Well, it was only for five days but we wanted to get out of here for a bit - so we did. Mish booked us and the van onto the Sunday morning ferry and we had to toss Mark off his mattress at 6.30am to throw it into the back of the van. The ferry is only 6/7 minutes from here and we lined up and drove on straight away. Great trip down - out the harbour by sunrise, across the Strait and through Marlborough Sounds into Picton. Got to Sue and Phil's for lunch. Drove off to Nelson the next day and just poodled along enjoying the river crossings, mountain views, and avenues of stark leafless trees. Camped in a motorcamp that night by a river (that's the christening of the 'camper' van in the image by torchlight). Damp and cool in the valley, but comfy in the van. Taped newspapers along the windows and snuggled into sleeping bags for an early night. Lols would have loved that bit.
Next day we drove further west across the top of the South Island to Kaiteriteri and camped right on the beach front, in another motorcamp. Opened up the huge back door and sat in the van looking out at the water. Nice. Motorcamps in NZ have good kitchens too, so we didn't have to use the meths cooker except for cups of tea. In the morning we made a yummy breakfast of tomatoes on toast in the kitchen, and a woman came in and told us about a scenic beach 10 minutes up the road. Off we went and it was lovely. Split Rock Beach, with a big granite boulder - cleaved like an apple - resting out in the bay. Pottered around on the beach for about an hour, helped a couple of German kayakers get off the beach, and then headed slowly back to Blenheim.
A short trip, but a good break.
The first bit of our new gas heating system went in today.
And we picked up Lola's ashes.
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