March 18, 2003
37° S, 170° E
The Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand

Touring, Dune Surfing, and Aiming for the Northernmost Point
By Lois Joy



This morning, we sit around the little speckled formica table in our rented United CamperVan, raising our green melmac cups to savor the coffee Gunter has made, our hair still wild from sleeping, our eyes blurry.

This van is a compact, cozy little thing, smaller than we expected when we reserved a ‘van for four’, but we’re making do. We think that the over-cab bunk was meant for smaller ‘kids’ than ours—but after some bumps and bruises, Markus and Sabine are learning to adjust to the small space. Gunter and I have to take down the table to make up our bed each night using the seat cushions—rather hard as a mattress—our necks and backs are stiff in the mornings. This is, however, a convenient way to travel.

The sun pops up over the ridge where the campground buildings reside: toilets, showers, laundry, and a ‘community’ building with TV, sinks, stoves, fridges, and tables set up cafeteria style. It is a well-laid-out concept called Top Ten Holiday Parks—a chain of campgrounds found throughout New Zealand. It fits this very outdoorsy country. This is our third night here and so far, we like it. In fact, I could live here—if it weren’t so far to visit the grandchildren. (To be continued...)






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