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After our campervan problems of the day before, we decided we would drive cautiously today up towards Fox Glacier and once we had a phone signal we’d contact the rental company. Just to put it into perspective this is the route we drove, with a campervan that was losing power!

As we approached Haast we managed to contact the rental company who arranged for us to have the van assessed when we got to Fox Glacier. So we cautiously drove up and stopped at Knights Point lookout to give the engine another rest!

As we headed down the valley towards Bruce Bay we found had our first experience of ‘missing road’ – as you will see when you read more of our South Island blogs, this was to become a regular thing when Sarah was driving!

Campervan Assessment

On arrival in Fox, we parked at the garage and Dave went to investigate whilst Sarah took the girls to explore the little town. The diagnostic process in New Zealand is certainly interesting! The garage owner took the drivers seat with Dave as a passenger and headed out of Fox, around hairpin bends at at least 30km over the speed limit, and on the return trip proceeded to answer to his phone (not hands free) halfway around a bend. His assessment after this – there is nothing wrong!

We had lunch at a local pub and decided to stay in Fox overnight so that we could visit Lake Matheson at sunset.

Lake Matheson

We checked into the Top 10 Site at Fox Glacier and the girls wanted to rent dvds to watch later in the day. Whilst Dave and Sarah discussed their concerns about the camper the girls made friends at the play area.

Before dinner we drove out to Lake Matheson where a very jurassic walk led us to the stunning mirror lake at sundown. Back in 2007 we had got up crazily early for sunrise but it seems so much more stunning this time.

An interesting dinner…

We headed back to the campsite and decided on a simple dinner of jacket potatoes, Sarah was working; the girls were playing so Dave was chef for the night. As Sarah worked she watched the communal kitchen start to fill up…fairly normal on a big site at tea time. However, she noticed that Dave was looking concerned and starting to talk to some of the Chinese travellers (or at least trying too). It turned out they needed some assistance so not one to leave people struggling Dave offered assistance as they tried to cook pizza in it’s wrapping!

This group soon took a keen interest in our dinner, much to the amusement of an Australian couple – Karen and Phil who were watching things unfold in the kitchen. As we sat down to eat as a family, one of the Chinese family came rushing in looking around with two potatoes in his hands. He was obviously looking for Dave and whilst stifling giggles we pointed this out to him so that could assist. It transpired that another member of the family was really intrigued by our tea and wanted to try this for themselves, so Dave educated them on how to make jacket potatoes and we expect to see these featured on menus in local Chinese restaurants as a new delicacy very soon!

This wasn’t the end of our kitchen excitement that evening! When Dave went to wash up he couldn’t find our washing up things and it turned out another couple had ‘borrowed’ them thinking they were communal. Well after the previous drama the Aussie couple couldn’t help but ask if they could ‘borrow’ some wine and Dave’s jacket potato recipe!

This was much funnier if you were there, but did lead to us chatting to Karen and Phil, who highly recommended we stay at a boutique campsite in Hokitika, which actually resulted in a complete change to all our plans as we continued our journey in the South Island and gave us childcare for the evening as they settled into the TV room to watch a film with the girls!