Even during our relatively short stay so far in New Zealand we’ve learned a few lessons and had the occasional stroke of genius, if we do say so ourselves, so we thought we’d share with you a few of our mistakes, successes and revelations.
- Never ever, ever drive the camper onto wet mud – this is one of the first major mistakes we made and to be fair it was sort of an accident but we did manage to get very well stuck in the mud in the pitch black of night, in the middle of the woods at a campsite we’d just arrived at. Lucky the campsite owner lived fairly close by so a quick walk through the woods with our torches and a sheepish explanation later we were towed out of the mud by the slightly aerated husband of the owner. No harm done, a little more mud on the camper and… never drive the camper onto wet mud!
- Be creative – this one is sort of a lesson and sort of a stroke of genius on Jess’ behalf. Having realised we needed a place to dry our recently washed laundry Jess had the idea of fashioning a makeshift washing line out of some string and attaching it diagonally from the front of the van to the back on the inside, allowing us to dry the remaining bits of our clothing.
- Our sat-nav wants us dead – well… not really but you could be fooled! We’ve learned to take everything the sat-nav says with a healthy pinch of salt as it has, a number of times, attempted to lead us off practically into the wilderness in search of a destination (usually a campsite). There’s nothing wrong with a good ol’ fashioned map every now and again.
- Campsites at night are spooky as hell – we’ve taken to finding our campsite while it’s still light as the few times that we turned up in the dark we felt like we were walking into the opening scenes of a horror movie and there were surely mad axe murders hiding behind every tree.
- Be sensible but don’t hold back – since we don’t have an enormous amount of money for this trip we started off being incredibly frugal and shying away from paying a dollar more for anything that could be avoided. We’ve since come to the realisation that we may very well only come to New Zealand once in our lives and frankly if we spend a little more than we planned to on our trip of a lifetime, well… that’s what money’s for after all.
Just a few thoughts for you as we improvise our way through life here,
Ben and Jess 🙂