Justine Tyerman is a wee bit fussy when it comes to views . . . as the receptionist discovers.
When I told the nice man at reception that I didn't like the view from my room, he obligingly moved me to a different location.
I wasn't particularly happy with that view either so he moved me again . . . this time to a different place altogether. The moving went on for some time until the view measured up to my expectations. Each complaint was handled by the long-suffering receptionist without so much as a clenched jaw or even a tightening of the neck muscles. He seemed just as anxious for me to achieve my viewissimo as I was.
The look of ecstasy on my face and the tears dribbling down my cheeks as I surveyed the sun setting behind Mt Aspiring, painting the landscape gold and rosy pink, was matched by an expression of supreme triumph and sheer relief on the receptionist's face.
I've always been a bit of a fussy one when it comes to views. My husband can doss down anywhere but I crave visual fulfilment to be fully at peace.
I've recently discovered that travelling by motorhome allows me to indulge this obsession to the nth degree. If the view from the window is not 100 percent pleasing or is obstructed in any way, you simply notify the receptionist who starts up your motorised hotel suite and chugs off down the road until you CAN see Aoraki-Mt Cook piercing the clouds, the sun setting in a blaze of fire on a West Coast beach, Lake Hayes performing its mirror trick or the Remarkables glowing at sunrise accompanied by the sound of gently lapping lake water.
The problem then becomes an excess of choice and the ability to fine tune the view to a ridiculous degree. Half a metre to the left please, a little closer to the lake edge please, up on that rise please . . . the receptionist is extraordinarily patient.
One day we trundled down the West Coast for hours in search of the right view feng shui. In so doing, we nearly missed the sunset which was the whole point of the exercise.
However, the receptionist kept a cool head and excelled himself. He pulled off State Highway 6, 15km north of Franz Josef township, and drove 13km to the little settlement of Okarito. He whipped the top off the bubbly and we clinked glasses just as the incandescent ball of white gold sank into the ocean. Bliss!
On our latest road trip, the receptionist added a couple of SmartMotion ebikes to the equation thereby exponentially increasing my ability to obtain the perfect view from the off-road vantage points our JUCY motorhome, nicknamed 'Lucy', could not access.
Our ebikes took us to the vast open spaces of the St James Conservation Area where the panoramas stretch to far distant horizons; the quiet, shady recesses of the Arrow River; the Shotover, Clutha and Kawarau never seen by the jetboats and tourists; and the Dart from a secret vantage point high above the valley.
You will note they are all classic South Island scenes. I'm a shameless, one-eyed Mainlander, marooned in the North Island by marriage (to the receptionist), but I run away regularly to my turangawaewae. Admittedly it's a large geographical area to own but there's certainly no shortage of viewissimo.
Transport: JUCY Rentals Casa motorhome
E-bikes: SmartMotion electric bikes