Tuesday 28 May 2024

And then we started heading home

There were approximately another 1000 kms to drive to get back to the Picton Ferry and it took us 10 days. The first half of the journey was us retracing our steps back up to Oxford. There was:

  • one night at the NZMCA camp at Lowburn where I managed to rip the drain pipe off the watertank - I went over a bump that was a tad too high. I had missed the turn off (the sign is very small and set well back off the road - I'm not saying it's NZMCA's fault, but I am blaming them, okay?) so I pulled off to the side of the road and then, instead of turning around, I went over the ridge on the road side. Didn't notice the dangling pipe at that point though.
In the evening we went for a short walk along beside the Clutha River/Lake Dunstan - such beautiful clear calm water.
The evening view across to SH 8 to Tarras, Lindis Pass and Omarama. Beautiful reflections and light on the hills to the east.
Such beautiful clear water down here.

  • a visit to Mt Pisa Landings to see Luke Win of PeakRV who sorted the leak from the awning brackets.
The first view of the Southern Alps on our way to Mt Pisa
Luke said he couldn't scrape out the debri between the awning and the motorhome body. My suggestion of a leaf blower prompted him to use his leaf vacuum. I want one, by the way... Pukekos are buggers for strewing bark chips and mulch and dirt across the concrete. Bastards!
This battery powered applicator for flashing in a tube is amazing - but very expensive, so I don't want one of them. But I reckon Luke Nattrass would have coveted one if he was still on the tools...
I could have flipped the photo over 180 deg but it would have looked like Luke Win was upside down. Sabre Bond Right Grabby Adhesive is the go!


  • the drive to Omarama Top 10 for 2 nights, for the first of which the motorhome was waterless. When we stopped on the way there at Tarras to get lunch, I noticed the bracket for the water tank emptying pipe was bent and the pipe was dangling. I moved off the road, and David's job was to secure the two things together. But unfortunately, the pipe from the tank is a push-in one rather than a screw in. So when he put some tension on the tape the pipe just pulled out. Dammit! And the tank drained immediately.
    • Do you know just how often you turn on the tap when you are prepping veg and cooking? Not a happy evening. One of my more spectacular and sustained tantrums... David wisely stayed away, clever man!
    • However, in spite of and simultaneously with the tantrum, I made a fabulous vegetable cottage pie. Just yummy! I think I can remember the recipe I made up as I cooked and created through my red haze. 
      • I know it had red lentils because, in an effort to calm my mind, I had walked over to the 4 Square shop looking for a can of lentils and found they only had the dried variety. A much better option - cheaper and more of them!
      • it occurs to me I may have been channelling Gordon Ramsay during the tantrum phase! 😂😇😈
  • Once the temperature outside rose above 2 deg the following morning, I drove back to Cromwell (slowly in case there was ice on the roads) to get Luke from PeakRV to sort that 'no possibility of water' problem out. Took him 15 minutes and most of that was going to the hardware shop to get a threaded fitting and a cap. Champion chap!
    • While I was doing that trip on my own (plus doing supermarketing), David did the laundry - Omarama Top10 has excellent laundry facilities. Honestly, he did not want to come back to Cromwell, so getting the laundry done and sitting in the guest lounge watching a downloaded programme on Netflix was a much better option for us both. Of course, he would happily have sat in the guest lounge the whole time, but there was no way I could simultaneously do the laundry and drive to Cromwell and back, even though I can multitask. Remote transfer of wet laundry into the dryer is such a chore ...
  • The second night at Omarama was much more peaceful and we had leftover cottage pie which was still yummy.
  • Then it was back to Ashburton, but that trip was not without incident. We stopped at the Fairlie Bakehouse to buy pies for our dinner with Greg and Alan. And so that I had a break from driving, we stopped at a little layby around the corner, David got the chairs out and we ate the most delicious apple shortcake tart from the Bakehouse and drank tea in the sunshine. We were just about to leave (I had started the engine) when a young woman knocked on my window and asked if we could help them as they'd had an accident. Long story short is that I went into problem solving mode - I think it's my default setting actually after more than 3 decades of doing it for a living:
    • I phoned the local panelbeater and got him to come and assess the damage (verdict: car was not driveable more than 500 metres to his yard)
    • I rang their Christchurch motel and said they wouldn't be there till the next day, and then rang and checked that the motel attached to the campsite we were staying at in Ashburton had space for them
    • The rental car company 
      • wanted them to drive back to CHC in the damaged car, then
      • decided they should wait in Fairlie while the company delivered another car to them
    • I told the rental car company that neither of those were viable options and that we would take them to Ashburton that evening and then drop them in CHC the next day (David's excellent suggestions, by the way 👍👍😍😍), and that the company could collect the car from the Fairlie panelbeater's place.
    • We drove Iris and Jerry to Ashburton - it was a lovely trip until Geraldine when the gale force wind arose - the strongest I've ever experienced in the motorhome. Very scary!
  • Once we were all checked in, David and I were picked up by Greg along with pies and salad ingredients. Much chatting while we waited for Alan to get home from work - well, someone has to be an income earner!
  • In the morning, we took Iris and Jerry to breakfast at the Somerset Grocer in Ashburton and then drove on the Christchurch and dropped them at their motel - a very lovely place: Golden Star Motel. If we happen to be in CHC and need a motel, that will be the place to stay.
Jerry and Iris were on their honeymoon and two days from returning home to Taipei when they had the accident. But breakfast at the Somerset Grocer was a good antidote. Such lovely young people.
There are some nice photos of us on this holiday. 💖💞
Lovely young people


