We get to wake up to this view every morning from our new spot!
For a lot of permanent road dwellers, choosing where to 'winter' can be quite stressful. It's a bit of a dilemma. Where it will be the warmest, or the quietest, or the most economical? It's an area where you need to be pretty organised and plan ahead if you want to be ready and sorted when the time comes. Whatever the weather, at the end of the day it really just comes down to personal choice. Some people make a beeline for the Far North, where it's said to be winterless, others favour the top of the South Island, with popular choices being Nelson and Motueka. But for us, there's nowhere else we would rather be in the winter than Southland. Let's face it, anywhere is crap when it rains, doesn't matter where you are! The Deep South is just so beautiful in autumn and winter, I can't imagine being anywhere else at this time of year now.
Which is just as well because we have no choice but to sit tight at the moment! I've been having a few health issues for some time now and although we are hopefully getting to the bottom of it, for the past couple of months it has really been quite debilitating. It's been a pain - literally - and we're just in the process of ruling a few things out, meaning we can't go travelling until the necessary tests are done, the doctors are satisfied (and me too) and I'm on the mend. It's OK, it's good timing really, I mean it's not exactly going to be the best time to do much travelling over the next few months anyway! But that's where we're at, and why I haven't been doing much blogging lately. Life has been one continuous string of appointments lately, I've had 10 in the last three weeks alone! But I'm fine. I was pretty down in the dumps for a while but I'm doing much better now.
Life on the road isn't always perfect - but it's pretty darn close!
Just because you're 'living the dream' doesn't mean life is always going to be perfect. Getting sick on the road is a big fear for a lot of people - big enough to put them off ever doing it. But the thing is, life on the road is like any other in that if that happens, you just deal with it, same as you would anywhere else. To be honest I find it far easier being in the van when I'm unwell than I ever did living in a house. In the van you just get comfy and rest up until you're better, without having to worry about things not getting done and the house falling down around you. Instead of forcing myself to drag a vacuum cleaner around I'm snug and warm, smiling at the blackbirds bathing in the puddles on the other side of the window. There's the added bonus too of being able to take your house wherever you need to when it comes to hospitals and treatments and such too! You can't put your dreams on hold because of what 'might happen'. If we all did that, none of us would ever do anything! Quite the contrary, we have come across countless people who live on the road BECAUSE of their health issues; people who have survived heart attacks and cancer or who have other disabilities. Rather than letting it stop them, they embrace everything life has to offer and get on with making the most of it. Just like we all should.
I love this picture of Casper (Now Llewelyn) eyeing us up when we came to say goodbye. It's as if he's saying 'You're not taking me away again are you? I like it here!'
We might not be venturing too far in the foreseeable future but we've still managed to do a fair bit of adventuring lately - enough for me to fill my blogs for quite a while yet! You may have seen our Facebook videos of transporting our wee lamb to his new home in the van but I'm looking forward to being able to share the full story and telling you all about the beautiful and very special place he now lives and will spend the rest of his days. He's a lucky lad indeed. Another highlight was having a very special lady join us for a few days of sightseeing - my mum! It had been 18 months since we had seen each other and it was an emotional reunion at the airport to say the least! Spending a few precious days together really brought it home to me what a different life we lead and I struggled for quite a while at the realisation that I had not physically been there for my little mum all this time. After surviving bowel cancer, a knee replacement and a stroke all in the last two years, she really is quite amazing and I was so proud of her as we strolled along the beach at Moeraki and wended our way around the Otago Peninsula. It was a really special time and it was nice to be able to look after her the way she deserves and show her some of the area we love so much. Lots more to come about her visit too!
Mum and me exploring the sights of Dunedin
For now, that brings us up to date as to where we're at. Sometimes it's nice to just stop and smell the soup. I say 'soup' because there's no chance of having roses in a van where you're going to knock them over in five minutes flat! But our little van never smells more homely than at this time of year, where there's always something warm and comforting in the crockpot or on the stove. And, following on from my previous blog, which seems forever ago now, the new damp-busting bed arrangement is working extremely well! The temperature has already hit below freezing but all is well. Over the next few days we'll be transforming Ken back into a spaceship with our annual bubble-wrap-athon and with a bit of luck (I'm touching every bit of wood here) that will see us through the winter comfortably and without too much grief and hassle. Whatever happens, whatever life throws at us, we will be OK!