Freedom at our fingertips

living in a campervan

The time was running up for us. We knew we have to get out of the city as soon as possible, otherwise, our pockets might suffer.
The most important thing for us now was to buy a good car – but not just ordinary one. It supposed to be a backpacker’s car, something like a small caravan, but much cheaper, adapted for sleeping and camping.

To buy a car but not just ordinary one   

our campervan

We went on the Saturday car markets which are quite popular not only for travellers but locals as well. This markets are usually on Sundays too, and also there is quite a lot of things which you should pay attention to, not only as a buyer but either as a seller. I’ll certainly point out on the “buying and selling a car” in another post in the near future, because this is one of the key thing which has to be done right for the successful and smooth traveling without complications and wasted money.

In the main season you can see there lot of cars of any kind (with private sellers) for sale. We haven’t been so lucky because it was still October thus it was spring here and the season didn’t start at its full flourishing yet, which meant less option to choose from.
After awhile we decided we are gonna buy a Mazda MPV ’94 with the seats, and we will rebuild it and adapt it for a living on our own. What attracted us the most was that the owner was a nice retired local man, and car had very good mileage and looked well-kept.

Once we tried it and decided we take it, we shook hands with the owner and knocked out some German guy who’s been hesitating too much. We felt like winners!
We went to the nearest post shop and made a change of ownership – what is another great thing on NZ is that you can buy and sell the car very easily – in any postshop – and if you’ve got NZ’s drivers license you can even do it online. Literally, you can buy and sell any cars like on a treadmill.

The old man was nice and drove us around the city, showed us stunning view of the Auckland from one of the active volcanoes and gave us a few thoughtful pieces of advice.
We’ve been very happy, because we finally had something which was ours, and we felt safe and free to go anywhere we want, without any boundaries.
This illusion vanished the very next day, as the life has a very ironic and parodic sense of humor sometimes.

Backpackers lifestyle in New Zealand
Most of the backpackers in New Zealand are enjoying this unforgettable style of living and travel experience.

Was it a good decision?

Next morning we checked out of the hotel and all excited sat in the car. “Let’s go!” said Radito and turned the key but nothing happened. We tried to turn on engine several times, still nothing.
We haven’t been sure what could be wrong, but we definitely doubt about our yesterday’s decision.
So we called to that “nice old man” explaining the problem and luckily he was able to get there in half an hour. The battery was flat so we needed to recharge it from another car. “The battery is older and it likes longer distances, you should drive a lot now.” said the old man to us,.. what a kind gesture from him to say it only now!

Nevermind, with little less excitement, and little less feel of the security, we finally headed out of the Auckland. I can tell you, it is not funny to sit on the other side of the car and go in the opposite direction. I was the one who was less daring and my hubby was driving.

New Zealand Happy Cow
Just outside of Auckland, this happy cow is posing for us. Independent Couple. HDR photography created by ©Radoslav Cajkovic www.radocation.com

The city itself looks beautiful from the distance, but as long as we drove further, the “middle earth” scenery around us dropped our jaws.
Wide green (but the green is greener than “green”) hills and pastures with the happy cute cows and sheeps surrounded us, animals were peacefully feeding and enjoying the sun and the freedom.

The driving issue of newbies or What any travel guide won’t tell you

My husband’s driving suddenly became very dangerous as he stopped paying attention to driving and started to point his fingers on the scenery around us. “Look at this,…wooow, look at that,.. can you see this?” he was saying in awe to me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy this excitement fully with him because I was terrified we’re gonna make an accident with this style of driving from one side of the road to another.
Fortunately, we didn’t, and the spectacular scenery around us was becoming even more interesting the further we’ve been driving.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Kiwis have a great generous habit (not everywhere, mostly on North Island, and this trend is slightly decreasing from year to year) – if they don’t need something from their homes, they simply put it out on the street for someone who might want to take it – for free.
This is how we found our mattress to the car – just laying lonely on the street, it was the single one, quite narrow, but anyway, we’ve been so happy, we have something to sleep on at least, and we don’t need to waste any money to buy it.

living in a campervan
Our van after “upgrade”.

Regards
Barbara

© 2015 Independent Couple

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