Sep 01, 2010
Jun 18, 2011
. We wrapped ourselves up and went for a look around the shops and, as I had hoped, we saw some beautiful pendants. I was torn between two designs; the Toki, which is the shape of a Maori cutting tool and represents courage and strength, and the Koru which is a spiral shape and symbolises potential and new beginnings. The day wore on, and still not having seen the perfect pendant, we headed out to our meeting point at a place called Kumara Junction. As we waited at the side of the road I went to have a look in a little shop and cafe just up the road and inside I found the pendant I wanted! It's a beautiful Koru spiral, dark green and on a black cord necklace. I was a very happy bunny! A little later than we expected the new van arrived. It is the same model as our first van only this one is an automatic rather than a manual. The mechanic showed Tom how to drive it, but it was very different to driving the other van and he wasn't keen on not being able to change to gears himself. With our new campervan we headed out of Hokitika and on to our next destination, the Franz Josef Glacier which was about 5 hours away. As we were running quite late we only got about half way into the journey before we decided to pull over and set up camp for the night. We were staying in a place called Hari Hari at a motel and campsite. The motel was pretty grotty, it didn't have a communal kitchen and after two runs in the tumble dryer our laundry was still soaking wet... we weren't very impressed with this place. But the worst thing was that the motel was like a rabbit warren and the hallways looked like the corridors out of the hotel in The Shining, so everytime I tried to find the toilets I would inevitably get lost and start freaking out in case a little boy with a bad 70s haircut came around the corner on a tri-cycle screaming 'Red Rum'! Safe to say we made a quick exit the following morning!
We had arranged to meet the campervan mechanic and our new van just north of Hokitika at about 1:30pm, so we got up early and drove into Hokikita to have a look around the town before we had to head to our meeting point. Hokikita is the main place in New Zealand to buy their national gemstone, greenstone. Or as we know it in Britain, jade. It is a Maori tradition to wear a greenstone pendant around your neck and there are 5 main designs although every pendant is different. I had been looking at different greenstone pendants in all the places we have been to so far in New Zealand and not seen one that had caught my eye, so I was really excited at the prospect of getting a pendant in Hokitika. Even though it seemed like a big desination on the map and had lots written about it in the guidebook, Hokitika was far smaller than we had expected... it was basically one street with some souvenir shops, a supermarket and plenty of shops and gallerys selling greenstone. As we parked up and had some breakfast the heavens opened and it poured with the rain for the rest of the day