Enviro news from New Zealand

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Hello from the East Coast of New Zealand. My shoulder muscles are getting stronger every day because, although the campervan has power steering, it is not the power steering you do with one finger. I have to really turn the wheel when I am trying to go around corners, park the huge thing and make u-turns when I have gone the wrong way.

Although I am visiting friends, I am touring in between visits. I stay at campgrounds that have all the amenities.  Since I haven’t camped for years, I have no idea if our campgrounds have general kitchens where all the tenters cook and maybe eat their meals. I have a stove but I cook in the kitchen for two reasons: I can perhaps meet and talk to people and I don’t use my LPG-liquid propane gas.  Everyone washes their dishes there under signs about keeping the place clean and tidy. 

There are often garbage cans labeled for different coloured glass, metals, plastics, paper and non-recyclables and garbage. One campground had a bin where you put your food waste after wrapping in newspaper, supplied in the kitchen.  This was for the vermiculture worms which changed the food scraps but not meat, into good soil.

I don’t drive the speed limit because on even the two-lane highways it is 100kmh.  I don’t feel comfortable especially on the very winding roads much over 60. So I watch for places where I can pull over and let the cars behind me pass by. That is the rule of the road here for caravans, trailers and campervans. Most observe it though I have seen a few that didn’t, much to the disgust of the line up behind them.

The settlers when they came to New Zealand brought in some very invasive species. New Zealand has no native land mammals, so the settlers brought rabbits, stoats, ferrets, possums from Australia and of course rats came off the ships. With no predators, these species got out of control. There is a push on now, in some areas, to eradicate them so that the native birds of which many are ground dwellers can have a chance to recover. 

I have been stopping at some of the wineries. I can’t sample as I cannot drink and drive with this rented campervan.  I plan on taking a wine tasting tour if there is one where you can go on a bus and I can leave my campervan at the campground. If not, I will continue to buy my favourite merlot and hope it is good.  I haven’t tried a poor one yet.

One of the interesting things is the greywater disposal system. Whether from the campervan or the kitchen or the showers, it goes into a sewer system that you can hear from outside the buildings. Gurgle, gurgle. I must find out if it is separated to the sewage treatment centre or if it combines with other sewage. I will find out and report.  

Geographic location: New Zealand, Australia

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