Enter Elvis - Auckland to Waipu

Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
Trip End Jul 23, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , Northland,
Sunday, March 31, 2013

Terry woke around 9:15, this left him with only 45 mins to wash, dress and pack. I woke at 09:50 so only had 10 mins ... no prob's for veteran travellers like us!

Without thinking about breakfast, we took a taxi from Auckland to where we were to pick up our camper van; this was about a 20 min journey to a location just north of the airport.

(Terry) After the initial shock of how basic and ancient the 'economy' camper van was... (Lynne) The camper van wasn't quite as I had imagined it would be....... we checked it over with the rental guy, pointing out some dents, scratches and windscreen chips. Terry, worrying that our library of information may not be suffice to get us around the two islands, insisted on paying another £75 for the 'combo deal' which included a Tom Tom, a bedding bale, a table and two chairs and a mini fridge.

At around midday, we fired the baby up and set off like the gang from Scooby Doo. As the tank was only around 1/4 full, Terry started panicking straight away about petrol, so, after we had stopped for breakfast at a service station, we stopped a further 15 mins down the road to fill up. Terry got out and I heard him saying 'Oh no....what....this isn't right...' I thought, 'Oh god, what now'. I thought he was having trouble getting the petrol cap off but what had happened was that the petrol pump had been preset to $40, and he couldn't understand why it had stopped working.

Great start.

We decided to call the camper van Elvis, as it had a white coat and shiny blue window dressings n

Our fist stop was at Waipu. We had intended to get to the Bay of Islands but worried that we would not be able to get any accommodation due to it being Easter, plus, time was getting on. We stopped at one campsite but were told they were full up. We were directed a short distance down the road to a site we had already passed, so turned back and drove in. We were lucky, they had a couple of spare places where we could hook Elvis up to power.

We made up the beds while it was still light then took a stroll around the immediate area. The park backed straight on to Waipu Beach, a wonderful stretch of sand and blue seas for as far as the eye could see. It was a little windy but not cold. Now and again moisture would lift off of the sea to create a little light shower. In the distance we could see large mountains where the tops disappeared into the clouds. Stunning scenery.

There was no where to eat on the camp site apart from a nasty little cafeteria which only seemed to sell orange food; Chicken Nuggets, Chips......so we decided to take Elvis off site for a drive into the centre of Waipu. En route we stopped at a small grocery and bought a few provisions for breakfast. Further into Waipu,we stopped at a restaurant called the Pizza Barn which was packed with people as it was the only place open for miles. Terry had a huge burger and chips and I had sausage and mash. Lovely grub.

Back at the Waipu Cove camping site, I decided to get into the groove of camping and managed to convince Terry to help me put up the awning. We sat for a while in it, but it was difficult to enjoy the ambiance of the moment due to a crowd of noisy teenagers a few yards away. Even so, we managed to catch up with this blog and upload the few photos we had managed to take over the past few tiring days.

At around 21:00 I went over to the showers - a whole new experience. It was difficult trying to dig out all my washing and night time stuff from the suitcase and I made a mental note to get more organised. It was also quite difficult making up the bed in the back of Elvis as once the bed was pulled out it completely filled the space. The cushions we had been given as mattresses seemed quite thin as did the pillows and duvet. I just hoped we were going to be warm enough.
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Mum on

I am so proud to tell all my friends about my Globe Trotting daughter and son-in-law. love you both. xxxxx

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