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Sunset in the Catlins

Tuesday, 25 September 2007 : Filed under: Southland E-Mail This Article

Purakaunui Bay
The sun setting over Purakaunui Bay – The Catlins, New Zealand


Comment by josh — September 25, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

Here is another picturesque bay we camped at. There were fur seals playing on the beach, and some crazy surfers who occasionally made it into the freezing cold water for a few minutes at a time. This was our view from the van as the sun went down. We had a similar view of the sunrise in the morning.

You can see a freshwater stream, coming from the hills and going to the ocean. This is where I took a bath. It was very cold.

Here is a photo of Beth and I on the van:

You might be wondering why Beth and I look so strange… well my camera only had a 10 second timer, and it was at least 100 meters away. So Beth stood on the van while I pressed the button, then sprinted the 100 meters in about 9 seconds, then leaped to the top of the van in 0.5 seconds, and had the remaining about 0.5 seconds to strike a smooth pose before the camera snapped the photo.

You might also be wondering why the van is white. Perhaps you remember it being red before. Well, this story is a bit longer.

About five days before we were to set out of Queenstown, I was charging up the Coronet Peak access road in Zealandia (red van) when all of a sudden she started smoking and I had to pull over. Apparently some plug in the radiator had burst, causing all the water to leak out and … well to make a long story short the engine exploded.

We were pretty bummed out for a while, it seemed like really bad timing, but in the long run it seems to have worked out quite well. Lucky for us, no one is looking to buy a van in Queenstown, and lots of people are trying to sell (the opposite of Auckland). So once we heard that repairs would be over $2000, we began looking for a new van.

Within a few minutes we were looking at our first van. It was okay, and we were about to go ahead and buy it, but then we saw the ad for what Beth has since named Bear. Bear is a 2.4L Diesel Toyota Hiace from 1988, two years older than Zealandia but more power and lots more space. We took it for a test drive, and bought it the next day.

We are only it’s 4th owner, and it is in great shape and has been driving great for us so far. Our plan is to get it to Auckland and sell it for more than we got it for, which will help recoup a bit of the cost incurred in buying two old vans in one year. The van is also much roomier than our old van, which has been awesome for traveling and sleeping.

All in all, the van issues only set us back two days leaving Queenstown – not bad. The excitement just never ends over here.

Comment by brohan — September 25, 2007 @ 5:03 pm

Is Bear the same type of van as the Dog?

Comment by josh — September 25, 2007 @ 7:12 pm

Yup, but a year older and in much better cosmetic condition. Also it is a diesel, the Dog is petrol.

Comment by Clara — September 26, 2007 @ 12:49 am

I love the pictures and enjoy your descriptions. What fun to imagine you setting camera and racing, then jumping on top the van to join Beth for your photo. You did a good job. Imagine what it would have been like if you missed the final leap. The picture would have showed you on the ground!

Comment by dadman — September 26, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

haha! I did wonder why the van is white. Glad it wasn’t too much of a mess for you. Old vans – too bad Mel’s isn’t nearby…

Comment by Kriz — September 28, 2007 @ 4:18 am

That pic of you guys on the van is awesome. Its my background now (on your computer).

Comment by Sheryl — September 28, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

What a great picture of the the two of you on the van. The van sounds a bit better than the red one. I still laugh when I think about the first day out of Auckland and all the black smoke.

Comment by josh — September 28, 2007 @ 7:15 pm

Glad you guys liked it. hahah it was fun to take.

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