Today was the day we’d allotted for shopping, for buying at least some of the things we’d been putting off for ages, saying that we’d get them when we got to NZ. Well, we’re here now, so we were about to treat ourselves. Of course, it had to be just our luck that not only was it still bloody freezing, it was chucking it down to boot. No cars passed us all the way in either, so we had a long, cold, wet walk in the rain. We spent most of the day wandering from camping shop to camping shop, listening to the salesmen delivering their spiel, comparing prices + quality, juggling discounts (David had given us a discount card.) By the finish, we were exhausted, but we had bought 2 first-class sleeping bags, (at $150 each!), mummy-style, thick + warm; 2 sleeping-pads (something we’ve put off getting for ages, + regretted greatly); 2 poncho-type raincoats (our old yellow raincoats having been thrown away – they soaked one from mid-thigh down, + were mildewing away in any case); 2 sets of clip-together camping cutlery; some plastic food jars; + some lighting tablets for our stove. So now, having that lot together with our tent + stove, we can feel pretty self-sufficient, in the country at any rate; towns are an entirely different matter. And considering we also managed to post Val’s grass skirt, take in our films for developing, collect our tent, buy some groceries, visit Jinty in the library (she’s the archivist), + get 2 jumpers (1 really nice arran one for Val, a tatty old brown one for me) + some books from the Sally Army, and have coffee + cake in a teashop, it really was quite a busy day… + a productive one, tho’ very expensive. It was a foul walk back tho’ – laden down with all our newly acquired goods, plodding back thro’ the wind + rain. We had planned to go out again to the pictures, but what with the weather, + the fact that we were shattered, we stayed in, had a smashing meal of bangers + mash, + then toddled off to bed.
I have not really mentioned our encounter with immigration, which was very friendly. Just as well, since we did not have the sort of money usually required by immigration when entering a country (to demonstrate one can leave again.) It really did seem that being part of the yachting community had meant we could bypass the usual regulations. And did mean, of course, that we could spend some money on some much needed equipment. Sooner or later we would be reliant on our own resources once again, after several months of having food and accommodation sorted out.
The poor weather is something of a shock. I suppose it is still spring, so hopefully it should im prove as summer comes along.