We are in Hokitika on the South Island, sitting in a EZY Video store and I have 30 minutes on my two dollar coin. That's right, they have a two dollar coin here. Wild, right?
We've been driving all over the place and have seen tons of NZ. We did not go to Christchurch, so if you were reading about the aftershocks that have been rocking the city don't worry about us. Thats not why we didn't go, though. We didn't go because I was talking to a local about our plans and mentioned Christchurch and he said, "Don't go to Christchurch, its rubbish. Just another town, innit? Fulla shops." Then he grabbed a map and showed us a way to go that would be much better, to see "Real New Zealand." So we took him up on his suggestion.
Spent the last two days driving through the mountains and being blown away. I've taken to pulling over at pullouts just so I can really get a look at our surroundings. Epic. Everything about this country. The mountain roads and fantastic and Captain Slow (the caravan, remember?) and I are working together very well to get us through. I still have motorcycle jealous and haven't seen a rental place, which is either good or bad.
Yesterday we stopped at a tiny little mountain town called Reefton which isn't in any of our guidebooks but Angela had found a brochure for them at an iSite (place for tourists full of information on the surrounding area) we stopped at. They are having a Summer Festival and yesterday was Reefton Trots, so we checked it out. Pretty cool. Horse races but the jockeys ride on little chariots behind the horse. We didn't bet. We couldn't understand the slip. All of Reefton was out, some in their race day finest, and that was cool to see. Told one teenage girl we were from Hawaii and she turned to her friend and did the little excited arm flap and exclaimed, "Hawaii!" Oh yeah, you probably don't get many tourists here. Cool.
The food here is excellent (helps that Angela is cooking it). Still shopping as local as possible. She has bag of yarn and a few slabs of lamb in the camper so when we pass sheep on the road she says to them, "I have summa you in here with me!"
This has been a lot of fun so far. The caravan isn't as cramped feeling as I thought it was going to be. Today is New Year's Eve and we'll be spending it at camp, relaxing. Should be very nice.
Miss and love all of you (except for you, you know who you are). Happy New Year!