A Travellerspoint blog

Caravan Diaries - 2020 Version

Dunedin - Christchurch

sunny 22 °C

My trips away in the caravan always seem to involve an element of awkwardness. One time, my Jeep had trouble starting but both the AA and an auto electrician assured me the battery was fine, so I set off. After a hairy morning in the Winchester camping ground, I decided to ignore the experts and replace the battery - problem solved. Last year, in my newer Jeep, my caravan electric cable and safety chain would not reach the Jeep, meaning some urgent repairs were needed in Oamaru before I could set off. This year, my difficulty took on a different dimension. I had been watching old Top Gear shows - where they have cars at wildly unrealistic prices, at least when the show was first broadcast. Seventeen years later, their 2003 car of the year can be had in what I am assured is good condition for $4,800.

So, after a quick safety check on the caravan in Oamaru and minor repairs, I throw all plans out the window and head to Christchurch to collect this beauty - a 2003 Jaguar SE 3.0. It is a bit weird to buy a car this nice and put it into storage for a month or more, but it's not like it is up to the job of towing my caravan - although some point out it would reflect a certain style to do so.


I don't really have any plans for my Christchurch sojourn, and do spend rather a long time on various buses and walking, going out to collect my Jeep from near the Jaguar owner's house and then getting back from the storage place to the holiday park near the airport. I do have a couple of nice meals - a very good beef pad kra prao from Kum Pun on Victoria Street, on my first night.


Next night, I head out to Sumner, which has to be one of my favourite suburbs. The sun is a bit reticent, so the beach is not looking the flashest, but the Village Inn is a very friendly spot. It's quiz night and a few teams are assembling - one wearing Christmas hats and full length aprons making them look like naked women with extremely hairy legs. They were very keen to have no photos taken but I suspect that as the night progressed, it would become hard to maintain anonymity.


I have a tasty red pilsner from the local Conception Brewery and move across the road to Miss Peppercorn, a Sichuan restaurant for dumplings in a vaguely chilli-based sauce and a braised brisket stew which has a nice chilli element and sichuan peppercorns. There are many items on the menu I like the look of, but this is something I have not had before.


Out in the streets of Sumner, I like the look of the new library, but it's closed. An old Land Rover catches my eye, as does a fellow who is endlessly circling on a motorised skateboard. Most amusing is the group of firemen who have ditched their fire engine to eat ice creams. Good for them.


Time to hit the road - going west!


Posted by NZBarry 10:17 Archived in New Zealand

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