Tuesday, 8 July 2014


On the 18th of June we packed up and left New Plymouth.  The movers arrived about 8:30am and by 12 everything was on the truck.  Some friends came round to help with the last-minute packing, which was a great help, we couldn't have done it otherwise.  (Thankyou everyone!)I glanced in the back of the truck at one point and the back wall was boxes, right up to the ceiling, neatly stacked.  The weight limit for the truck was 10 tonnes, and one of the moving men told Dad while unloading that they were only 40 kg under that limit.  They left one of their guys behind so as not to go over.  We drove out about 12:45, after getting lunch and counting the kids and making sure all the rabbits were fed.  There were lovely rainbows as we drove through Taranaki.

We stopped off in Otaki to see Uncle Andy and Aunty Chris and have afternoon tea (at about 4:30!) then stayed the night in Paraparaumu Beach with Uncle John, who is always remarkably relaxed about having a family of 9 descend upon him.  We headed off early in the morning to catch the ferry - just as well we left early as the last 11 kms took over half an hour - I'm glad I don't have to drive through that traffic every day!

 The sailing (on the Kaitaki, the biggest ferry) was very smooth and I didn't feel queasy at all, even though we didn't go outside (too cold).  Lunch was KFC in Blenheim, and we were upgraded, free, from 12 pieces of chicken to 15.  That's the second time that has happened to us at KFC Blenheim, maybe they cooked too much for the lunchtime rush.

We had a trouble-free drive to Christchurch along the beautiful Kaikoura coast, where there were lots of seals sleeping along the side of the road and down on the rocks.  In Christchurch we had a very yummy tea with the Thomsons and stayed at 219 on Johns Motel, excellent place to stay if you have a large family.  It's nice to be able to fit everyone in the same unit for a change.   The kids were very excited about the frost the next morning and brought in bits of frozen grass to show us. We headed off to Dunedin as soon as we could, arriving about 4:30 pm.  We had a quick look around the new house, unloaded the trailers, then went off to Mum and Dad's for the night.
We listened to Watership Down on CD while we were driving.  It is a 16-hr audiobook, and it finished about 1 1/2 hours out of Dunedin, so we probably drove for about 17 1/2 hours to get from New Plymouth to Dunedin.  Although it was a remarkably trouble-free trip, I don't want to do it again for a while.

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