Day 1….. An early start for breakfast meant we could be first in line to pick up Aramoana 2, we had been forewarned by our motorhome rental company ‘it was going to be a busy day of hire contracts’. Three courses later we were ready for off, a thirty minute Taxi ride and we were back at the Wilderness Motorhomes office.
Lucky for us we were first in and first out after a brief but informative instruction and signing of terms and conditions. Aramoana 2 did not disappoint, one metre longer than her predecessor but identical in width she sported all the mod cons inside with the added luxury of a separate shower and toilet as well as a static bed with access to both sides.
First stop was the nearest supermarket, long-suffering took on the initial drive while I retrieved the shopping list made from menu plans compiled back in England ready for our basic stock cupboard essentials, we even remembered our NZ Four Square shopping bags from Road Trip 1.
Fully stocked Aramoana 2 was ready to transport us to the first of our South Island destinations. The journey south out of Christchurch was mostly flat, but soon enough the landscape changed to undulating hills reminding us of the beautiful Dorset countryside we had left behind. Our longer stay and areas visited in Road Trip 1 will hopefully allow for shorter drives to reach long-sufferings coveted destinations, making for a less rushed trip to complete ‘The Itinerary’.
We reached our first overnight stop Waitaki Waters mid afternoon, a powered site with shower/toilet and kitchen facilities, back up while we unpacked and familiarised with the technical and more mundane features of Aramoana 2.
Waitaki Beach was a short fifteen minute walk from our site along a lane bordered by a few homes and farmland the latter supporting a herd of pretty inquisitive young calves.
The vast pebble beach stretched as far as the eye could see in both directions reminding us of Chesil Beach in Portland UK, only her larger pebbles made for easier walking underfoot. From high above, the seascape formed a pattern of clearly defined stripes of colour. Bleached white remains of trees scattered in all directions, a plant graveyard. Waves crashed, white horses frothed , rolling as they headed in to shore. Strong cold winds whipped around us trying to penetrate our generous layers as we walked. We stayed for a while, long-suffering and his muse, capturing the mood of this deserted beach through the traditional lens and although breezy the untraditional drone made its first appearance.
Back at at base I set to work on the first of our camper van suppers, a meatball medley with pasta spirals enough for two days worth, although Long-suffering did mention the word rations!