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New Zealand :: Patience

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Thursday, 03 March 2005

Iím so bored. Waiting for a ferry to take me to New Zealandís north island in 2 hours. Got a fine this morning for overstaying in a 60 minute parking bay. The warden wrote Ď20 minute overstayí; I was there 4 hours. But the car rental company told me, when handing over the keys, there was no point paying fines as the car is a rental. I donít think it would leave me broke, though, if I did decide to pay the 7 euros! Take that for a fine. In Paris, the same thing would cost me 185 euros (150 to get the car out of the pound, 35 for the fine).

But thatís as much excitement as I can get around here. I spend most nights in the car - not so much for savings (although it does help) but to catch the most amazing sunrises. Then I just drive off to the closest hostel, get a free shower, and sometimes cook myself breakfast. Everything is going well meeting people - usually hitchhikers - if not those at hostels.

As for things to do around here, well - there are plenty of walks, and many expensive guided tours. Thatís what I enjoyed so much about South East Asia: feel like doing something? Hey, why not do it! Here: feel like doing something? Hmmm... check wallet - wallet empty - take more cash out - bank is empty - pay by credit card or forget it? Hmmm... back to square one.

Iím so bored. And this writing has only killed 10 minutes of my time. I will have to continue writing until the boat arrives. Tomorrow, Iíll be visiting Mount Taranaki, a dormant volcano. I've decided to climb the summit and get a few snapshots. After that Iíll make my way up north.

Iíve finally managed to buy an inexpensive pair of shoes to replace the ones I have (which are split in two - both feet - despite the extensive 1 USD repair surgery they undertook on a crowded street in Cambodia). But Iím still wearing them - the new ones hurt like hell.

New Zealand is so beautiful; I wonder if thereís a cinema around here.

mount Taranaki
New Zealand: Mount Taranaki (2518m)

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Note: since writing this text, NZ promptly became fun again: my 6-day girlfriend became my 12-day girlfriend; I did climb mount Taranaki: it took me 6 hours return and the 1600m climb was very painful but worth the effort; I then skydived in Taupo: jumping out of a plane 12,000 feet high is truly is satisfying; and finally drove 16 hours in a day to get to the northernmost accessible point of New Zealand before having to return the rental car in Auckland with 8000 km on the clock!