As our second month on the road drew to a close it was time for a pause in our travels while Wayne did a stint of work. And as much as we are loving travelling in the bus it was nice to park up knowing we would be in one place for more than a few nights. We have been moving fairly consistently for the last two months, most of the time only staying a few nights at each place, so a slightly more long term spot was a new part of our journey. It will be a nice change of pace and I imagine it will ensure we don’t lose our enchantment with the travelling since we will have these times that we have to pause for a bit. We don’t have any big plans for our time here but it kind of suits us to take each day as it comes, means we can make the most of what the weather brings us and what moods we wake up in. The idea of Wayne heading off to work again was the side of this that we were NOT looking forward to. But work is a necessary evil, even when you live the gypsy life so we would cope somehow.
The first day of just Oliver and I hanging out again was surprisingly lovely. The moment when Dad arrived home and Oliver flew out the door to greet him with an ‘I’ve really missed you Daddy’ was even more lovely. We are back to having cold nights, crisp icy mornings but warm sunny days. Which is great, because when your house is super small the outdoors becomes a huge part of your life. The days are easy to fill with bike rides, walks to the park or trips to one of Nelson’s beaches. As well as trying to get in a bit more quiet time at home, playing board games or drawing or just playing with some of the toys that have been largely ignored since moving in to the bus. I remember worrying about how we would fit in toys when we were in the planning stages of this, as it turned out storage is not an issue with our bus so we had ample room for them. But if you are considering this life for your family and won’t have the storage we do, do not worry about cramming in to many toys. Our ever changing environment and the great outdoors are more of a draw card. The odd time that he does get out some of his favourites for a little while it is sweet but doesn’t absorb him the way it used to. Though we do sometimes have a fire engine or a race car tag along with us when we go for a walk, particularly when there is likely to be puddles involved.
We are also taking advantage of being close to a major centre to make sure we are ready to spend the winter in the bus. Our first few real frosts arrived this week and they were shockingly cold, there was ice on the inside of our big roof hatch one morning and it has spurred us on to get things done that we hadn’t gotten around to yet. First on the list was a bit of an upgrade for our winter bedding, Tauranga winter’s are quite mild so a good quality extra blanket for Oliver’s bed and a woolen underlay for ours, plus flannelette sheets all round were definitely called for. We have introduced Oliver to the joy of a hot water bottle and he slides into bed with sighs of delight at the cosy warmth of the sheets. Before we leave Nelson and head towards the colder end of the island we will cross a few more jobs off our list in the hopes that it will make the cold more bearable. I feel like we have jumped head first in to what is probably the most challenging part of living in a bus, doing it in winter. We have a fair bit of insulation in our roof but none in the walls or floor. A whole lot of windows to let our heat out and collect condensation overnight. As well as a few spots, like the hatch to the garage under our bed, where you can actually feel little draughts of cold air seeping in when it’s really icy. But I tell my self that if it gets too much to bear as we head further down the South Island that we can always drive back to Nelson, there is quite a community of people who live full time in there motor homes who choose to winter over here so it must be bearable. And we will be all the wiser and better equipped to make decisions for next winter. For now though we are loving the views of the mountains as day by day they are coated in thicker blankets of snow. Making plans for our first trip to play in the snow and all the adventure that will bring. For now we are enjoying this chance to catch our breath and dive a bit deeper in to this gorgeous part of the country.