A Taste of Summer, Sunrises, Surf and Campervan Beautification

If you like looking at pretty pictures more than reading, this blog post if for you :)

The first proper weekend trip with Josie the Van since driving her up from Christchurch last months and I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

It’s spring in New Zealand which means very mixed weather. We still get lots of rain on some days, probably more wind than during most other times of the year (which is great for kiting) and the temperatures fluctuate somewhere between 10-20 degrees. But every now and then we get days that feel like summer is already here. This weekend promised to bring such days – and it delivered. Add to that a pretty decent surf forecast for the east coast of the southern Coromandel and you have all the ingredients of a great Campervan misson.

So I packed the Van on Thursday night, took it to work on Friday and headed off towards Whangamata on Friday night for a weekend full amazing sunrises, lots of surf, time with friends and campervan beautifications. 



I let the photos speak for themselves…

Saturday: Onemana Beach



Sunday: Whangamata Beach



Note how I say ‘surf’ not ‘surfing’…

Onemana Beach on Saturday Morning

Onemana Beach on Saturday Morning

To be honest, I can’t really tell you how good the surf was, but there was definitely some swell and people catching waves so it must have been decent. I, however, was not one of those ‘people’. My ‘surfing’ was more ‘paddling’. I paddled out, I paddled into waves, I even paddled fast enough to catch a couple. But there was no surfing.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s frustrating. But the important thing is that I still had a really great time. I love being out in the water and I know the only way I will ever get there is if I keep trying. For now, I’m focused on learning to surf, not surfing. You might think that’s basically the same thing but there’s a big difference. If the goal is ‘learning to surf’ than anything I do that helps me learn is considered success. If the goals is ‘surfing’ than the learning part becomes a frustration. So by being focused on learning, I feel great about being out there and trying, no matter how much I suck. Sometimes you just have to trick your mind a bit into having a great time :)

Enjoying the view after my morning surf (read 'paddle') at Onemana

Enjoying the view after my morning surf (read 'paddle') at Onemana

But I also think I might have the wrong board – I know, lamest excuse ever…

I’m not saying that I would be up and riding with a different board but I had a chance to try two friends’ boards this weekend and even though they were shorter than mine, they felt much more stable and manageable. My board is a long board but it’s quite narrow and doesn’t have a lot of volume which I think means I’m making it harder for myself than it has to be. So I’m thinking of selling that one and getting one that’s gonna help my learn a bit faster.

The surf at Whangamata Beach on Sunday


Campervan Beautification

It was great to spend a bit of time with two friends on Sunday but other than that this was a solo mission which gave me a chance to work on some creative campervan beautification projects.

As I’ve mentioned before, Josie needs a bit of character and flair. And I love getting creative and coming up with ideas. So I packed my arts and crafts box and got into it.

First, I designed and built a little wall decoration / note board which is obviously great to keep important notes and other stuff in sight but also makes for some nice decoration (click the images to see them larger).


Once that was done, I decided to bring some flair and atmosphere to the seating area with a light / photo garland.


I still have more work to do. Most importantly, I still haven’t found a solution to my ‘how to transport my boards’ problem (I’m investigating more options this week). And I also need to replace the seating/sleeping squabs because the current ones are really uncomfortable – I think they’re just at the end of the life…

And I also have a few other ideas so stay tuned as I turn Josie into the super camper :)