Saturday, September 23, 2006


We discovered, in the evening, that the small fan heater in the van was broken. This led to a very cold night and very broken sleep. I almost felt like getting up and hugging the heated towel rail at one point. We sluggishly arose and got on the road by 10:00.

If anything the road going back the other way through Banks Peninsular was even more scenic. The same lakes, harbours, inlets and sheep covered hills were all around but hovering on the horizon were the snow covered peaks of the South Island's mountains. I did a double take at first. The midday sun had caused the mountains to be very washed out and the snowcapped peaks looked almost like a line of cloud at first glance. Realising that clouds aren't that angular my brain was able to adjust itself and see them as mountains. Gemma remarked that they looked painted onto a sheet, a la Roadrunner.

We had a stop in Dunsandel which looked to be a tiny roadside town. The Dunsandel roadside store was quite nice, with some nice food options. We were cheap though and only bought a coffee, making some cheese sandwiches in the van instead. 13:30 we arrived in the town of Timaru, our rest stop for the night. Chosen solely because it seemed like a good place to stop and the Lonely Planet said it had a Pak & Save supermarket. Because the place we were staying, another 'Top 10' park, was only 500 metres away we parked the van up before going shopping.

I bought a couple of tall bottles of a local brew, Tui, which styles itself as an India Pale Ale. It's drinkable but not the best I've ever tasted. After having a glass we availed ourselves of this parks best feature, the Jumping Pillow. This is sort of like a big trampoline thing but concave in shape. We knackered ourselves out with about 5 minutes of jumping around on it. It was fun.

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