Time to hit the road…
Our first day of freedom started with a 06:30 start so that we could be packed and ready to leave by 08:00 when we caught a free ride to Lucky Rentals, where we were due to pick up a campervan at 09:30. Instead of letting it get to our heads that we’d gone three weeks without spending very much at all we kept our sensible heads screwed on and booked the cheapest option available, the Lucky Rookie.
We arrived half an hour early to pick the camper up, which we thought might have been a problem but actually worked massively in our favour. Only one vehicle was ready and it wasn’t the Rookie that we’d booked but instead the Roadie, a much bigger (and more expensive) option. To our surprise, instead of making us wait which we fully expected them to do, they said we could take the Roadie instead. No extra cost, no catch, just a free upgrade for arriving early. What a result:
Our (exceptionally vague) plan was to drive as far North as possible, but we didn’t make it particularly far in the end for a number of reasons. Firstly, with over 526,000km on the clock, the camper van had a bit of trouble reaching more than 80km/h unless we were going down hill. Secondly we faced absolutely atrocious wind and rain – the newspaper headline even read ‘rough weather to batter country’, so we didn’t stand a chance really.
At around 14:00 we arrived in Wangarei where we stopped at a few shops to stock up on supplies. We brought a saucepan and a blanket from The Warehouse because the ones that came with the vehicle weren’t particularly great, then loads of food and drink from Countdown to keep us going for a while, and a cheap mobile phone from Vodafone so that we could make calls or access the internet if/when there’s no Wi-Fi on the road.
We decided not to drive any further because the weather still hadn’t cleared, so found a nearby campsite and parked up for the night. For dinner we made a seafood and vegetable stir-fry which was incredible, then packed up for the night and decided to assemble our bed. Unlike our Jucy in America which had a separate bed on the roof, the Roadie had a seating area in the back which had to be converted into a sleeping space. We didn’t have any instructions, but realised after a while that a piece of the bed was missing, which resulted in about two hours of trying to contact the Lucky Rentals emergency number, before giving up and building ourselves something imperfect but practical enough to sleep on.
Alright so the mileage is high and there’s a piece missing, but the Roadie is still much better than the Rookie which we were supposed to get. We went to sleep later than anticipated after the whole bed debacle but didn’t let that get to us too much. At least we don’t have to set alarms any more!
Streets of Nuremberg on I guess I should probably wrap… Streets of Nuremberg on Days 363 & 364 – Sat… danstravelling on Days 355 & 356 – Fri… David Parkes on Days 355 & 356 – Fri… danstravelling on Days 345, 346 & 347…