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An early Happy Holidays!

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I've done my last inspection for the year (it's been a good one) and am getting ready to leave for New Zealand. Won't be back until after the new year and I'm going to try to avoid anything work related while I'm gone.

So...let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.

Thanks to all the regulars for making TIJ such a pleasant alternative to those other sites.

All the best,


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Originally posted by Les

Richard, which van did you pick?

I hope your holiday is safe and your trip a time to remember!

PS: the holiday started a couple of days ago - ha ha

Dunno yet. I get to pick from whatever is on the lot. I'll post a photo (or 2 or 20) when I get back.

PS: Oops...to those currently celebrating Hanukkah...may your Dreidal spin joyously.

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  • 1 month later...

Sooo...this was the van we ended up with:

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Put about 6,000 Kms on it driving around the north and south islands. All on the left side of course! ("Morning of the Earth" is, evidently, a famous(?) surfing movie.)

I'm not much at "sharing" my experiences but we had a great time and I gotta say New Zealand is a wonderful place made even better by the friendliest people you'll ever meet. It didn't hurt to have a month of summer in Dec/Jan either.

Anyway...I'm back. Hope you all had a good time.

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"What did you eat?"

We normally had an evening meal at a tavern/restaurant/cafe. Pretty plain food...a lot of lamb and fish & chips. I'm sure they had some finer restauants in the bigger cties but we mostly stayed away from those. Like Britain, you don't go to NZ for the food! We rarely actually cooked an evening meal. Our midday picnics usually consisted of very good local cheeses, etc. We camped in the van about 50% of the time, sometimes at camp sites and sometimes just "free-camping" in the middle of nowhere. The other times we stayed in a variety of hostels, farms and motels.

The van drove OK but lacked power. Had to "stir" the gears a lot. It was handy for not having to be anywhere in particular at night, but if (make that when) we do it again, I think we will go for a car or SUV that has better handling, especially on some of the very widy gravel back roads, and a small tent and accoutrements for the camping.

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