Sunday, March 22, 2009

Since being on the Dusky we have had a full on road trip.  We have had a bit of luck on our trip, some bad and some good.  We camped on the Tasman Sea a couple of nights ago.  After waiving to Tatty Oz we watched a beautiful sunset and saw so many stars.  As we walked onto the Beach Dana spotted a Right Flip Flop.  This is great news because now I have 2shoes.  Mind you they don’t match and the new one is about 2sizes too big, but I now have flip-flops again.  We have also had mainly really beautiful weather.  This is really a treat because we have been camping in the rainforest, and sleeping in a wet tent is not really that fun.  Basically we spend each day pulling off the road at interesting sites and setting up camp in a wide spot on the road or on the beach.  

Within the first hour of leaving for this road trip we ran into a bit of car trouble.  Not surprising to anyone in our car (as this type of thing tends to happen to us) but still worrisome.  Like a professional bus driver I scan my mirrors and dash every 7seconds.  On one of my scans I noticed the check engine light flash then the temperature gauge rise rapidly.  I fought our first response to just continue driving, so I pulled over to figure out the problem.  It turns out that our engine was overheating because we have acquired a hole in the bottom corner of our radiator.  Luckily, Ash and I had dealt with this a couple of summers ago with my car “Tugs”.  As we were waiting for the car to cool down, (you can’t open the radiator hot otherwise it will scald you with hot coolant) two very well dressed Kiwi guys pulled over to see if we needed help.  I attribute this to the fact that Kiwis are very kind and help wherever needed, but it could be because we were three girls in skirts standing next to car with the hood-up.  Whatever it was they were still very helpful.  Come to find out, these two guys were actually golf professionals in town for the New Zealand Open.  Their names were Gary and Philip if you want to google them (the Open was in Queenstown).  Since then we have been keeping a close watch on the temperature gauge and filling the radiator with water whenever it is needed.  Keep our safety and our car in your prayers, we need to make it to Auckland. 

We have tackled the west coast by sleeping on beautiful beaches and lakefronts while being attacked by sand-flies.  Luckily we have built up a bit of immunity to these nasties and they don’t itch nearly as bad as they used to.  We have hit up numerous small   towns on the coast, and have overnighted in the intriguing ones.  We meant to pass through a town called Hokatika, but fortunately for us Hokatika has tons things to offer including a kiwi exhibit, a sock factory, and a pirate ship.  Well needless to say we ended up staying 3days.  We ran into some friends from camping a couple weeks prior, and set up camp on the pirate ship replica.  It was awesome.  We were able to watch the sunset over the ocean, have a bon fire, drink local beer, sail around the lake, and spend St Patty’s day with our new Israeli friends.  On the last day in Hokatika the weather was less than optimum.  It was pouring down rain so much that we couldn’t see any of the natural beauty.  Luckily New Zealand has tons of activities to do indoors… oh wait New Zealand doesn’t have anything to do inside.  This day we definitely felt homeless and we were longing for a comfy sweater, a fireplace, and a book.  We settled on going to the cinema.  Because this town was so small they only have one screen so we were at the mercy of the box office.  We walked into a documentary called “Man on Wire” it was pretty strange, but definitely a close second to a cozy living room…. Well maybe 10th place… oh well.  

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