|Off we go!|
Our inaugural road trip in New Zealand began on the twisting road outside Opua where, unbelievably to us, the speed limit is 100km/h. Rick quipped, “Well this is different. I’ve spent the last two and half years moving at 8 km/h or less…” It certainly put things in perspective for us. To top it off, in this country they drive on the
wrong left side of the road. Including this first road
trip, we have now both driven a few hundred kilometers in rented cars. In the
beginning, we'd chant "driver in the middle!" every time one of us
had to make a turn. (Thanks for the tip Kate!) Except for the occasional
signalling left with the windshield wipers, we now have it down. (Well, parking
lots still cause some heart palpitations at times and forget parallel parking...)
|A little tense but getting the hang of it!|
Back to our first road trip: we rented a car and left Opua one very rainy morning. We were going to the big city (Auckland) to visit friends and to pick up our bonus crew at the airport the next day. That first leg, there were a few anxiety riddled "Not too far to the left, not too far to the left!" and "Turn right here!" from the navigator with the driver pointing to the left saying "Right here? You mean turn right here?" "No, that right!” (With the navigator pointing to the actual right.) Poor Rick, he was translating right to left when he didn't need to...
|The big smoke!|
|Reunited with a lovely friend!|
Auckland was a whirlwind of reuniting with friends: We reconnected with the crew of the yacht Wondertime, a little family we met when we first crossed the border into Mexico in 2011. It was great fun! Dana arrived from Canada bright and early the next day. A regular visitor on Nyon, we were thrilled to have her back. Following a brunch date with our buddy boats, we headed back for Opua. After Auckland, Opua seemed miniscule, and that’s because it is. And of course, Dana’s first day in New Zealand began with a big enough downpour for her to discover the leak at the foot of her berth.
|Gotta have an arty shot|
Our first road trip behind us, we were ready to head out to the islands, for more of that island pace we’ve grown fond of. And that’s just what we did.
|Our Canadian ambassador (a.k.a. bonus crew) has arrived!|