  • We wanted to do a supermarket shop before leaving CHC and seemed to drive in circles along very narrow streets with a wide vehicle - until I remembered that there had been a New World on Fendalton Road that we were near.
    • Did you know there is a dress code at that New World? Did you guess that I didn't meet it, even though I was wearing a beautiful $300 possum and merino jersey? Not tailored enough - and insult to injury, my hair was too spiky. Definitely not suitably coiffed ...
  • We were due at Oxford to stay overnight with Dean and Phaedra again. The plan was that Gavin and Deb would come for dinner, but Gav wasn't feeling too good, so it was just the four of us, and a very good thing too!
You wouldn't think that 4 people (Dean, Phaedra, David and me) could polish off this lot, would you? But yes we did! There was some curry and rice left, but not much. The poppadoms and naan bread and dips and chutneys were demolished. AND we had apple and feijoa crumble with icecream for dessert. Talk about piglets!
There was a significant frost overnight with a temperature of about -4 deg C, I think. We were warm and snuggly in the motorhome, but Dean had put a mat across the end of their wooden pathway to the house as it gets slippery in this kind of weather. The deck and the table took a while to become frost-free!
The view across Dean and Phaedra's place over to the hills beyond but not far from Oxford
Before we left Oxford we went to the dump station. I was on photography while David was doing the cassette (euphemism for emptying the last few days' shopping ...) Probably one of best views from a dump station that I remember seeing. Although the one outside Hokitika takes some beating, to be fair.


  • Next day we thought we'd meet Gav and Deb for lunch, but Deb's son Louis had just tested positive for Covid. So no lunch with them. By the time I'd found that out, I had already purchased sushi - with chicken in it for them. So we left it in their letterbox as a treat. 
  • We had our lunch at Northcote Park in Rangiora, about 700metres down the road from Gav and Deb's place - well away from Louis' covid bugs ...
  • Our next stop was at Woodend, where we parked overnight on Megan and Forbes' driveway. You'll remember that Megan and Forbes are our new friends who we met at Fiordland Lodge and spent a lot of time with on the Doubtful Sound cruise.
    • Indian takeaways for dinner, and lots of games of 5 Crowns. Megan and I won...
    • lots of cuddles for David with Megan and Forbes' 3 dogs, Molly, Jock and the dog with the unremembered name - I have texted Megan to ask but so far she hasn't responded. She's probably at work...
Molly is on the right hand arm of the chair, Jock is down beside her, and the other little one wants to be in on the cuddling action too.
This qualifies as heaven for David

And while I don't like being licked by a dog, David has no such scruples...
There are two dogs in there ...


    • because Megan and I were winning 5 Crowns convincingly, David and Forbes decided to take on the card game 500 technique of Misere - aiming to 'go out the back door'. In 500 you do it by scoring no points, i.e. winning no tricks. In 5 Crowns you do it by losing each hand and doing so by ditching wildcards and jokers for your opponents and picking up every high scoring card. Those moves pretty much guaranteed they picked up a huge number of points and lost by about 795 to 200ish. Bastards...  But Megan and I will get them back the next time we are all together - that has yet to be arranged!
M&M won the first game, and by the 3rd hand of the second game we were winning by 63 points. That is when D&F changed strategy...
Given their strategy of cheating, I wouldn't be surprised if they both turned out to be ACT supporters! 😡




And, on that note, here is my strategy and my values.



Jenny said...

Oh dear, water problems indeed. You are such good people, helping out the young couple like that, so much easier for you to make the necessary phone calls than visitors from afar.

Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

It was simpler for me to do it, Jenny. We know how prejudiced some people are about Asian tourists. And they were young - an older assertive voice that hasn't just been involved in an accident is far more authoritative...


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