Bring on the Gimp

Trip Start Feb 26, 2010
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Trip End Feb 26, 2011


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Where I stayed
Ruakaka Campsite

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Saturday, October 2, 2010

I woke up at 7am amongst the snoring dorm of which I was probably a participant. I woke Erica and we got up. We went out for a walk and managed to find a cash machine that worked, unfortunately we had managed to spend our entire withdrawal from the previous day. We were already ready for more seclusion and looking forward to picking up our van. Oh to be in our own van again with the freedom to go anywhere! We ended up managing to trade in our Lonely Planet for a New Zealand one and get a free road map, then at 8:30am a taxi picked us up on a special offer price sponsored by Wicked. We arrived to pick up our van at about 9:15 and after filling in all the forms we were shown our home...... "The Gimp Mobile". At first we were not quite as taken with it as our previous van but we loaded it up with free blankets and duvets from the pile of stuff other people had left. Apparently it was still snowing on South Island so we made sure we had enough. The van essentially has gimp written on the side of it instead of an I it has a man in some type of gimp mask, perhaps a sign of things to come. Erica edit: Well I can guarantee I won't be involved!

We left Wicked, filled up with petrol, wandered across to Super Cheap Auto which had an inverter for charging laptops and camera’s for $60 (around 30) and stuck our necks out. We then headed for the supermarket, which is blatantly the same company as Woolworths in Oz but with a different name (which now escapes me). Anyway the highlight was that fresh green lipped mussels are something like $2 per kilo sold in big tanks of running water. They had sold out but at least that is something to look forward to other than sausages. We therefore found some reduced price sausages which were Thai, pasta, rice, value pasta sauce, some tinned fruit, beans all the staples etc. On the way out we were canvassed to vote for a particular party, I explained I had no residency status and couldn’t vote, Erica on the other hand struggled out a “I won’t be voting”, and therefore was drawn into being harassed to vote for one candidate. We stopped at a McDonalds only to find they no longer have free wifi in New Zealand, so we have to find another source of internet.

As always time in the van was flying but we were very tired and just wanted to stop, set up the van how we wanted it, put our clothes away etc. We decided to do this on our way into Northland (New Zealands Northernmost province (and warmest)). We stopped at a beach at about 3pm set up the van and started to read what we should do while in New Zealand, I set about cooking up some pasta, onions, Thai sausages and value range tomato sauce with garlic for our only meal of the day.

Erica then announced that the area we had stopped was actually one of New Zealands most prominent Nudist Beaches. We went for a great walk up and down the beach watching a woman foraging for cockles and clams (a skill we need to try and perfect) alas, there was nobody naked in sight.  We set up camp on a paid campsite (we were tired, it had sea views, it did cost 10 but we were so tired we both agreed).

We heated up the leftovers from earlier and had a bit of dinner, read about New Zealand while I wrote the blog for the last few days. As the temperature dropped Erica retired to the van only to decide that it felt like floating in the sky, all our curtains were sky blue, and this time we have a sunroof in the back so you can see blue sky out of the roof, (or the stars when it went dark). The sky was clear and the night sky was simply fantastic. One star in particular was exceptional bright and really caught our eye, we are thinking that it must be a close planet, maybe Mars but we are hoping to find that out when we visit an observatory while we are here. 

Erica edit:  It was nothing to do with the duty free gin, I really did feel like a cloud in that van for a few moments.  To be honest I have become a little bit obsessed with clouds while we have been travelling there is something so beautiful about them.  Hmmm, that sounds a bit weird doesn’t it?  On second thoughts I do blame the gin.
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