“On the road again, going places that I have never been, seeing things I may never see again, on the road again!!” – Willie Nelson 02/08-09/2020

It is great to be on the road again, and like Willie Nelson’s song, I am seeing things I might never see again. Then again, some things you just don’t want to see.

A night spent in a campervan…what can I say? It was interesting. Things Kathy thought she would never hear from Dave is, “I can open the fridge with my foot while lying in bed.” Kathy is 5 foot 5 inches tall and her head hit the top of the bed, and her feet, the end wall. Dave, on the other hand, has a narrow slit and then a big gap of no bed. At any moment he is in danger of falling through to the floor. We are going to try out the other bed tonight, supposedly a double. The bathroom door does not quite shut so we must discreetly turn our head while occupied. We have strategically tried to limit the use of the toilet, as we must empty the cylinder – could be something else we don’t want to see.

So, we set up table and chairs under what I assume is a walnut tree, and had breakfast in the nut tree grove. The air was chilly, but we had the place to ourselves and it was lovely eating out of doors. A quick wash up and it was time to head out on the next leg of our journey — to find the wilderness in the South Island that we have heard so much about. A drive through winding roads, up a steep canyon, and through a gorge, we finally arrived at our next stopping point. Dunedin is a town next to the coast on the South Island—not the wilderness, but a great layover. We set up in a free parking spot, the Oval, which is part of the freedom camping network of spots which allow self-contained campers/campervans to park for free. It was sprinkling a tad, then became downright rain when we began to walk. Retreating to the van, we watched through the window and decided to try again once the rain let up. We started off to find the church for mass when it began to rain again. Drenched, we decided to try some dinner. Dinner consisted of beans and franks, which might not have been the wisest of choices when you are trapped in a campervan and it is raining so hard you cannot open a door or window. We are in a row of campers of whom the occupants look like are on average age 22 — and that might be generous. Again, we are the oldest in the bunch. Could be they know something we don’t, or we just have not gained the elder wisdom. We attended mass and then went back to relax.

We spent the night on our luxurious double bed that masquerades as a slab of concrete!! On the other hand, my feet did not touch, and Dave did not have a hole on the side of his bed. The concern was getting down from the bed during the night if we must use the bathroom. It is a bit above the floor, so it is important you are awake for any nightly trips to the restroom. The next morning, we walked through Dunedin which has some marvelous structures and an amazing train station. Shea — you would be in seventh heaven. We did not take a train trip, but it would have been amazing. We included pictures just for you and Jill so that you can plan your next train trip.

Today, a trip to the end of Otago Peninsula to see if we could spot some penguins in their natural habitat. No such luck — they were out to sea and can only be seen in the evening. We did get to see some seals, including one that looked dead. According to the site he/she is just dead to the world and sound asleep. Driving through hurricane winds that buffeted our vehicle, we are now getting ready to settle in for the night. The drive was amazing and followed the coastline. Seems to take much longer to get places here, especially while in a campervan battling some storms. We are now just planning our next stops to the national parks of the South Island. Dave could use some rest after trying for the last several hours to keep the 10-foot tall campervan upright and between the ditches!

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