Cruisin' north island-bound

Trip Start Feb 14, 2010
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Trip End Sep 15, 2011


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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Sunday, July 3, 2011

I spent the coldest night in my van yet, surprisingly while camped on the beach, where temperatures are usually moderate. Frozen ground, frozen roof, frozen windshield. Fortunately, my plastic cutting board seconds as an ice-scraper. I'd kept an eye on the surf forecast, and timed my arrival with a pumping south swell sweeping up the coast. It’s not easy peeling out of a cozy sleeping bag in the cold morning when the van feels like a meat locker, and near impossible to put on a WET wetsuit… unless the surf is as good as it gets - best waves I’ve had yet in NZ! Cuppa tea to warm the bones, on with the wetsuit, skipping across the frost-strewn sand and into the ocean. The closest thing I’ve had to crossing snow to surf. Invigorating. Just a few guys out, blissful offshore wind, and well-overhead barrels. Game time!

Long after losing circulation in my toes (a feeling I term "club-foot"), matched with a shivering shit-eatin’ grin, I stumbled my way up the beach and back to the van. 'Nother cuppa tea, lunch, nap, and back in the ocean for another couple hours of waves as the sun melted out of sight. Another night bush camped on the beach, with a few celebratory beers after a day of quality waves. The most awesome backdrop I’ve ever surfed in front of – where two environmental worlds collide, and snowy mountains meet sea.

Another beautiful day led the way as I traced the coastal contours to the top of the south island, drove onto the ferry, and crossed the channel to the north island.
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