Lost this day in space somewhere, due to time zone maddness!
Arrived super early in the morning in Auckland, New Zealand! We were so impressed with ourselves that we were able to understand all the signs and everything everyone was saying to us, guess our Spanish has really improved!… We got a very expensive bus to our hostel (hmmm...hello New Zealand prices) and couldn’t yet check in so we treated ourselves to a posh breakfast at a nearby cafe that was recommended to us by a Kiwi food writer who we met in Peru! We then pottered around the local area and gawped at the sky tower, and checked out the cinema (all films were in English!) and decided to watch Toy Story 4 and eat a curry buffet, because we could! We checked in and booked our campervan through the hostel and got ourselves a sweet deal - a low daily rate with all the extras chucked in for free - one point for traveling in low season! Later we made the most of the hostel 50 cent chicken wings and hung out with our English roomies Adam and Robbie at a pub playing pool, already feeling very much at home in this country! We capped off the evening with a $5 dominos pizza!
Woke earlier than we’d have liked (stupid body clocks) and made ourselves a delicious breakfast of cereal, crumpets and peanut butter. We headed up the sky tower for amazing 360 degree views over Auckland and saw people jumping from the top (attached to wires!). Chris held on tightly to the railings throughout and shuffled nervously over the glass floor, and was quite glad to get back down to ground level! Then we hired electric scooters and scooted into an area called ‘Eden’ where there was a noodle cafe that was highly recommended by our foodie writer friend - unfortunately and unbeknownst to google maps, this cafe is closed on a Monday! It had been a long cold scoot and it was just beginning to rain so we went next door for some Chinese food instead. Then we scooted to mount Eden which is a big volanic lump in Auckland (one of many) with a crater on top, now covered with grass, and we battled the winds to the top for a lovely view and sense of acheivement, before giving in and ubering back to our hostel! Later we headed out in the evening to the sky tower again for a nighttime view of the city which wasn’t quite so wobby-leg-inducing for Chris.
We walked to the Museum via a lovely park which felt weirdly tropical, and got our culture fix of Maori art and artifacts, natural history of New Zealand, experienced being in a volcano (sort of) and revised our world war knowledge (with a Kiwi slant), all under one roof! Also saw an exhbitiions of bags (not sure why). We went back and played pool with our roomie Adam for a bit, then headed out to the planetarium to learn about the Southern nights sky (again! Now we’re proper experts), and drank some wine and ate some cheese - and found that the combination of wine, comfy chairs and the soft lilting tones of the german astronomer who was guiding us through the constellations sent us both into a deep slumber disturbed only by our own snoring and then the glares of our neighbours - oops! Serves us right as we were punished by the worst sleep of our trip as we were subjected to some loud partying throughout the night from the next door dorm, and just as it got quiet a new roomy was seemingly bundled in by other people (possibly pushed out of another dorm) and proceeded to snore like an ogre from 4am onwards, and no amount of poking or shouting would wake him. We were now very much looking forward to having our own space, even if it will be a tiny tin can van!
We shuffled off bleary eyed to pick up our new home, a white and orange beauty who we named Heidi, which had a kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom all within about 6 Square metres of space! We were given a very quick run through (in which we both thought the other person was listening to all the information, so we were equally clueless by the end of it) and then we were off! First stop - our second favourite shop in New Zealand called PakNSave which had all the food stuffs we could possibly need, including marmite! Then to our absolute favourite shop in New Zealand called ‘The Warehouse’ which had literally everything imaginable, to pick up essential items such as tupperware and llama fairy lights, then we were off! First stop Coromandel Peninsula where we drove around the coast line and parked up in a nature reserve - first lesson in freedom camping - don’t arrive in the dark! We could barely see where to park and had no clue where the toilet was, so it was a night of stumbling in the bushes for us! We also discovered one of our gas hobs doesn’t work, and the back inside light won’t switch off, so we had a couple of issues that needed fixing already - Oh Heidi!