Road trips, Traveling
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Tiny little stumbling stones on my South Island road trip

After a little sickness had delayed my departure from Wanaka I finally jumped into my packed car on Tuesday and hit the road northwards. And oh, what a feeling of freedom! Reminded me of the good old road trip times with Goldie & Maggie last year. On day two and after a night in Christchurch the hassle started showing up on the horizon – first with a little drizzle which soon turned into a major storm along the coast. Windy as (it was) I decided to have a little break and parked Fugly (my f…. ugly car) on a parking spot between the road and the Pacific.

Well, those who have ever been in Fugly before know that the sliding door window slightly opens up – something I tried to fix with duct tape. But obviously not well enough for the mighty storm which went over New Zealand’s east coast that day. When I got out of the car to re-attach the tape I almost got blown away and hurried back into the car – almost stumbling over a seal. Where did he come from? I soon discovered another one, and another one, one more over there – and in the end many of them. Or can you spot them all?

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And don’t miss all those baby seals in the rock pool:

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Anyway, back in the car and trying to spot all the seals I was startled by a sudden big burst and millions of small glass pieces flying around. The wind had apparently pushed open my back window, turned it by 180 degrees and smashed it onto the passenger window. Now a car with an open window is not the best option when traveling across New Zealand with a) all your belongings in that car, including your ski gear and b) while a major storm is going down on you. I quickly continued my journey, hoping that I would make it to the ferry in time, without freezing and no more hassles. A goal temporarily in danger by a sudden flood on the road – the only road leading up to Picton, and thus my destination Wellington. I managed to go around the flooded parts and make it to Picton in time. MacGyver that I am I even temporarily fixed the open window on the way with a huge piece of plastic and lots of duct tape (but those a really loud noise while driving).

Finally on the ferry I found myself a cosy spot on one of the couches, wrapped myself up in my blankets and was just ready for a well deserved sleep when the Captain made a security announcement. Winds were strong and the sea between the South and North Island looked “less than favorable”. Having been on boats before I was confident that it wouldn’t harm me but wow, who knew that even such a big car ferry could rock that much! I have to admit that I was slightly intimidated – mostly for Fugly as I imagined him slipping around crashing into other vehicles on the car deck or getting smashed by one of those big smelly sheep trucks. But it turned out that cars got secured by chains, passengers got sickness bags and water and we were told to remain in our seats until Wellington. Due to the storm it became a slightly longer journey over the Cook Strait and I was happy when I finally arrived on the North Island.

Since then my luck has steadily been coming back: Fugly came to sleep in a secured garage in downtown Wellington, I slept for approximately two days in a row – only interrupted by the search of a Toyota Estima 1994 sliding door window. Lucky as I am the first wrecking place I called had one in their stock and since it got fixed Fugly is like brand new. He even passed the Warrant of Fitness (Pickerl) for the next six months with almost no issues. My days in Wellington since then have been chilled as – filled with lots of sleep, strolling through the city, driving along the coast, parking Fugly on the beach and watching the waves, making pancakes, discovering the art of animé, reading and hanging out with this lovely geek. Thanks for everything!

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