We've also managed to tuck 'Out There' up the driveway very nicely which has saved us camping at the local golf course (a NZMCA CAP- costs apply parking site). Mind you, parking at the golf course might not have been too bad, I may have finally managed to have a game of golf, give my clubs a chance to pay their way- they’ve been carted around in the storage box for the last year hardly seeing the light.
I must say my kitchen view is not the most desirable I’ve had on our travels; the carport fascia passes right through the middle of the window a couple of inches from the glass. But I can see over the top and out to the paddock behind to see if the weather is changing. Although I only have to open the door to know that it’s the middle of winter in the deep south- freezing cold, finger numbing and chilly even when the sun is shining.
It’s been great to see the family again of course, and the kids have grown so much in the year since we last saw them- grown up both in height and maturity. Ollie is now 8 and Ruby 5, nearly 6 going on 10. We surprised them on the day we arrived by going with Mum to collect them from school. The look on their faces when they spotted us was priceless. And yesterday the school had their weekly (or maybe its fortnightly) community assembly where family are able to attend. There’s nothing like a hall full of children singing the national anthem to give you goose bumps, took me straight back to primary school.
Lonely in Lumsden- we had a couple of nights at the NZMCA Park in Lumsden before heading down the road to Winton, the first night with one other van, the second by ourselves.
We also had some friendly visitors who called into see us. Paul & Amanda have a 5th-wheeler and Amanda saw a photo of Lumsden on the NZMCA Facebook page that I had posted and as they were passing through Lumsden they decided to call in and say hello. Wasn’t that lovely? Great things happen when you belong to NZMCA, it’s just one big friendly family.
The storm arrived during our second night at Lumsden; ferocious wind and rain that bucketed down. We survived it fine, although we were buffered and rocked about a bit. The gravel patch was a large pool of water in the morning and the temperature had certainly dropped- there was snow out there somewhere but not on our patch.
It was raining and miserable as we left the park and we had to stop in Lumsden on the way out of town to do our abultions (I’ve decided that’s a better word than ‘dump’). From the bustling village centre I could see a light dusting of snow on the hills behind the township. And that was the extent of our winter snow storm. More is the pity, I could have quite happily been caught back in Arrowtown for a few days, I want photos of lots of snow. I was a bit peeved off that we left Arrowtown just two days before the big dump (there’s that word again). David’s quite happy we missed that bullet. He is not coping too well with the chilly weather, but we’ve come this far and it’s a long way back to the warmth.
To ease his discomfort, I visited the ‘famous in the South Island’ Lumsden bakery, which is right next door to the dump station, and bought some of their famous doughnuts and pies for lunch to have when we arrived in Winton. The bakery has won the ‘Deals on Wheels Best Eatery On The Road’ competition three years running. The doughnuts were so yummy I forgot to take a photo of them before we ate them!
I should have a few more back dated blog posts ready to post this coming week- believe me I am trying to catch up!