House on Wheels

We spent this Christmas in a camper van.  Thanks to an insider’s tip about car relocation, we found a deal that had us driving a camper van from Queenstown to Wellington in five days for $5 (NZ) a day!  Apparently no tourists want to drive this direction, so the companies let people rent for basically nothing (although we do pay gas) just to get the vehicle across the country.  A great deal for us, being flexible, we worked our travels around the van’s schedule.

After a lovely four days in Queenstown, we picked up the friendly camper van, stocked the fridge and cupboards with groceries and headed towards the west coast of the south island.  It was a giant!  Completely self contained with a toilet, shower, hot water and gas stove.  We ambled along curvy mountain passes, enjoying the view of snow capped mountains, glistening lakes and over babbling creeks using narrow one-lane bridges.  Slowly we became accustomed to driving it.  It ran on diesel and drove like a bus, whining as it accelerated, happily bringing us through the scenic New Zealand, waterfalls, glaciers and a seal colony.

We did a lot of driving a little bit and then hiking, so we took our time getting places, soaking up the nature and stretching our legs.  On one of our walks, Peter began to whistle a familiar tune.  “Is that the song I think it is??”  I asked, laughing.  He just laughed too, “It just came into my head” he said.  We climbed back into the van, ready to head on.  Not having our ipod adapter or any cds with us, it was time to try the radio.  Peter fiddled with it until he found the only station that seemed to work.  The camper van rolled and bumped along the curvy country road and then that same familiar tune came on the radio.  We just looked at each other and turned up the volume.  It was uncanny.  As the song ended, we drove further along and soon out of range of that station.  Listen here for that song, and imagine yourself in a camper van, bumping along a winding road, with sheep grazing on the hills, glistening lakes and rocky cliffs all passing you by.

The String-A-Longs – Wheels



About wanderingsoundtrack

I write about my travel experiences and relate them to songs I already know, or have just heard or learned on the way. Listen along!
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5 Responses to House on Wheels

  1. David says:

    Too fun. I’m jealous. Leaves poor old Westy in the dust. Not as much “character” though. Glad you had all that practice driving family vans.


  2. Lisa says:

    Don’t we dance a Grand Square to that music? Great pictures and a lovely trip so far. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nancy Leussler says:

    Nancy Leussler

    What fun with the Christmas van. I just ran off Val’s
    picture by the van — to put on the
    refrigerator here. Venture on! Love to
    you both. Gram

  4. David says:

    I didn’t get the music to work the first time and sent your link to Cousin Steve while staying with them in California. All of a sudden “Grand Square” started playing in his office. Amazing.

  5. kiell says:

    So cool! Last year we were hiking near Fox Glacier and talking about how we thought it would be fun to travel in NZ with you guys… we miss you!

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