We are on the road again, heading for Invercargill for the Clan Johnston/e AGM and general festivities. It’s been a while ….
First we had to find someone to look after Penny, a diabetic Oscar and Georgie. Kiwihomesitters came to the rescue, the first people to contact us turned out to be ideal. We met them for the first time a week ago and they immediately connected with the pets and vice versa. Phil was not fazed at the thought of giving Oscar his insulin injections. Thus reassured, plans for our departure forged ahead.
On the morning of our departure the last thing to be loaded into the caravan was of course the perishables,, and that’s where things came slightly unhinged. We drove off happily, thinking we had everything when in fact we had forgotten to load the bread and cheese (but we DID have wine!), a big bowl of fruit and the whisky and Canterbury Cream! All were ready and waiting. We also drove off with the caravan door open and our wonderful home sitter who waved us off immediately sent a text to warn us.
South went in the light rain until someway north of Oamaru when we turned off on the road to Kurow but stopped half way at a NZMCA camp at Aviemore. There was only one other caravan there. A herd of very curious cows welcomed us from the other side of a fence; but the time we had set up the caravan and I had grabbed my camera, more than half of them had wandered over to the fence to goggle at the strange vehicle – or was it people?
After setting up we disconnected the ute and drove to Oamaru for the missing perishables plus an extra hot water bottle. Which turned out to be very useful.
Next morning we made a late start and stopped off at Moeraki for coffee at the cafe overlooking the boulder-strewn beach. We did not have time to go right down to the boulders, a pity as it was low tide. Next time perhaps.
Past Dunedin (with a quick shot of the fabulous railway building plus the one opposite, both from the moving ute) we were getting hungry so stopped at a convenient rest stop, the first to appear for a very long time. We were munching away when a woman popped her head in the doorway and asked if we would mind talking about the caravan. It turned out she and her husband are thinking of buying one, and were seeking general information which Dave was happy to give.
The countryside in South East Otago, just north of the Catlins, is so very different from Central Otago. Beautiful green rolling countryside. The weather was very changeable but I tried to take a few photos as we rolled along – nowhere to stop with a caravan to take photos. The old bridge over the Clutha at Balclutha still the same, also the horses at Clinton, which barely got a glance. We arrived in Invercargill just before dusk and checked in at the Coachman Motel which offers good powered sites for caravans, also hot showers.
Tomorrow the Clan Johnston/e events start. Both Dave and I are Johnstons but not related, at least as far back as I can trace to the 1700s.