Buckle up, its a looooong catch-up entry.
We're on the ferry now (or...we were at the time this was written, it takes me a while to find wifi good enough to load photos...) - hence, time to write this beast -making the Cook Strait crossing from the north to south island of New Zealand. The North Island has been a pretty great start to this trip, but we're really excited for the South. Supposed to be a bit more off the beaten track (while still traveling with hoards of others like us, on said beaten track, ha). Ride has been smooth so far, which is awesome considering there are quite a few horror stories and the lonely planet book calls it a "white knuckle" ride. Sheeeeeeeeet, we got this.
Annnnnyway....Haven't been stellar at regularly updating here (been a bit better with instagram and facebook photos), but here are some of our North Island highlights!
- picking up the campervan after ACL, we met another American, Bella, in the Spaceship rentals parking lot, who has been traveling since January and had an amazing amount of tips and pointers ( for campervanning in general, locations, etc). Really put our minds at ease and basically confirmed that the campervan life was going to be awesome. And just right for our lazy travel style. For example, she mentioned that since there are so many DOC (dept of conservation, cheap basic camping sites) sites and holiday parks (private, usually more ammenities), as long as you show up relatively early, you never really need to book ahead. Good. Because otherwise we'd be in trouble. Went to hot water beach in Cormomandel, where theres a hot spring under the sands, and if you dig in a certain spot you can make your own hot tub. We got a little lazy, and just watched others do that. But dig your feet in, and you can only stand it a few moments before the water/sand is too hot to handle (and in no way too cold to hold.)