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The adventures of Fe & Chris

Excel loos

I am, to some extent, a connoisseur of toilets and my opinions of a place will often be affected by the quality of their public toilets. So far on this trip I have refrained from commenting on the many different qualities of toilets I have come across, although now I feel the time has come to refer to a particular experience I recently had.

In Portobello - a small town on the Otago Peninsula (just East of Dunedin) we stopped off to use the amenities. Chris was the first to visit said toilet “ExcelLoo” - a self cleaning toilet with lights outside the door to indicate whether the loo was engaged or otherwise (Think Virgin train’s loos), it even warned that after 10 minutes within the toilet, a “loiterer alarm” would go off. Hmmm. Anyway, on entering, I must say I did not find it particularly clean (nothing to do with Chris I hasten to add). I also noticed piped music - nice touch. The toilet paper was dispensed automatically at a touch of a button - unhygienic surely? I had to press it twice to get a decent amount for example.

The toilet would only flush when you started washing your hands (again an automated process - your hands even lit up with the red sensor light), or if you pressed the button to open the door - this meant that the toilet flushed, two or even three times - presuming you washed you hands that is.

We came across them again in Dunedin itself, although disappointingly no piped music this time. I must say that they seem to be a waste of money, in my humble opinion!


  Shorn Graeme wrote @ December 13th, 2007 at 8:55 pm

Excellent stuff - I can see how these blogs could be used by serious travellers to pass on critical information regarding the facilities available in hostile places. I am sure anyone travelling to NZ will find this last posting to be of great value. Did you note the phoine number or web address as I think I may want one of those for our new house.

  Alex wrote @ December 19th, 2007 at 5:02 am

Fiona - maybe it’s the basic facilities that you’ve been used to that makes the public toilets so interesting. I’m starting to wonder whether the expense for a round the world trip could have been swapped for a ‘day-rider’ on Selby buses. There are some fine specimen public loos round here, I’m sure!! xx

  Keir wrote @ December 20th, 2007 at 1:12 am

I think for comparason sake we should ask Mike to do a review of the portaloo on the Portobello water front (the Scottish one). wonder if prices compare?

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