Monday, 20 January 2014

On The Road Again

Finally after a few false starts we will be back on the road again this morning a little over five weeks since arriving in sunny Invercargill. Those first brilliant sunny, calm, blue sky days lulled us into a false sense of promise; it's been downhill all the way, and fast, since then. Even early this morning as I type at the table watching the camp come alive, the wind is still strong & gusty & the rain has begun to fall.  But we will pull out of camp this morning, we've made that decision and we are more than  ready to go. In preparation we pulled off site yesterday to empty our tanks as usually the camp dump station is busy in the early mornings as other vans empty before heading off so we decided to do our ablutions in the relative quiet of late yesterday morning. Our camp ground host, Doug had rigged up some extra pipes for us to use because as some of you might remember, we couldn't quite get to the sump before and had to use a Public Dump station when we left for the farm on Christmas morning.

We are once again stocked to the gunwales and have completed all our last minute errands, all except one that is; we do need to get a WOF (warrant of fitness) on the 5th-wheeler which will be our first port of call but after that it's be around to say a last farewell to the family, point the rig north east back towards the Catlins and with a brisk tail wind it shouldn't be too long before we can set up camp again. We have a tentative plan for the next few weeks; the first step is to complete the Catlins before moving inland. But as we're finding out, and the beauty of not working to an itinerary, plans can change from one day to the next so who knows where my next post might come from.
Despite the weather we have loved being in Invercargill, I now know why it is such a lovely city; that's to distract you from the weather- although Southerners are quick to point out that they had a glorious summer last year - yeah, OK,  we believe you. We have loved catching up with the family and while we'll miss them we know we'll be back in May to see them again.
I made a few notes & took some shots of a few quirky & odd things that I came across in the city;
This barber shop is just down the road from the camp-
Potatoes are sold by the bucket on the side of the road- "Bucket of Potatoes $20" and you get to keep the bucket albeit without a handle!
Virtually every shop has a sign "Please remove muddy boots"- this just goes to prove that the weather is crap! ;)
A good Southern Man (or woman) doesn't drink & drive

Cherries are sold by the box load (on the side of the road also) at around $8kg- big fat plump juicy cherries! Yummmmm....

The standing joke was that Tim (Invercargill's colourful mayor) would turn up to welcome us at the café where we had lunch a few times. Instead of Tim we got Marcus (TV celeb) & his brand new baby!

A good Southern family mostly eats white bread, or white bread covered in cheese- yes, there are different styles & flavours of bread but nowhere near the variety & amount I've seen elsewhere. My favourite ciabatta might have half a dozen loaves or buns available if I'm lucky and that's in the large Pak 'n Save & Countdown supermarkets.

There are plenty of low flying wood pigeons around the city-

This van was in our campground-

Wine is very expensive & not available from the supermarkets, the Trust have a monopoly in Invercargill city and you can only buy from a liquor store. My usual bottles of wine are $3-$4 more expensive, and that's on special.

Cheese Rolls (that Southern specialty) are sold in the supermarket by the half dozen!

Keep smiling, see you "Out There"

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