Packing in their jobs set Putaruru pair free to rove
South Waikato couple George Irwin and Val Monk gave up their jobs, packed their converted bus and left home with a one-way ticket across Cook Strait.
The Putaruru couple got a taste for motorhoming during summer holidays and decided to give up their jobs for a freewheeling lifestyle before turning 60 this year.
Two weekends ago, their vehicle was tucked into a bushy spot alongside Blairich Creek in the Awatere Valley, one of Marlborough’s seven campsites where self-contained vehicles can legally stay for up to two nights free of charge.
The couple counted themselves lucky finding the secluded site. Earlier they had called at Lake Argyle in the Wairau Valley and found the campsite was closed due to logging.
Then they pulled up at the Department of Conservation’s Onamalutu camping ground on the north bank of the Wairau River where the gate was shut because of flood damage.
Two subsequent nights were spent at the department’s Marfells Beach camping ground near Ward. Last week they headed up the Awatere Valley and through Molesworth Station.
Last heard of, they were enjoying ‘‘silence and pine trees’’ at Portobello on the Otago Peninsula.
After about three weeks in holiday mode, the pair said they would start looking for casual jobs.
All around New Zealand they found people to be friendly, apart from the night they woke to find someone outside had opened a window.
They had since installed a sliding security screen and feel quite safe.
Ms Monk said they would never camp anywhere they were likely to be moved on and, after five years of on-and-off travelling, had a feel for places that might not be safe.
An advantage of being in a bus was that if things got scary you could jump in the driver’s seat and head away, said Mr Aubrey.
‘‘If there’s a lot of broken glass on the ground we would give it a miss. We always keep our safety in mind.’’
LONG HOLIDAY: Putaruru’s George Irwin and Val Monk have packed in their jobs and headed to the South Island in a campervan.