On Friday we went to go shopping for a car or camper van to make our travels around the country. We figured starting in Christchurch would be a less costly place to make the purchase. Turns out we had a pretty lucky day. We went to a car place called “Backpacker’s Car Market” that specializes in providing a lot for individual car sellers to meet with buyers. We went just to see what was available and found a camping mini-van we liked at a good price. We met the buyer a couple of minutes later and within 15 minutes we were test driving it and making an offer!
It took a little while longer to arrange for an inspection, effect some minor repairs, and get money to pay for the vehicle. We actually ended up making a bunch of withdrawals from a nearby bank’s ATM to pay cash. It’s an old 1990s model mini-van with 380K kms on the odometer (Mark from Northfork cracked up at the number of miles – he seems to think its excessive). But, it runs fine and only needs to go a few thousand km further. It doesn’t have seats in the back – just a bed frame and mattress. Plenty of space to store our gear and luggage though. Perfect!
We spent Saturday shopping for camping gear and are close to ready to start traveling about. We may have to rent a few items (backpacks) if we go backpacking, but we can stop pretty much at any camping site already.
We’re planning to stay in Christchurch for another few days at least to do some sightseeing (and finish recovering from the nasty colds we caught). We have some friends living in Christchurch (Norm and Coleen) who we know from the Google Earth Community, and are planning to visit with them.
If you are another boater or Google Earth fan (or other acquaintance) we know traveling around New Zealand, make sure to drop us a note (leave a comment below or send us an e-mail) if you see our paths crossing! We would love to meet up with friends along the way.