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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

South Island here we come.

Oh dear, someone got it wrong! And that someone is not a million miles away from me! We were told to arrive at the Bluebridge ferry at least an hour before departure and Ian had (or thought he had) booked the early crossing. By 7.45am we had arrived, drove to where the kiosk was and gave the official our booking number. Now, this is where the confusion set in. He looked at us quizzically, mentioned that we must be very keen seeing as how we were 12 hours early! "Pardon," said Ian "We were told to arrive an hour before sailing". "Yes," said he "but you are booked on the 20.45 ferry and not the 8.45am. Oh, dear....we looked at each other in disbelieve. Ian got out his booking confirmation and sure enough, it stated 8.45pm. But all was not lost because he took pity, said how lucky we were to arrive at this time as the 8.15am had started boarding (there isn't an 8.45 am crossing) and as the boat wasn't full he would change our booking. Being last on we expected to be last off. In fact, we were one of the first to disembark at Picton.

Leaving Wellington

Ask any of the New Zealanders and they all say the same. South Island is stunning. First impressions are right. The sun shone making the views breathtaking and we had only got as far as Nelson. The coast road was full of S bends and steep climbs and Ian happened to mention that brake pads would have to be changed more often than not as his foot was constantly on the brake on the way down.

At Nelson, we stopped to shop and get petrol. Even more expensive on the South Island...well at Nelson anyway. At $2.8 cents a litre, it cost nearly $80 to fill the tank. Another carpark campsite was found overlooking the park. Has very basic loos and without paper, I might add (good job we brought our own) but it's free. Lacks washing facilities like showers, a sink to do the pots and pans and of course, there is no power. Laptops are charged whilst we are driving by a small Powertech inverter. Works a treat and means we can do a lot more in the way of freedom camping. A shower now and then wouldn't come amiss though and a washing machine could be useful too. Maybe treat ourselves tomorrow at a proper paid for campsite.

And today's wildlife,

Lots of cicadas around.



Andrew Tidy said...

Irene - we are off to NZ for a long trip next winter and want to use a camper van. How did you source yours? Andy

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

Hi Andy, we spent hours on the web at different hire companies, looking at prices and size of van. Then it was a question of availability. We wanted to do freedom camping so a loo has to be provided. This van has a porta potty tucked under the seat but if you really want luxury then go for the larger vans. They, of course, are loads more expensive. One thing I would say is as soon as you find a van you like get it booked. Ours were booked well over 10 months before the visit and we only just got it!

Andrew Tidy said...

Thanks, glad you are having a good time. Which hire company did you use?

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

It was Campasouth.

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