DAY 1 & 2: Easing pressure and setting foot on Kiwi land

Finally! After hectic months of organisation we’re on the road. Leaving Australia was not as easy as we initially thought both in emotional and bureaucratic sense. We had tonnes of paperwork to fill and almost all our belongings to sell, but the hardest part was saying goodbye to some of the friends we made in the two years in Australia. I don’t have to name them, they know who they are. I feel warmth in my heart every time I think of them.

I have been dreaming of visiting New Zealand since I was 12 when my parents bought me my first issue of National Geographic… and now here we are landing in Auckland. The first two things that hit me at the airport were very thorough security checks and Maori language used alongside English on all signs and announcements. They showed how careful New Zealanders are about who and what they admit through their gates and how well integrated the Maori-English culture was or was trying to be.

When we got to the city we were struck by how quiet it was. After all it was Auckland on Saturday night and yet the city was almost deserted. We could hear music from a few clubs and bars on our street, but no big city hustle and bustle. The hostel in Downtown that we stayed in seemed the liveliest corner in the area. We shared space in a mixed dorm and as it happens in hostels, especially on Saturday night, when we got there, there was already nice little party rolling in the kitchen. There were bottles all over the floor and those five guys trying to seduce a girl from the room next door trying to sweet talk her, offer massage and free drinks, but to their disappointment after a few glasses of wine she thanked them and went back to her room. Next thing I knew, one of those guys came to our room when I was having shower and asked Ale if I was with him. I was glad I wasn’t traveling on my own. I’m sure that guy had a good night anyway, because when we got up at 6am the following morning not even alarm clocks, zips and slamming doors managed to wake him up. We got up to catch a bus at 7am that was supposed to take us to the place we were renting camper van from. Except the guy at hostel reception gave us the wrong time and the bus was scheduled for 9am. So we sat there on a bus stop bench kind of lost and considering our options when a cab stopped. The driver looked kind of bored and agreed to take us there for 30 bucks. An hour later we loaded our backpacks to Hippie Campervan and set off to discover New Zealand.

We started with Mount Eden and One Tree Hill on Auckland’s volcanic field. People call them Mount and Hill, but don’t be mistaken, they are sleeping volcanoes waiting for the right time to cause trouble. The views from both of them are mesmerizing. Mount Eden offers a 360 degree view of Auckland, while One Tree Hill is located in one of the most beautiful parks we have ever been to, with idyllic rolling green hills and sheep chewing grass right under the feet of the hill. We were meant to see so many more places in Auckland, but the park was so tranquil and pretty we just relaxed there and hit the road when we recharged our batteries.

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