The Ducato has been away since 7 September 2016. Most days I have driven past (only a wee way out of my usual route) to see if there has been any progress. During the day it’s parked outside the panel beater’s yard with other vehicles that are waiting.


Waiting . . . . . . It seems close to the railway line, I hadn’t noticed.

While I was waiting, I had a few ideas. Instead of the black strip down the side (which, I thought was lower down until I looked at the photo) I could have a decal of some sort, to add a little colour.


How about this one . . . . . .


or a bird, I like birds . . . . .


even a black and white bird, even!

I had also bought a new door for the outside toilet door (where you remove and empty the toilet cassette). It was cracked and tatty.


Emptying the toilet 🙂


A new one 🙂


Here . . . . . . . . . .

The ‘hole’ towards the top is the fridge vent.

So when I went past today it was inside, they had begun. As it is the 22 September, I’m not getting it back as previously thought on the 23rd, but I’m OK with that. I wasn’t going anywhere this weekend.


I think it has the funniest little bonnet; for a largish motor, the engine space is minimal. Maybe it’s because it is diesel. I know nothing about things mechanical 😉


Looking at all the primed areas, there was more damage than I thought. I think it is a good thing that I have purchased a reversing camera. I hasten to add (for those who don’t know or remember) that I wasn’t responsible for any the damage 🙂


Somewhere along the top there is a ting dent I was responsible for. As it isn’t visible it can remain.


I’m paying for some of the repair and repaint, including this area of rust at the top of the window. In New Zealand we require a yearly “warrant of fitness” inspection and it is quite rigorous. I got a warrant this time but next year I wouldn’t. This is an expensive repair as the entire window has to be removed. 😦


I quite like this decal. This vehicle is a newer one than mine and has longer windows. Mine is quite boxy (like an ambulance lol) so maybe I will look more racy?

I’m looking forward to it’s return. I have missed my Ducato not being here, missed not taking off on a whim. When It does come back it will be time to think about setting it up for my 4 weeks in the South Island, that’s only 6 weeks away. I will be mobile!



HELP! I am immobile.

During the 4 week South Island adventure in April 2016 the Ducato sustained some damage; I was absent when it happened. I am pleased to say that only twice have I been at the wheel when two minor incidents happened.
The first was a ding when I was reversing (at snail’s pace) unfortunately misjudging the distance and lightly hitting part of the garage. The resulting minuscule ding was only apparent when I observed it with the binoculars (it’s at the top of the rear).

Looking through binoculars
The second was while going over the dreaded narrow bridge at Blenheim with the truck driver misjudging my size and not waiting until I was across to enter the bridge. I had to pull close to the bridge to avoid the truck hitting me; the result a light scrape on the passenger wing mirror. I can live with both.


I am much bigger than the vehicle on the left!

The Ducato has scrapes down both sides, one worse than the other. The insurance company was happy to cover it but as two seperate incidents with an excess cost of $300.00 each. I can’t argue with that I really don’t know what happened. I thought it may have been entering the motel at Punakaiki. We had followed the sign to the entrance but found it full of huge rocks, HUGE rocks to help combat erosion. We had to use the other entrance which was quite narrow, with huge trees on both sides.


My photo of the sea at Punakaiki. The access to the motel is on the far right, the one with the bush in the middle. The HUGE rocks can’t be seen.

There were several similar situations, very narrow entrances or parking spaces, at other motels we stayed, most motels don’t have camper van patrons.

The driver's side (there are more but they didn't show on the photos).

The driver’s side (there are more but they didn’t show on the photos).

When I went to see the panel beater I asked for a estimate to have the remainder of both sides done, at my own cost, and the small area of rust by the front window also done. Although the Ducato is old, 2002, it’s my baby and I’m proud to own it.

The passenger's side.

The passenger’s side. (from the top to the bottom).

Last Wednesday, 7 September 2016, I dropped it off expecting to have it returned on 23 September.

I had ordered a few little gadgets for the Ducato that have arrived in the post since it has been gone. Buying online has become a (cheap) hobby. This week I have received a gas detector, a spare thermometer to add to the first aid kit, an iPhone armband holder and am waiting for more “stuff”. It’s been fun setting it up, making it ready to leave in at a moments notice.

I miss it! I miss not seeing it, I miss not being able to go away, I miss not being able to go out and ‘borrow’ something tasty from the cupboards. We had a storm and I missed not having the reassurance of knowing it was there if I was flooded or we had a power cut. I missed it when I didn’t have water (including the toilet) yesterday when the plumbers came to repair my leaking waterline.

I miss not being mobile. 😦