The weather over here is super annoying, man!! Climbing up a hill to get a good view, just to realize that the view is blocked by multiple clouds is annoying too!! Yep, the odds are currently not in my favour!
The mountain I climbed up is “Mt Taranaki/Egmont”. It is the most perfectly shaped volcano you’ll come across here in New Zealand and besides that, it resembles “Mt Fuji” in Japan quite a lot. It’s massive!! You stand at its base and you just see this monster right in front of you! Photos for sure don’t do justice! And I did not even see the whole thing yet! 😀
It’s snow – covered as well, which makes it even more beautiful!! So I tried the whole day to find a spot, that gives you a good view, but failed bitterly. I drove halfway around the whole National Park, hoping that the cloud that blocked the view would either move or not surround the whole tip! Unfortunately, the cloud decided to mate with other clouds, while I drove around, covering even more of the mountain. Thanks Karma -,-
By the way, I decided to start my own project, called “Dare Yourself – Prove them wrong”. I’m trying to reach out to people, to help them build up confidence and to overcome emotional struggles… It’s a project and worth a try. If it fails, I can at least say, I tried! I hope, I can help though! Check it out: (I had to lower the video quality a lot in order to be able to upload it at all.. I’m sorry, but unlimited high speed wifi is rare in a backpackers world.. )
I even met a guy that was living exactly according to my philosophy of life! He is an Aussie who recently lost his wife… But instead of sitting back home grieving everyday, he came out here, doing what no one expected him to do! He came out here, hired a van and now travels around all by himself! He did exactly what scared him the most in that exact moment: Letting go and starting all over.. he dared himself and proved everyone, who didn’t expect him to just leave, wrong! You go, mister!! Be an individual and only listen to yourself!! That’s the go!!
That was not the only person that proved, what I’m always talking about, is true. There are people out there with a heart of gold, helping you no matter what. I wanted to pay for my parking ticket and inserted my card. Somehow, it got stuck and I couldn’t get it out .. Luckily, the lady behind me jumped in! And guess what?? She paid the parking ticket for me, cause I didn’t have cash and she didn’t want my card stuck in there again!! I didn’t ask for it or anything! I would have just parked somewhere else.. Those kind of people is what the world needs! ❤
All that happened while I was literally waiting for better weather!! I’ve spent two and a half days waiting for the clouds to clear to get a good view of “Mt Taranaki”. I was so close to just giving up and moving on, but I decided to wait. I parked my car and just waited and waited and waited… And finally, the clouds cleared and the sun came out!! The best view you could ask for!! It was unbelievable!! It’s about 2500m high!! Never give up, guys! Patience is the key!!
I also needed a lot of patience while backing up about 20m.. downhill and around a corner… I actually wanted to explore the white cliffs, but little did I know, the walkway is closed till the end of September, due to lambing. Yep, sometimes it helps to do your research before heading out for a 60k detour. Why did I have to back up, you might wanna know?! Well, I didn’t pay attention to the massive sign, telling me I had reached the walkway. I kept driving and had two choices: ending up on the beach or ending up on private property… Too bad you couldn’t turn around.. Hence, I had to back up all the way… Got all the attention, that I didn’t want…again. Pay attention, kids! Not only in school, but also on the road! 😀
The weather didn’t stop messing with me, so I ended up spending a full day driving! I planned on seeing “Cape Egmont”: a lighthouse with dominating views of “Mt Taranaki” in the background. But guess what: There was no view! Once again .. 😦
And I was extremely tired. Don’t ask me why, but I didn’t end up getting much sleep, since I had a little tsunami – anxiety – panic – attack. What the hell am I talking about?! I discovered a few years ago, that the open water freaks me out. It’s probably even a phobia, I don’t know. Anyway, I was camping right next to the beach, which is actually amazing, don’t get me wrong! But somehow the whole situation got a little too scary for me and I suddenly started fearing a tsunami… to be fair, it’s not unlikely to happen over here, but I don’t know why it popped into my head right when I was about to sleep. There was even a video about Tsunamis randomly appearing on my phone straight after! THAT brought the thing to a whole new level! I actually started panicking a little and ended up not getting any sleep at all 😀 Yeah, I’ve had some weird anxieties recently. I don’t know, what’s wrong with me! At least, there’s proof that travelling makes you get to know yourself better after all. I didn’t know that the ocean freaked me out that much, until I tried diving and snorkelling!
However, we haven’t heard from my good old friend Karma recently, have we?! Don’t worry she wasn’t far! I finally got a good night’s sleep and got ready for the day, when I suddenly noticed a little piece of paper on the driver’s window.. What could that be?? Guess what it said: “Back tyre flat”…. It was the right rear tyre…. Again!! Those of you, who followed me throughout my Australia – adventures might have noticed that I never had any flat tyre other than the right rear one… twice.Haven’t got a logic explanation for that yet, but I will work on it 😀
Anyway, since I haven’t had this car for long, I had noooo clue where all the gear was.. I’ve been told it was there somewhere, but not exactly where. Great… I had 40 minutes left till checkout. I had no other choice than grabbing every single piece out of my car. Of course, I drew some attention on me. But this time, I was quite glad about it! Two guys came to help! Just to let you know: I don’t take it for granted, that people just come over and help!! They did not even just offer it, they just did it!!
