Hi everyone, it's been a while! Mainly because we've been too busy to sit down at a PC and update you all. However, we're at Franz Josef and couldn't get on the glacier this afternoon so are killing time until we can get to the pub! What's been happening I hear you cry in anticipation!
The flights here were better than expected. I managed to sleep some of the journey from Heathrow to Hong Kong and Var snored her way from Hong Kong to Auckland. The flight from Auckland to Christchurch was short and empty which was a nice change. We had shared the plane from Heathrow with about a 1000 French people, which in itself was not a problem apart from the bloke next to Var whose feet swelled to the size of a small country and stank as well. We were panicking that his feet might explode but we thankfully touched down before to much damage was done.
Next we had to pick up the campervan! I don't know what to tell you other than it was possibly the most traumatic experience of our lives. If you're going to travel to New Zealand spend the 1st night in a hotel before picking up your transport. We were picked up from the airport and driven the ver yshort distance to the depot. After filling in some forms we were handed a DVD to watch. Even now I have no idea what was on the DVD. Apparently it was something about how to fill this thing up, not to switch those things on, how to empty this and not to put this hose somewhere. We were hysterical throughout and despite returning to the depot the following day, we still have no idea where that particular hose goes. A pump was making a particularly scary noise this morning, but the motto for the trip is "if we don't think about it, then it's not happening". So far so good. We did manage to pull ourselves together briefly until the chap spoke those magical words that every girl wants to hear, "I need to show you how to put the snow chains on!" I went to the toilet at this point because my bladder couldn't cope.
On the positive side we did have a GPS. Fantastic! The van, by-the-way, is the size of a small detached house in Earley! Var is doing most of the driving which was decided fairly by me climbing into the passenger seat before she could :D
Christchurch camp site was very nice and after booking in we decided the best thing to do after 30+ hours of travelling was to drive to the supermarket and do some shopping. Trauma number 2....where the hell do you park a campervan? We drove into a retail park, screamed a little, and drove straight back out. We drove to the "huge" mall where there were no suitable parking spaces so drove across the road to the municipal swimming pool and parked there. Thankfully we checked it would be ok as the man told us we would have been clamped. The shopping trip was not the best. Neither of us were in the mood, we hadn't showered (enough said) and were beyond tired. I think we bought a lump of cheese, some pate, some bread and some toilet rolls. Oh and alcohol of course. How we got back to the campsite I will never know. We shouldn't have been on the road really but we got back and made the first of our gourmet meals on New Zealand soil; pate on toast!