Thanks for the memories...

As the say 'Time & Tide wait for no man' it's so true! Just one day later I'm sat in a hammock on a beach in Fiji watching the sun set and suddenly New Zealand, all sevenish weeks of it are confined to memories, memories already fading. This in truth is what this blog is about, 'notes to self', an old decrepit self with a crap memory (no not now, somewhere down the line).

So some remenicing of our 9,000 kilometre ride around Kiwi Country...

Bites, bites and more bites. Unlike Oz nothing will kill you, but the little buggers will gang up and give it a good go. Kathy holds the records with in the order of 200 bites in one day and here I kid you not! After sunbathing on a sandfly nest she looked like a bikini model for 'Braille Weekly', we had to go to the chemist for advice. The chemist said 'i've never seen that before'. mmm, great!

Campsites, on the whole they put English campsites to shame. Here they have everything you need and more. People choose to live on them, not in a trailer park sort of way though, in a "I'm going to live next to the beach, in the mountains or on a lake (delete as appropriate) & not pay any household bills, not gonna buy washing machines, not worry about gardening etc etc.

Akaroa campsite has a 'no longer need' shelf. People leave food, odd bits of camping gear and other random stuff. Checkout is 10am, between 9.30 & 10.30 a couple of old buzzards of the 'we've retired to a campsite' variety circle the leftovers shelf, swooping in to nab anything of any use or resale value. Which is in my book, a little off and against the spirit of us 'real' campers! You have no idea how tempted I was to lace a couple of cans of rice pudding laced with extra strong laxative and leave it for the old purple rinced vultures!

Kiwi roads, there are motorways, some even have two lanes but don't get excited they don't last long. Many of the 'A' roads have single lane (rickety wooden) bridges, one way has priority, the other gives way (in theory but try arguing with a logging truck). By far the best though is the main highway just south of Hokitika, not only does it narrow to a single lane, it has a bloody train track running along it! I waited and looked, looked and waited then went like a bat out of hell!
It's no wonder that in many places beaches are used as the highway!

Green, Blue & White. The land, the sky, the sea, the surf, the clouds, the plants all come in a variety of green, blue and white. The air is so clear everything is so vivid, beautiful and don't even get me started on the star studded night sky.

Quirky, for a Brit abroad the Kiwis are a bit quirky, and Wanaka's Cinema Paradiso demonstrates this perfectly. Half time intermission and drinks and meals are delivered to your seat, a seat which could be anything from an old armchair through barber chair to the front seats of an open top beatle. Get there early for the choice of armchair, oh and book - it only seats 40 or 50 people. The still warm fresh baked cookies are a must at half time!

Political Incorrectness, if you are one of the loony PC brigade from the UK, stay well away! It's quite refreshing to have Tv and Radio presenters say what they (& you) are really thinking. "freedom campers, they are vermin and should be shot", "85th in the Olympic downhill, that's crap but at least she got a free holiday", bugger that, $hit and other mild swearing.

Anyway, bugger this blogging lark I'm on my hols and the sun is shining...
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