You never stop learning
You never stop learning
16/02/2016Long Bay, Orewa, Shakespear Regional ParkNew Zealand, North Island 0 rating
That is how it feels to buy a car in New Zealand. Done.
We are shocked, more than happy, so proud, very nervous and absolutely excited. Feeling in between those emotions we spend the first few days and nights in our new campervan. Sure - we need to get used to everything: where to put our stuff, how to use the appliances, what to look for. Last but not least - how to find a place for the night?
Happy to sleep in the wildIt is Sunday, 14.02. Early in the morning in Long Bay Regional Park, the birds are chirping and suddenly we hear a knocking on the van. We are awakened by the DOC Ranger who wanted to see if our car was actually self-contained (regulation in New Zealand that allows free camping, if your campervan fulfills certain conditions). We passed the test (we got the sticker yeaaahh!) And paid over the phone of the ranger for the last night. The rest of the day we spent a lot on the beach or a small hike along the steep coastal cliffs. On the left hand there is The Shire , on the right side is the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Juicy, pure green and wide hills, forests and meadows. Next to it turquoise blue sea and roaring waves. But in the evening we decided to stay at a campsite with powered site, to recharge the battery and empty our van tanks (waste water, refilling fresh water). For Valentine's Day we had a tasty one pot pasta and a glass of gooooood wine.
We need more power, Marty
Ok, we are still campervan beginners and seemed to be a bit helpless where to put the waste water, the so-called Gray Water?! Luckily, our neighbour is an experienced camper who can help us. Well you never stop learning, ey?
A young family from Jena - where Thomas studied - with large motorhome knew what to do. The twins already tiptoed a bit around us while they were playing. When we talked about our plans, a broad smile arose with our counterpart: he did exactly the same thing with his wife ten years ago: sold or stored everything, went off. Today they take their time with their little ones. And the moral of the story "it is not less intense and the little ones are a real door opener. We can only recommend". Ok, we keep it in mind, we'll probably have a few countries left open for travelling with the kids.
Afterwards we organised at ANZ in Orewa - by the way a cute little seaside resort - the proof documents needed for applying for the tax number (IRD number). Back at the van we suddenly ran out of power for our laptops and as there is no recharge possibility in the van yet, we realized that there was something missing. So we drove to the hardware store and then to a recommended car accessories dealer and bought us a converter - so much to the topic one never stops learning. Now we are able to use the second battery (house battery) to recharge our devices. Finally we have our first BBQ in NZ at the Shakespear Regional Park. We put a thick chunk of lamb meat on the electric grill, some of which are available in the parks free of charge and 24h a day. Great service for all who visit the national park.
Natural beings and volunteering neighbours
After we liked it so much in the Shakespear Regional Park, we booked another night at the Auckland Council, which is kind of the "operator" of the local regional parks around Auckland. After a very nice and intense chat with our Magdeburger neighbours, who told us they have only met Germans from the old federal states (so far we only experienced the opposite).
Afterwards we went off to the beach. What started as a short walk suddenly became a long track along the steep coast next to green grazing areas. At the second bay, we jumped into the sea, a little bit inspired by everyone else on the spot. What a feeling! It was a splendid spontaneous walk, which once again revealed how wonderfully diverse this country is: on the left hills, fields, lush meadows and right the turquoise blue sea and white spray. Then we got to know our other neighbours: Mike & Robin an elderly New Zealand couple who is still exploring and enjoying the country in their campervan. Mike is super friendly and because he is not able to walk that good, he just cycles to the loo, beach or wherever he wants to go. We spent the rest of the day updating our CVs and translating them into english. While we were working we saw Mike & Robin working as volunteers. They were helping out in the park and worked with the staff to protect endangered species or simply conservate the beauty of the nature. It is simply a great social commitment: Why do we actually have so much difficulties doing something equal in Germany?
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