Having spent some time setting up Bernie, we have now finally left Auckland. I suspect it was about time to do so. As a farewell gift, the city provided us with a drunk who attempted to clean our rear window with a loaf of bread. He staggered up to my window and explained that his sponge had gone. I explained that we were fine without his window cleaning services, which he seemed somewhat taken aback by, and following a spectacularly brief and sadly, unintelligible tirade, he moved onto the next car. At which point the lights went green.
We have chosen, somewhat arbitrarily, to go North. It was that or South. I would say there was a reason for this, but there wasn’t. Really we just wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t a city and try out living in Bernie for a bit, in search of both work and clement weather. The advantage, of course, to a vehicle like this, is that we are pretty much entirely self contained, and bad weather isn’t so much of a problem. Which is a lovely change from Australia, where I was living out of a tent, and bad weather meant my “designed for perpetual summer” living accommodation dripped on me a lot.
So, we are travelling. And travelling, and living in a combined space, is always a great way to find out the quirky sides to yourself and your partner that you may not previously have been aware of. Some say that travel is a true relationship test. Thus far I have discovered that my bed making skills are not up to par, and probably never will be. As this means I no longer have to worry myself with making the bed, it is not really a disaster. I’m sure more things will become apparent, it’s all part of the fun and discovery of this nomadic life.
We have spent a couple of days slowly pootling North into the excellently titled “Northland”. (There is a Southland but presumably that is somewhere in the South.) This started off with the standard suburban sprawl, as we arched away from the Auckland CBD, and then gradually reduced into smaller towns and villages. We found free spots to stay the night on our first two nights, which was a handy bonus. Our slow pace is currently marked somewhat sadly not by multiple stops to view the scenery (although that is starting to happen with more regularity the further away from Auckland we get), but rather by multiple stops to purchase things we need to finalise the van setup. Van setup nirvana will soon be attained I am hoping.
Still, the scenery is pretty awesome, even the small amount we have seen between Auckland and Whangarei (about 150km North of Auckland). The hills undulate in a seriously undulating manner. From time to time, giant and improbable looking rock formations jut skyward to form incredible shaped hills. Some of these just appear out at sea and would seem to serve no purpose other than generally looking incredible and presumably hosting the odd seabird or two. I guess that is enough of a purpose.
That will probably do for now. The next few days we will no doubt meander further North and see further interesting things, which I will photograph and report back on. The search for work is entering ever more serious stages. Who knows, at some point someone may even employ me for a period of time.