Well we made it, as I type this we are tucked up in our camper van on a camp site in Hammer Springs, New Zealand. The flights over were actually pretty good, Matilda did really well and apart from the take off at Heathrow really didn’t cry much at all. Full marks go to both Heathrow and Singapore airlines for the special treatment they give to families. Heathrow have a separate line for families to go through security, much quicker and more relaxing. Then Singapore airlines pulled us out of the queue at the gate and took us straight to the front to have boarding passes checked before letting us board the plane before anyone else.
The stopover in Singapore for 11 hours was a god send, we checked into the terminal hotel and managed to convince Matilda to sleep for 6 hours. It was then just a mere 9 hour flight to Christchurch. So almost 22 hours of flying with no major incident and we were almost done. But Matilda had other ideas, queue some projectile vomiting all over me and the wall and the seat and the floor. A perfect end to the flight and made even more pleasant by not having a change of clothes. I spent the next 3 hours until we had our camper van stinking of baby sick.
What we also hadn’t reckoned on was queuing behind about 60 rugby fans to get our camper van. I tried playing the tired baby card to get priority treatment to no avail. They did have a barista in the office making free coffee though so I caught up with my days quota of flat whites. When we finally got our van we headed into Christchurch to have a look around and do some food shopping. Now you may think that England is expensive for food but you haven’t seen anything. we spent almost £100 on food that would have cost less than £60 in England. Not a good start to the holiday.
Driving around a city that has been wrecked by an earthquake is a very strange experience, the whole of the downtown is closed off still. I didn’t take any photo’s as it didn’t seem quite right, but I felt almost cheated that we didn’t get to see the city properly.
It was then on to the campsite for our first attempt at getting the beds set up and our stuff unpacked. In theory this van is designed for 4 adults but there is no way you would holiday in one with that many. It’s just about fine for the 3 of us, but even that is hard at times. Matilda has her own double bed in the roof and seems to have now adjusted to the time zone and is almost sleeping through the night as normal. That first night she was up about 4 times and we were awake from 4am with her. As a result all 3 of us crashed out by 6pm the first 2 nights.
Since then we have been down to Banks Peninsula, had a walk around the parks in Christchurch and then today driven to Kaikoura to look at the seals and tonight we’re in Hammer Springs, home to natural hot thermal pools which we shall be checking out in the morning. There has been some pretty scaring driving so far along mountain roads with sheer drops on the side and just a rickety wooden fence to stop us toppling over. The lady of the manor is a particular fan of this type of road judging by the shrieks of excitement coming from the seat next to me. We even did part of the journey today through the mountains with it snowing. It was at this point that I was glad we hadn’t hired a really big camper van.
It’s 8.30pm which means I’m ready to hit the sack and try and catch up with some more sleep, besides which there isn’t much to do when you’re in a campervan with a 5 month old baby who is sleeping! But here’s a few photo’s from the last couple of days to keep you going, will post more later in the week.