Today has been nice. The surf is good (though I haven’t been out yet) and the livin’ is easy. We are really enjoying the van. You can park and camp almost anywhere here. It is super comfortable to sleep in compared to our old Subaru. Even comfortable compared to the beds at McMurdo. We find ourselves sleeping in past 9 every morning. We finally got a stove yesterday for 15NZ$ from a swapit sellit paper so now we are more or less independent. Hopefully we will be able to cut back on expenses now that we can make our own food. We bought a small Thyme plant that we hung from the rear view mirror. We named it Jimi after James Cook for a couple of reasons; 1) because he will be exploring NZ with us and 2) because we plan to Cook bits of him along the way. We named the van Abel after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman. We hope he will be Abel to take us all the way to Auckland without any major difficulties.
It has been difficult to get out of vortex of CHC. We keep planning on it but something always comes up. The last flight to come out of McMurdo was delayed for a few days. We have been waiting for a friend who said he was going to take us sailing off the Banks Peninsula. Yesterday we had another round with AAA. I discovered that my membership had expired in December. I went to get a NZAA membership but they wanted $75US for a 6-month visitor membership. Instead I renewed on-line for $44 and then got my reciprocal card from the NZAA afterwards. It took most of the day though.
Today we bought tickets for a three-day outdoor music festival that happens this weekend so we will for certain be out of town by then. I couldn’t find a toll-free dial-up so today we mailed our laptop home. We haven’t been using it enough to warrant keeping it plus it will give us peace of mind knowing that we don’t have any real valuables in the van while we travel. Hopefully I will still be able to post photos from cafés. We also secured our return to the states. We arrive in Boston on Saturday the 24th of April. We arrive the same day we leave strangely enough. Since we are returning after the 15th we are filing an extension for our taxes today too.