We have the camper. Small and bijou but with everything needed for our 5-month trip. Having put both our bags in plus two rucksacks we did wonder if we had been a tad overzealous with what we had brought but stopping at Victoria park for a sort out, it was amazing how we managed to find space for all our clothes. A bit of rearranging was necessary, we put items we didn't think we would need to often in more obscure places, and made a vow to make sure to stay tidy!
At Victoria park there was also an exotic bird aviary very near to the entrance. A must-see for me and plenty of photos taken. A café was but a short walk further on, tea and sausage roll went down nicely. Right next door to that was the Winter Gardens, spectacular in its blooms and vibrant colours.
Leaving that lovely place it was then find a Pac and Save store for a few essentials. Not to go mad mind, can't buy meat or anything that needs cooking because this van only has an electric cooker. Works fine when plugged into the electrics but with us freedom camping most of the time, this means a lot of salads and cold food will be the only things on the menu. We found a Shiraz fairly cheap. $9.99 a bottle we didn't think that bad (roughly £5) that would do to celebrate our first day on the road.
We found a spot to overnight next to Whanganui river. Ideal as on Sunday we booked the steam boat trip up stream for a two-hour cruise. Of course, it rained during the night and well into the morning. Fully expecting to get seriously wet on the cruise, the rain stopped as we boarded and stayed dry for the rest of the morning. It was almost on departure time I suddenly realised I had left my glasses at the public toilets when I went for a wash first thing. Talk about panic. A quick chat with the captain to see how long I had before sailing and 20 minutes was all he could give me. Blimey, knee was giving me some gyp but gritting one's teeth I rushed the quarter of a mile to the toilets and found to my delight, they were still on the baby changing mat where I had left them. Gosh, how lucky was I! I made it back with 10 minutes to spare..
|And away they go|
So with one more night before meeting up with Marilyn and David (Waka Huia) we went back to Victoria park. Freedom camping was permitted here and the toilets stay open until 8 pm and reopen at 6 am. May have to curtail how much we drink tonight, although we do have the porta potty to fall back on!