motorhome to middle earth 3

March 25, 2009


March 19th – 25th

The Fellowship of the Ring now disbanded, we carry on alone. But remember – .not all who wander are lost.

There are 8 million stories in this trip and these are just some of them.

In a motor home in another hemisphere, far, far away………

Star Gazers.

Two go to South Island.

Indiana Wolinski and the Last Crusade.

Carry on Campervanning

Around the World in 135 Days

Last of the Motorhomes

Licence to thrill….extreme sports and chases.

The (Sand) Fly

Road to New Zealand….South Specific.

Motorhome in the Mist.

Breakfast at DOC’s

The Reader (34 and counting)

Ready, Steady – Mount Cook!

Last of the Spring Sauvignon Blanc.

Silence of the Vans.

How many book/film/TV quotes/titles can I distort before you become irritated?

The following events happen in real time.

Lake Manapouri -entrance to Doubtful Sound – enchanting and mysterious – we found the River that Sam and Frodo travelled but we failed to find the Dead Marshes.

Kingston Flyer – a black steam locomotive puffed and hooted it‘s way through the Remarkable Mountain Range (and they are, indeed, remarkable in their beauty!)

Kawarau River – a mum and her 10 year old son were tied together and jumped from a high bridge… was the original Bungy Jump

Mount Cook – walked up to Hooker Glacier. – the glaciers creaked and groaned, New Zealand Falcons screeched and a naked man jumped in and out of the turquoise milk lake to a round of applause (and possibly hypothermia!). I loved Mount Cook, we woke to more sunshine and glistening mountain tops and I didn’t want to leave.

Pancake Rocks – hundreds of thin slices of limestone rock stacked on top of each other, foundations of distorted caves undercutting their sometimes precarious balance. A beautiful walkway of stone and wood, totally hemmed in by lush tropical vegetation allowed superb vantage points. Later discovered this had been built after a tragedy where a viewing platform collapsed and 17 young people died. This place was an assault on all the senses. The thunderous swoosh, crunch, boom and bang as the waves pounded and slapped the fragile limestone; the anticipation of which wave would pound through and force the spray up through fissures in the rock, the delight when the whale spout emerged and created rainbows in the resulting mist, the surprise when blow holes erupted elsewhere and bursts of spray came from odd directions; the taste of the sea when you were gently showered; but above all the sights – the colony of petrels watching the show from the top of a flat rock, the snow studded peninsula stretching in the distance across the bay and hundreds (no, thousands) of white horses galloping in on the rolling waves. All we needed was a guinness.

Eddie parked the van to take a photo. It started to roll gently down the hard shoulder. I had to unbuckle, dive across, press the brake pedal and find the handbrake which was in the wrong place. In such moments, heroes are made. So, what exactly does our insurance say?

Cape Foulwind is home to a colony of hugely entertaining Kekone Seals. The dads had done their duty and buggered off. The toddlers had a training pool and played ‘Kingy’ on a rock and were occasionally showered or washed out of the safe area – their mums either ‘cried’ them back in or went and got them. The teenagers had advanced to surfing in the wild waves and were having great fun. Mums cared for very young pups or splayed out sunbathing or had arguments with much screeching and fin flapping. It was all a bit like a Copley break duty really.

Drove 7 …seven….slow, juddering miles along a gravel track to do the following;- a) stand in Aragorn’s footsteps as he guided the hobbits through ‘Chetwood Forest’ away from Bree b)walk through an orc ridden, magic pool forest (where the mozzies sounded like 633 Squadron) c)clamber over massive fossil stamped boulders d) look down into the dizzy depths of Harwood’s Hole – the biggest sink hole/cave in the southern hemisphere (400m down, 70m across) e)stay in our most remote overnight stay yet, no light pollution for miles and miles and miles, we wrapped ourselves in the blackest of inky, black, velvet, black blackness ….the night sky was phenomenal.


We are so privileged to be doing this.

 P.S. We have walked part of a coastal path in the Abel Tasman National Park – stunning beaches. Tomorrow I have the chance to ride a horse that starred in Lord of the Rings…middle horse in the 19th row in the battle scenes…shall I?!!!!abel-tasman-view1


One Response to “motorhome to middle earth 3”

  1. Becca (M) Says:

    Love the picts and the reports! I am still so jealous of all of your travels! Any honeymoon recommendations for me and Chris?

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