22 Days on the Road
Ok, today we need to sort our sh*t out. Because our campervan is going in for repair for two weeks (see previous blog post), we are going to be travelling in a rental camper from Jucy. However, we are in Hamilton and the nearest Jucy depot is at Auckland Airport. The plan is Robin will take the bus to Auckland Airport, pick up our Jucy camper, then drive for two hours back to Hamilton. While Robin is on his little adventure, Laura will be working in our old crappy campervan. This is not quite the trip we had expected to do within the first 20 days of our 12 months on the road, but hey ho.
So we survive the night sleeping on the streets of Hamilton (in our campervan, but that doesn’t sound as badass, does it?), thanks to Phil and Sarah, the panelbeaters, letting us use their garage parking spaces. We finally get rid of each other for the first time on this trip when Robin is kindly given a lift by Phil to the Hamilton Transport Centre. He has a good chat with Phil on the way and obviously can’t thank him enough for his kindness so far! Despite us getting in this sh*tty situation with just sheer bad luck with our campervan, there has been plenty of people here to support us and still make sure we have a good time in New Zealand. You got to love Kiwis!
Bussing it to Auckland
So Robin hops on the InterCity bus back to Auckland, which is surprisingly cheap for a last-minute booking (NZ$20). He sits at the front of the bus (like the nerd at school) and has a good chat some lovely old ladies. But, the free WiFi announcement from the bus driver beckons Robin to pull out his laptop and get on with some work. Despite the driver warning that there is likely to be a loss of connection along the way, the connection actually stays consistent! Robin is blasting through emails, emails and more emails. It’s crazy the amount your can do as a bus passenger, or the fact that you can relax if you feel like it. (We don’t know that feeling, but we hear it’s pretty nice). It actually made a welcome change for Robin who has been designated driver for our whole road trip so far. (Eventually, Laura will get her sh*t together and drive, she says).
Meanwhile with Laura…
Laura works… Does some clicks on the computer… Writes a blog post…
Ok… Back to Robin
He arrives at Auckland Airport and asks for directions to the Jucy depot. A airport worker just stares at him and gives him a map of the airport. Not helpful. So Robin just uses their toilet facilities and gets on his merry little way. Time to take matters into his own hands. It’s not technical but he literally follows the Jucy cars and campervans that are driving outside the airport for about 30 minutes until he reaches the depot. That, ladies and gentlemen, is pure genius.
However, his attention is taken during this genius process by dinosaurs. That’s right, you heard: dinosaurs. Robin loves dinosaurs. There is a giant T-Rex sculpture outside of some sort of “dinosaur place”. He has no time to investigate the matter, so he just strokes the dinosaur, feeds it some nuts and seeds (this is all he has in the way of food today), then picks up the Jucy trail.
Once at Jucy Depot, he meets a lovely lady who shows him around the Jucy Condo, the self-contained campervan we are going to live in for the next two weeks! Although it looks relatively small for a self-contained camper on the outside, once inside he is surprised by how space-efficient it is! You can sleep at least 4-5 people in here. Plus there’s a kitchen area and plenty of netted storage around the walls to store clothes and such like. Wow, Jucy you have saved our asses with this one!
meanwhile Laura is…
… scheduling some social media posts and writing a listicle because she is an efficient broad that cannot be tamed…
… Right then, back to Robin
Robin is blasting down the highway out of Auckland (by blasting, we obviously mean sticking to the speed limit)! There’s a wicked sound system that he is taking advantage of, listening to Rock Radio. He had almost forgot how stress-free driving is with an automatic, rather than the sticky manual gears of our own camper. However, because the last couple of days have been just a little bit stressful (understatement of the century), he feels he needs a just a quick break just before heading back into Hamilton – just a timeout. This way, he is not getting too tired and can remain a safe driver. He stops at Huntley, a small town north of Hamilton, at a lookout for an old power station. There’s a river passing through and the sound is pretty relaxing for a moment where Robin can gather his thoughts and acknowledge that although we had a stroke of bad luck, we are super relieved that we can continue showing you guys New Zealand!
On the last leg to Hamilton, he pulls up to the Phils Paint & Panel to reunite with Laura, but more importantly, his Nintendo 3DS console. Now, it’s about 3.30pm and Phil closes shop at 4pm. Ahhh! We need to transfer what we can into this downsized Jucy camper in 30 minutes!
It’s a mad rush. No, it’s chaotic. All our stuff is sprawled along the pavement, heaps of equipment and clothes piled in the Jucy camper, food shoved in the cupboards in no logical order… We’re afraid we’ll forget something major, but we seem to have all the essentials.
We say: “See you in two weeks to Phil and Sarah,” as they leave to go home. We put the stuff in some sort of order around the campervan and finally get out of Hamilton!
Finally, we can relax in Arapuni
Night falls and we are on our way to Arapuni! We are staying at Arapuni Backpackers tonight, where we are given a warm welcome from our hosts, Steve and Lorraine. Warm because, daaang, this backpackers is lovely and warm! After such a hectic day, we are happy to sit in their living area, have some beers, and talk about how they converted this backpackers out of just a couple of rotten sheds in the garden. It’s amazing what they have done to the place! (More info coming up, as we will stay here for two nights). All the while we stroke, BC, their cat. (BC stands for “bloody cat”! Brilliant!)
Because we haven’t eaten all day, we heat up some pies and veggies, stuff ourselves, then collapse in bed. All we can do is look forward to waking up in this homely hostel and start afresh tomorrow. We are pretty stoked to be checking out Mt Maungatautari (Sanctuary Mountain) in the morning to see some endangered New Zealand species. Until then, Goodnight!
Maaaan, even Robin can stand up in this Jucy campervan!
Hells yeah! If you’re trying to figure out what transport method is best for you to travel around New Zealand, take a look at these articles:
- How to Check if Your Car is Safe For a Road Trip
- Different Types of Campervans in New Zealand
- 10 Reasons Why Bus Travel is Actually Awesome in New Zealand
See you tomorrow!