Opinion: a change of scenery

The Age of Reason

By Peter Carr

The Yuletide holiday season in this lovely country has changed over recent years. There was a time – not too far distant  – when the three week industrial shut-down permitted the annual overhaul of manufacturing machinery. That allowed the operators of those machines to encamp in tents, baches, cribs, caravans etc mainly overlaid with a beachside environment.

The advent of 365 day operating machinery underpinned by computerised control systems has resulted in social changes in relation to the timing and geographical location of holidays. And in the Covid overlaid pressures also resulted in a Go Kiwi drive to enhance both holiday types and locations.

As a campervan person I am aware that the upper parts of Northland has been teeming with campervan owners, all intent in ensuring that the lifestyle this provides gives them the degree of comfort they desire. Thirty years ago many of them would have been happy in a tent with an add-on flysheet, some form of primus heating and a couple of billies.

But the world, at least our world, has moved on and the ever-growing campervan brigade would not dream of moving from home without fridge, freezer, TV, comfortable beds, automatic transmission/cruise control and BBQ, all overlaid with solar panel battery boosting.

So as a campervan person I found myself last week without my white turtle-like shell. Rather, at the northern end of Wellington I was house sitting a home overlooking the Mana marina to give the hard-working owners a chance for a well-earned break. I was also looking after a 17-year-old grandaughter who is staying home to attend to her two horses.

That results in the elderly folk of this narrative driving to the paddocks each day to scoop up and transfer to a composting area an enormous amount of equestrian waste (there are stronger words for this product)! Have you any idea just how much full-size horses can pass through their system every day?

But we enjoyed the experience. The Wellington transport system permits Gold Card holders the ability to maximise use of their very good train system. A fast train every 30 minutes south to the city or north to Waikanae (all free) ain’t too bad.

Latest on our list in our electronically enwrapped campervan has been a sojourn at Cooks Beach.
But for a while the days of canvas, poles, groundsheets and Primus equipment seemed an eternity away.

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