Recharge Time

The Stunning South Island Adventures – Part 1 of 5.

The next five posts are about some of the joys and lots of photos of my most amazing journey south. When you ask others about the South Island of New Zealand, I think the word MAJESTIC comes to mind. This trip and these places are most certainly etched in my memory forever .

Please see below for other related posts.

Nelson to Christchurch

 I left Nelson, during a storm, that was getting worse. This swung the campervan (at 3.5metres high) from side to side, along the wind tunnels of straight roads, and made a very slow journey to Kaikoura.

This time (as with all the travel I did) , I looked for the beauty and listened to audio books, and had allowed enough travel time, not to be bothered by delays. I truly wanted to experience the essence of every encounter.

Leaving Nelson, you travel through beautiful undulating hills, full of vineyards. I loved how people had planted rose bushes, (mainly either red or white) at the end of every row. This added a splash of colour and differentiated from the acres of green (unfortunately I didn’t get a pic of this!). The vineyards were backed by barren dry hills, sheep and cows dotted all over.

New Zealand is known for the fact you can travel, from beach.. to mountains.. to rolling hills and to another beach on the opposite coast ..all in a day!

The scenery here also changed suddenly. From lush countryside, to five minutes later, driving through a gorge of native New Zealand bush. Then we were surrounded by acres of  tall strong pine forests, which fast turned to hills stripped naked, to seedlings promoting new growth.

The Kaikoura coastline brought relief from the wind and rain, with long stretches of endless sea, seals, and vistas. Having just suffered from a big earthquake, and road closures, businesses were suffering, the locals were happy to see tourists again. It also meant massive roadworks – about 20 kms of them, and not just slowing down, one lane stop-starts, manned each end, by lollipop people (the ones that hold the signs!).

What amazed and delighted me was EVERY single lollipop person waved and smiled, – whether this was training or just gratitude I don’t know. I wasn’t bothered with the stops as it gave me time to look at the seals, and scenery and enjoy the ride, but for the busy travelers, perhaps the smiles, made the trip easier. In any case, I loved smiling and waving back……why don’t we all do that more often?

We stayed at a beachside campsite in Peketa (just south of Kaikoura), with the back window looking to sea. Our long walks on the rugged beach were blessed yet again with natures colourful evening and morning skies.

In Christchurch, I stayed in South Brighton, where Layla and I were delighted to find the expansive beach which stretched around to the estuary.

I was joined in Christchurch by a friend, who continued in the camper with me for a few days (which Layla also LOVED!). We also got to enjoy dinner with friends in Sumner, an idyllic seaside suburb. I also saw my 98 year old step-grandmother, whose grace, gratitude and joie-de-vivre shall be an ongoing inspiration!

The sunrises took my breath away.

Travel promotes the most growth.

Travel forces us outside of our comfort zone, so it is often the place we grow the most. Different people, cultures and places are all things that challenge our thinking and daily routines.

It helps us re-examine what we have in own life. When we see other paces of life, other peoples trials and tribulations, it is easier to reflect on your own life in a different light.

It instills faith; to a certain extent you need to have trust that things are going to all work out ok. There are always challenges, timing, places, ups and downs and it means we need to be more in the flow.

It provides us with a sense of freedom. Being on the road means being free of daily commitments to family, locations and time. It is also being free from digital connection – at times there is no internet and no phone coverage – bliss :). For me – all the time, there was no TV – which I also loved – no negative news, mindless entertainment and no distractions about things completely beyond our control. Most of all, it is just a freedom just to be.

My favourite would have to be it allows us to get creative, think outside the box, explore ideas, strategise and plan. Often we have to LEAVE our desk, get in a different environment, free from routine and rigor, to allow new ideas to flow.

Lastly, travel encourages us to be in the absolute moment, when driving, looking at scenery, breathing in forests,walking the beach and soaking in NEW places.

Blog Posts related to this adventure

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