Darby’s stand up. So, so funny! He’s got that classic kiwi humour, basing the most of his repertoire around how new Zealanders have to make their own entertainment, which naturally, I can completely sympathise with!!! I go to bed for about 11, too excited to sleep though… tomorrow everything is going to change, and, I take my first ever solo flight!
Today Dewi has the day off, and with Jenny being away for the last week, they take the day to go for a drive and let us get on with the van clean and tidy up. I’ve planned a visit to a friends in Wellington for a couple of days this weekend and so need to arrange tickets and check-in for Helen and Mum’s flights back to the UK, so am in desperate need of non-temperamental internet. We embark for Ashburton, a local town that has crazy mod-cons like printers and computers… I jeste, but in all honesty, getting reliable connection in the South island is incredibly difficult! En route to Ashburton, we stop as the now defrosted fridge has leaked everywhere, at a lay by. In the lay by, quite randomly is a sun dial, but with a metal silhouette of the mountain ranges that are visible from that spot. It’s a really sweet idea, as translating gradients from maps to decipher which mountain you’re actually looking at can be really difficult. We set off again, finding Ashburton after getting slightly lost, slightly