We picked up our campervan yesterday afternoon and were pleasantly surprised to learn that we had been upgraded to not only a larger vehicle but a microwave, toaster, 2 extra seats, extended sleeping quarters, and an automatic transmission. After purchasing over $200.00 in groceries we hit the road!! We did encounter our first one-way bridge, aka scaaarrryy. Lara may have had a near death experience. I quickly learned that the semi drivers here are crraazzzy, I was legit passed by 4 of them driving through the mountains. Our first stop was the quaint little town of Kaikoura, basically just a pit stop on our way up the east coast. We had dinner, walked around a bit, and saw a seal pup! We ended the night randomly at a campsite in Seddon. Enjoyed a bottle of wine then hit the hay!
This morning we again were pleasantly surprised to discover the bathroom facilities at our campsite were so luxurious! Ate some breakfast then drove the final stretch to Blenheim. Lara and Andrea have informed me that Blenheim’s maps have been extremely misleading, hence our twenty turn-arounds today. We went on a walk first thing this morning along a ‘river’ (more like a creek) which was definitely not all it was cracked up to be, couldn’t even see the ‘river’ half the time. We did end up on the top of a hill with a phe-nom-enal view. Afterwards we traveled to Spy Valley Winery and spent the afternoon wine tasting! SO yummy, we each bought our own bottle.
We are now at our campsite for the night right on the beach ☺ with mountains running all alongside the road behind us. We went exploring right away and stumbled upon a secluded beach where we later enjoyed our dinner and a few beers. We had a little bit of a show when 3 guys showed up to go repelling-SO cool. After dinner we set out to enjoy another walk that quickly turned into an intense hike straight up the freaking mountain. We were all huffing and puffing about 5 mins into it. The view at the end was pretty spectacular and well worth the effort. So far so good!
Tomorrow we are hitting the road first thing in the morning for Nelson and Moteuka (if you care to follow along on a map).