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The adventures of Fe & Chris

Archive for December, 2007

Quality broadcasting from NZ

We’ve been enjoying New Zealand radio transmission. They have several staions that play lots of music from the 70’s and 80’s and none of the modern rubbish (ooh, I am old).

I feel it necessary to pass on couple of juicy titbits of spoken word:

1. An advert for The Shed Magazine: it contains articles about anything you can do in, or with, a shed. Sounds slighlty deviant, but if this tickles your fancy try

2. News item: A man was charged with being in possession of a fence post (among other more serious misdemeanours). Can you be charged with that under Scots or English Law?

Tourist sheep

During our travels we have noticed a curious phenomenon - tourists behave rather like sheep.

Let me explain: on our second day in our new camper van we approached Lake Pukaki - a beautiful blue lake with Mt Cook behind. We pulled into a small side road, parked and stopped to admire the view. Unfortunately, our van was visible from the main road and before long ten other vehicles followed our lead and our seclusion was gone.

Now, this irked me slightly - it was our spot! But I did feel even more sorry for a German couple prancing about on the shoreline. They were about to enjoy a private skinny dip in the glacial waters - a brave event under any circumstances. They modestly glanced up to confirm their privacy before the final bit of their undressing and looked slightly surprised to see 20 people staring at them. Oh dear!

Being German, they carried on regardless and even filmed the event. Marvellous stuff. What would we do without Germans?

We first noticed this phenomenon in Mexico (the sheep thing, not naked Germans - we noticed them a long time ago). Being vegetarian we would choose our restaurant based on whether it served something we could eat rather than any qualitative assessments. So we’d sit down in a completely empty establishment of entirely mediocre quality and before long it would be full of gringos not enjoying their meat.

Our new abode

Last week we picked up our new camper van. We were slightly apprehensive since we’re going to be in it for two months, and the last one was fine, but basic to say the least (and this current one was even cheaper). We were therefore very pleasantly surprised to discover it had fridge, two hobs, a grill, electric pump tap and even fluffy towels and a duvet - luxury! We’re easily pleased nowadays! Oh, and the fold up chairs even had cushions - so posh! The table and seating area inside the van turns into the bed and so we have seating for about eight people - so if you’d like to come round for dinner - we even have a spare bed in the roof!

We can in theory stand up in the van which is also a nice change, although Chris still succeeds in banging his head at least once a day - think we might have to get him a hard hat for Christmas (if his head lasts that long!).

Needless to say we are enjoying our new found luxury accommodation and have been taking it to lots of nice places - there’s loads of free, pretty camping places if you look hard enough!

The Land of the Long White Cloud

We’re in New Zealand! The nice Quarantine people at the airport did indeed clean our boots for us! Over the last few days we’ve been enjoying the fine hospitality provided by Justin and Nicola, friends from the Polar Star.

We have seen the sights of Christchurch - in places like a clone of Oxford and Cambridge (you can even go punting). We have been welcomed by the numerous species of European birds which were introduced by the early settlers to make us feel at home. This has been a successful enterprise, we do indeed feel at home, but now I have a hankering for something of a more native persuasion.

I found a lovely model of the MS Explorer in the Antarctic department of the Christchurch museum. It was labelled “A Historic Tourist Ship” - the label now needs a little updating with its recent demise, but is largely correct.

Yesterday we had a lovely drive on the Banks Peninsula and enjoyed several tiny Hector’s Dolphins, some wonderful scenery and some very nice food (there’s even a cheese shop!).

We’re off to collect our new campervan home in a few minutes. Must fly…

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