19.03.2007 - 24.03.2007 25 °C
I am now in New Zealand. After landing I went straight to the B&B to meet up with Mutti and Antje. It was great to see both of them again. The B&B was quite simple but clean, certainly good enough for me. :-) Auckland doesn't seem very special.
We went to the harbour for a bite to eat and shit loads of wine, as expected. It was great to catch up but far too much to drink, so we all had a bad hangover the next morning.
Regarding to the landlady it seems that I was sleepwalking which is quite worrying. Wonder how long I have been doing that..... Anyway, needless to say that I wasn't in the best condition to pick up our campervan! ;-)
The driving was going better than expected and we went on our way to the Bay of Islands. We stayed in a small pituresque and charming village called Russell. The van is really small and we haven't really worked out the sleeping situation, as the so called 3rd bed is far too small and it also quite risky to fall down, so that is still a bit of a challenge.
Our first day in Russell was great with fantastic weather so we decided to have beach day and just relax. The beach wasn't too great (obviously being spoiled from Australia) but the scenary was fantastic. The islands certainly have something mystic.
We had our first BBQ in our new home and decided to stay here for another couple of nights.
After having hassle with our water tank which seem to be broken we got that sorted too. Our van seems pretty much the oldest around and apparently the tank was broken before, so no surprise there then...
Our next day was a boat trip going to "The Whole in the Rock".
Unfortunately it was overcast the whole day but the islands and the Whole were still great. Must be amazing when the sun is shining. Straight after we left the harbour we saw dolphins. There were so many of them, just fantastic. They were staying with the boat for a really long time and were swimming with us and jumping really high. Really cool! I have never seen so many dolphins befor and have never seen them jump so high. It was like being in one of those shows. They were massive too. Those Bottlenose Dolphins can get up to 4.5 meters and up to 450 kilos. Quite scary to imagine to swim with them.... I am not sure why they wouldn't let us swim with them, but unfortunately we didn't get a chance. I think their first priority was getting to the whole and only if we had time in the afternoon we could have swam with them. But never mind, I am sure there will be more opportunities.
Our van is still not sorted, so I called the mechanic again and we went to a nice little pub just by the seaside, The Duke of Marlborough.
As we can't get the van fixed we now have to go back to Auckland to get it fixed there, which gives me also the opportunity to pick up my fleece which I left in my drunken stage in the pub.
By the time we got back to van company they couldn't really help us anymore and put us up in hotel next door. After a lot of hassle and me kicking up a huge fuss, we managed to get a new van which is for 4 people and therefore much bigger and much nicer. So we are all very happy now with the big van. At least we have two proper double beds and can even manage to unpack all our stuff, which is a complete novelty for me :-)
Much happier with our new van we made our van to Coromandel.