Friday, May 30, 2008

On the Road in Ruthie the RV

Our first night was surprisingly comfortable in the RV. John and I are up above and the boys are on a bed in the dining area and the girls at the back. It was a little cold as we turned off the heater for the night. We had to put our luggage in the bathroom and when they described the process for cleaning out the holding tanks, all we could imagine was Robin Williams in the movie RV. We decided that with the great setup in these campgrounds that we would not even use the bathroom or sink.

NZ is divided into the North and South Islands and it is now Autumn here so we decided to do the South Island first and hopefully move north as the temperature fell. There is every type of topography imaginable and lots of adventure stuff. We headed out after provisioning Ruthie to a place called Fairlie which is halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown. Queenstown is where all the bungy-jumping and sky-diving etc. is and the boys wanted to get there fast!

Along the road just west of Christchurch we see the first of about 50 million sheep. They have huge hedges about 50 feet high and trimmed off in a square shape and amazingly enough looked to be made of pine! We also start to see lots of dairy cattle which is the new business here. Apparently the Chinese are buying up all of the NZ milk and putting it into powder form so they can get it out to all of the villagers in China. This has had a huge effect on the Sheep industry which is in dire straits.

A quick night in Fairlie which is just a bump in the road but has a campground with all of the amenities including wireless internet!! We are hoping this is a pattern that continues. We are using a series of campgrounds called Top Ten and they provide you with a map and you just travel from one to the other. There are many other campgrounds available, but once you get onto the Top Ten you kind of get hooked in. They also have little cabins that they rent by the night. These are very basic and the price is basic too. About $15 per night per adult and you use the kitchen and bathroom facilities of the campground.


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