February 22, 2012

Exile-New Zealand Week One

driving the AC boat NZ41

It is possible to plan, pack and begin and international trip of no set duration within a four day window. But to pull it off you need friends. Really kind friends.
You need the kind of people who will take on your cat, look out for your home and offer you beds. And meals. And the stuff you forgot (didn't have time) to pack. And a travel itinerary to make up for the one you haven't got around to organizing.
You also need the ability to let stuff go. To realize that that long dreamed of trip to New Zealand is happening and you haven't got a clue where to go, what to do, or how long you're going to be doing it for.
So really, so far, our trip to New Zealand has been about showing up and letting it unfold.
It is E-NZ Day 6. We've toured Auckland (lovely), tasted wine (delish), seen sheep (fluffy), enjoyed the company of good friends, and tramped trails, we've sailed an America's Cup boat (exciting) and now we're headed to Bay of Islands to sail a Whitbread boat. Well, actually, right now, we're stranded on the side of the road with a broken down rental car sort of hoping the company will actually come through with a replacement car. It's nearly 8pm. The car broke down at 2pm—but it was almost 5pm before we had been towed to civilization, checked by a mechanic and the rental company agreed, that indeed, an exploding radiator was most likely not our fault. Then they needed convincing that it was actually their job to bring us a new car.--despite the inconvenience

The good news is we've discovered Kiwi's who don't work for car rental agencies are awfully nice, and rather helpful. The bad news is we are definitely not making our destination tonight. We're not quite sure what our plan 'b' is—we've decided to wait and see what comes from the rental company first.

E-NZ day 7

Plan 'b' shifted to 'c' then 'd' before our new car arrived. Actually it didn't arrive—we saw it blow past on a flatbed at high speed while we sat parked on a side road a few blocks away. So by the time we chased it down, transferred our belongings, filled out paperwork it was far too late to continue north and definitely too late to back track and stay with our friends Rob and Jo on Blue Moon—so we headed to a nearby holiday camp (sort of a cross between an RV park and a 50's style cottage park—but in suburbia) pitched our tent and fell asleep. Giddy, happy and content.

It's pouring with rain this morning. We missed our boat in Bay of Plenty. But we're in New Zealand, man...


hotspur said...

Rental cars are NOT 4-wheel drive, Evan. ;) Please give our best to Rob and Jo when you see them!

Diane, Evan, Maia and Charlie the cat said...

Oh, Meri... I waas thinking about *that* car too. But this one was not our fault...