Posted by: sunnyharvy | March 11, 2016

Traveling without haRVy :(

We knew we would miss haRVy during our travels here in New Zealand, but we didn’t realize just how much. Our first impressions were very good. “NOT haRVy” was shiny and clean on the outside…even the tires and bumpers were polished. A nice Asian lady showed us the basics and Al was soon in the driver’s seat anticipating the challenges of driving on the “wrong” side of the road.

Gear onboard, engine started. “What’s that flashing light on the dashboard?” The manual says it is the “Engine Immobilizer” warning light. Oh great, those of you who know about our “Start Error” problems with haRVy  know what sort of dread that brought on for us. We immediately called Shane at Rhode Abode headquarters and he assured us that it really is just a warning with no further repercussions expected. OK, we’ll see. Off we go!

The weather was quite warm so we turned on the A/C… no cool air. Well, maybe that will get better.


Here’s “NOT haRVy” at our first camp site.


Right next door was a large horse racing track.

Our first stop was not far from Christchurch and nothing special, but a good place to get everything sorted out. We stowed all our stuff, including a load of fresh groceries, and enjoyed a nice home cooked dinner onboard. During clean-up the water pump stopped working. Then the fridge compressor, which had seemed to be running continuously, shut off and wouldn’t come back on…hmmm.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but I am happy to say that most all the problems seem to be resolved now that we have a new house battery the pump has been repaired. Keeping fingers crossed that all vehicle troubles are behind us.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that we got locked out of the van on our second night when Al left the key inside. Luckily AA (that’s their automobile club, not Alcoholics Anonymous) got a great guy to come out within 30 minutes (and before dark) to get us back in.

An auspicious start for sure. Things seem to be settling down now as we begin our second week onboard “NOT haRVy.”


Stay Left! But not too far left. At times being a passenger here is more challenging than driving.


There are many “Freedom Camping” areas throughout New Zealand.


This was the first one we spotted where we stopped to enjoy lunch bay side.


Here is where we camped for free in Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. Doesn’t look like much, but it was very convenient to town with a distant view of the bay. Lots of camper vans full of travelers from around the globe.


Akaroa is the oldest colonial town on South Island and New Zealand’s sole French settlement. In the Maori language, Akaroa means long harbor, which was originally the crater of an ancient volcano.


We took a boat cruise around Akaroa Harbour.


Fur seals lounging on the rocks.


Waves crashing against the headlands.


Spyglass rock.


Al assisting Captain Stew.


Enjoying the ride and the scenery.


Penguin caves, but no penguins.


Hector’s dolphins, the world’s smallest, swam under our bow, almost as if on cue.


Then we walked over to the historic lighthouse.

Akaroa0330 Akaroa0332

Nice view back towards town.


The lighthouse was relocated here from the headlands by volunteers after the light was replaced with an automated one.


Off on a scenic, and at times harrowing, drive across the peninsula to Okains Bay.


A look back at Akaroa from the summit road.


To be continued… as Internet access permits.




  1. Amazing how you maneuvered through Not haRVy! Yes – wrong side of the road – oh my! So love the documentation of your adventure. Fantastic. Enjoy every moment – as we do observing after the fact!

  2. Wonderful photos. I understand the challenges of driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. Especially for the passenger – no controls where you think they should be! Keep that white line on the driver’s side.

  3. I can’t imagine driving for any length of time on the “wrong” side. I would think it would be exhausting. Kudos to Al. The photos are beautiful.

  4. You are heroes! Hope all is working out and you are getting used to Not Harvy. Adjusted to driving on the wrong side on some very narrow roads? The post you sent from Christchurch was fascinating, we weren’t aware of how extensive the damage was and that they are definitely doing some interesting rebuilds. Looks like you are finding beautiful places.Interested in scenery and well as cultural differences you find.

    Keep on truckin’


  5. Now I KNOW I would love to see New Zealand. Thanks for blazing the trail!

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