Thursday, Jan 21, 2016
The evening had been cool and when we got up, we cooked some eggs, toast and fruit for breakfast. We were cleaning the dishes when the smoke alarm for the neighbours camper activated. When I looked over there was a cloud of black smoke coming out of their ceiling vent. The neighbour lady came out of the attached tent and I asked if she needed help. She said ” yes ” and told me that there was a fire in their camper and that the cushions were burning. I went in just as the owner had put out the fire which appeared to have been caused by a short in the electrical connections of the hot water heater. The hot water heater was right under their bed and the heat had melted the metal on the heater, charged the wood supports for the bed above it and burned some of the cushions.
They informed us that they were from New Zealand and they had just started a 2 year camping trip. He was planning to leave in 30 minutes to do some renovation work on his son’s house, when his wife told him that she smelled something burning. It was a good thing that they weren’t sleeping at the time the fire started. They called their insurance agent who informed them that they would have to get an electrician to inspect the damage to verify that it would be covered.
A little later I met 2 young German men, who were finishing a 4 week trip to New Zealand. They were driving a van that was decorated like an old 60’s Hippie van and it had the name Hippie Camper on it. To me it seemed funny because they were far to young to know what a Hippie is, not like me.
We finished packing and started driving south. It didn’t take long for our windshield to get dirty from bug splatter because I had learned which lever was for the turn signal.
There are a lot of traffic circles in New Zealand and once you get used to them, they are much more efficient than having intersections, even if you enter them from the left.
We started to go to Akaroa to take some pictures of the vistas but decided against it when we were half way there. We stopped for lunch in a small cafe near Lincoln, where I also bought a straw hat, before driving toward Moeraki.
On the way, we decided to stop in Oamaru to take some pictures of the historic white limestone buildings.
We continued driving south until we reached Moeraki and we stopped at the ” Fleures” restaurant that is famous for their fish. The restaurant was true to its reputation. I had the brill with capers and lime. It was very tender and tasty but not cheap ( $42 ).
After supper we drove to see the Moeraki Boulders, which are found on the seashore and are mostly submerged at high tide, but they become fully exposed at low tide.
We found a campsite near the Moeraki Boulders and settled in for the night.