We upgraded out caravanning gear this trip with three simple items.
Firstly a bright green door mat. I spotted the 4 giant rubber jigsaw pieces at the Lions Garage sale in Cambridge. Not sure what its original purpose was, maybe under a child’s swing, but 1500 square centimeters of green rubber makes a much softer landing when we step out of the caravan. It also keeps the loose pieces of grass and leaves from invading our tiny indoor space- I love it.
Next upgrade is a shiny spiral rather like a mini swingball set up. We screw it into the ground and join Dominic to the smart red collar complete with a bandana. He gains a huge 3 metre radius of tethered space. He can choose sun or shade, near the picnic table or faraway, and he is secure.
And the last upgrade in gear is an old fashioned plumbing plunger- again second hand from the Lions garage sale. Why?
Our cute little caravan has running water, which then has to evacuate down the plug hole in the sink. This drains into a pipe which then empties into the wheelie grey water trundler. But the noise of water leaving sounded wrong. I looked into the shower -the base was filling, gently, with bubbles, coffee grounds and murky water.
So I checked that the red handle on the hose was in line with the hose- yes. But the trundler was positioned ever so slightly uphill of the exit pipe. Water does not flow uphill.
It was hard, in the dark, to position the trundler downhill of the exit , then clamber back in the caravan, push the plunger down in a squelchy fashion, till the suction pulls up yet another splodge of coffee grounds and endless amounts of dishwater. After much suctioning, clambering and delicate adjustment the shower floor was clear and clean, the grey water trundler gratifyingly full and my resolve strong.
Never use coffee grounds, use those expensive bags. Or be like our friend Rosie and Anna and take along a whole coffee machine.
Only one small problem to be sorted by Phil when we return- a crack in the window has filled the double window Perspex with water. How did this happen? Who knows, but I do know Phil can fix it.
Maybe there is a screw loose in our desire to be caravanning again, as something always puts a spanner in the works. Or in this case a plunger in the shower.
All this excitement took place in Kawhia, a tiny village way out west of Otorohanga, where we set up camp under the huge willow trees at the Kawhia Camp. Twice a day I walked Dominic on a beautiful track lined with pohutukawa, on the cliff edge and along the seashore, past pretty little cottages and into the village. A jetty for local fishing boats and harbour cruises, a fish and chip shop, a pub, a general store, a petrol pump and a gorgeous art gallery, line the main street. The museum has intriguing fossils and great local history. Midweek is so quiet here, you can just about hear the tide coming in and out.
We are playing with the idea of living here for a while? Why not? Maybe it is time for a new adventure.