We soon figured out, how to get the spare tyre off, which was a pain in the arse!! Unfortunately, I was missing a proper wheel spanner and neither of the guys had one. Therefore, one of the them decided to drive into town and get me one! I had to trust him in that moment, giving him cash and seeing him driving off with it. But I’ve learnt, that at one point you just figure out who is trustworthy and who isn’t!
Time went past and the other guy and I were slightly concerned about him not turning up anymore. But he did! He even paid the difference and believe it or not: he offered me a job!!! As soon as I’m back in Taranaki, I can contact him and he will organize me a 6 week job, more or less well paid!! (No, I’m still not used to NZ – wages, after having worked in Australia!) How crazy is that?! That again shows, that you meet people, when you expect it the least! And of course, that there are people out there with a heart of gold!! ❤
The whole thing took way longer than the supposed check out time, but the lady at the reception just waved me through! They could have charged me for another night! 🙂 So I drove on and ended up in Napier. There was not really much time to explore left, so I decided to settle for the day.
I couldn’t quite believe my ears though, when the lady at the reception of the new caravan park asked me, wether it wasn’t a bit cold for camping… Uhm… yes!! It does get super cold at night!! But NO, I kinda haven’t got another option. This is the cheapest.. Of course, I’d love to be in a warm and cosy room instead. That’s the life of a homeless person by choice 😉
What is even worse than the cold is the constant investation of money into your “home”. Especially, when it ends up to be more than expected.. I mean, a lot more. I thought of spending 30, maybe 50 bucks to get that tyre fixed, that’s it… but instead… I ended up spending 500$!!! Gone! Just like that!! And you know why?? Someone messed up my car and put 3 different types of tyres on there.. apparently.. and one of them was worn out because the wheels weren’t aligned at all. According to the mechanic, what I was driving was illegal and if the police had stopped me, they would have taken the car off the road.. I don’t know wether it was really necessary to get 3 new tyres, but anyhow, I got 3 new tyres and a wheel alignment.. 500 bucks… I got it for a lot cheaper though! Normally the tyres are 175$ each and I got them for 105$ each! It helps, when you look like you’re about to cry, because you just realised that you spent almost all of your travel savings and you’re pretty much broke.
I could definitely feel the difference while driving, though. And apparently I will save a lot more on fuel now. What confuses me a little is, that the last mechanic that serviced my car, didn’t mention anything of the above… hmm..
As soon as that was all sorted, I could finally explore the area. And you won’t believe it, but a mysterious natural phenomen accured, which is not to be missed… th sun was out!! 😛
So I hiked up “Te Mata Peak” in the TukiTuki Valley. A 5.5k hike with the worst track-signage I’ve ever seen! I think, I’ve changed track accidentally about a million times! The views were sooo worth it, though! I’ve never seen valley – views like that before! Absolutely breathtaking!!
It was super windy but, which made the way back scary as! You basically had to walk on the outer rim of a hill. A windy, narrow track leads you along massive rocks on the one side and the hill on the other… Yes, the wind makes you lose your balance every now and then.. That was the scariest hike, I’ve ever undertaken! But you always gotta dare yourself, hey?! Of course, you had to share the track with other hikers and even cyclists! At some point, a guy, running like a bear was chasing him, past me, while I was trying really hard not to stumble 😀 I don’t know what the hell that guy was doing, but he made me feel like the most unfit person on planet earth!
I gotta correct myself: the worst signed track is the “Otatara Pã Loop”! First of all, a Pã is a formerly in use Maori defense base. Practically, a massive hill, with their living base in the middle of the crater, well protected. It was quite intersting to learn about it, but since there is not much of it left, I soon found the new inhabitants, the sheep, much more interesting! The lambs were sooo cute!
Anyway, as I mentioned before, the signage was bad!! It was supposed to be a loop, but at some point, the track just ended at a random street and you were left alone with your own fate… I had to use “Google Maps”, cause I had no bloody clue where I could possibly be… Took me 45 minutes to find back to my car.. What the heck?!
But I gotta give credit to the Kiwi’s this time, before I finish the blog post! If you wanna get fuel over here, you basically just drop your car off and get it refilled and washed, while you can use the bathroom or buy groceries or just wait in line! I don’t know why, but it’s super cute! Might be because the demand for fuel is lower. While in Australia, everyone is running to the same service station because it’s the last for the next 300ks, people in New Zeland can easily grab fuel wherever, whenever they want. Running out of fuel is quite unlikely! 😀
I’m sorry that this blog might be less exciting than usual. But it has a more personal note instead. Hope you don’t mind! I can release a second post this week, commenting on anything you want! Just leave a comment with any ideas, please 🙂