Christchurch - the deal!
Trip Start Nov 09, 2008
66Trip End Apr 02, 2009
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Where I stayed
New Zealand is surprisingly different from Australia - far more like England, wandering along the road next to the motel it didn't feel a million miles away from wandering down some of the outskirts of Stratford upon Avon. The weather is cooler and less humid and the nights close in later. The plants and trees look like English plant life and there seem to be less hideous insects, especially our crunchy, scuttling friends. The people seem friendlier and the television is a home from home. We watched 'Relocation, Relocation' where people were relocating to Berkshire and Wales from London; Eastenders; Heartbeat and appropriately 'Victoria's Empire' with Victoria Wood!
Having checked the weather forecast for New Zealand, D and Yvonne done a deal! If D is willing to go camping in New Zealand without moaning, Yvonne would allow him to book into a motel for two nights in a room which has its own outside spa bath and to hire a bigger car than we had in Australia.
D was happy with the blue two litre Ford Focus and Yvonne was reassured when the cost of removing the excess on the insurance was only £80, as this had been a constant cause for fretting for Yvonne in Australia.
The motel room exceeded expectations having a separate bathroom and bedroom and an enclosed area suitable for Steven to play in by the spa bath, as well as cheap laundry facilities, but with the downside of no accessible internet. In fact, overall, it was so good we both convinced ourselves that a third night would be good! The irony of the situation was that D never set foot in the spa bath after all, although Steven became very good at 'swimming' diagonals!
Saturday saw a trip to the local shopping mall to purchase basic and inexpensive camping equipment as it may all have to be abandoned at the end of the journey. Tent, sleeping bags, pillows, stove, ice box and a veritable selection of cooking and eating equipment were purchased. Oh... and of course a dustpan and brush - anyone who's ever been camping with Yvonne will know what she considers essential! The solar showers looked great but she resisted! D also found it necessary to buy another fishing rod!
We purchased a mallet, a bargain at NZ$3, about a pound. D has sometimes had a headache or two on our journey and says to Steven that daddy's head is broken and would Steven fix it. If you ask Steven how he will fix it, he says with a hammer, just like grandad fixed the wall in Jack's room! When Steven came out of the shop with the mallet saying he'd got a hammer to fix daddy's head with - D looked a little wary!
Finally, we purchased a map and campsite book and started to plan our route. We were pleased to see that the locations where Lord of the Rings was filmed are all marked on the map, included the appropriate scene description! D's looking forward to spotting a hobbit in middle earth!