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Chris and Charly Down Under

a travel blog by chrischarly

Bye bye tuk tuks
Bye bye negotiating
Bye bye, 'Hello Mister'
Bye bye long bus rides
Bye bye heavy backpacks
Bye bye savings...
And G'DAY 'down under'!

After plenty of time spent in South East Asia, we have just left Australia after having an amazing time driving around for almost 3 months in a camper and are now in New Zealand doing the same :)

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Haruru, New Zealand

OMG, woke up to Sunshine! What a lovely Surprise! So I got straight up and took a walk down to Haruru falls which due to all the recent rain were flowing super-fast and then took a 5km walk down one on the tracks alongside the River and sea before coming back pretty exhausted as I stupidly didn’t take any water with me and although the temperature of the day was just 24 degrees the humidity was 85%. The rest of the day Chris and I didn’t do a lot, made a couple more calls to a few people to see if they would be interested in our car and chatted to some other people staying at our campsite.

permalink written by  chrischarly on March 22, 2012 from Haruru, New Zealand
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Slim Chris!

Paihia, New Zealand

As it wasn’t raining again today Chris decided to head off fishing and came back empty-handed, of course! Had someone interested in the car and so came to have a look at it, but unfortunately they wanted a manual. What a pain… But check out how much weight Chris has lost! We have been carrying this T-shirt around with us since Chris' mum brought it with her to Sri Lanka and now he can finally fit into it and comfortably! So proud of him! :)

permalink written by  chrischarly on March 23, 2012 from Paihia, New Zealand
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A load of rain, again.

Paihia, New Zealand

It poured and poured and poured with rain today, so we did nothing again.

permalink written by  chrischarly on March 24, 2012 from Paihia, New Zealand
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11+km walk

Waitangi, New Zealand

Somebody else called about the car today! So we excitedly rushed around tidying it and again he wasn’t interested and instead wanted something bigger. Not long ‘till we fly out now, so better get something sorted, quick. But it was a gorgeous day today so we went on a 11+km walk on the same track as the other day but to the end to Waitangi and back the road way. Which was great and gorgeous but exhausting, then had a tasty dinner before enjoying having the campsite to ourselves once again. It’s like our own private House.

permalink written by  chrischarly on March 25, 2012 from Waitangi, New Zealand
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Another headache from trying to sell our van

Paihia, New Zealand

A few days ago we had an offer of $1500 for our car from a dealer just down the road where we are staying. Rubbish price, but it is now low season so no one is buying and the dealer is obviously clearly aware of this so is going to hold out and sell it in a few months when it is high season again so will more than double his money. Cheeky, but understandable and if I were in his position I would do the exact same. So Chris went off to go and see him this morning as it is now our last option as no one else seems interested but he wanted to check it over as well, which is a pain. He found that the brake pads are seriously worn down and the bushes which affect the suspension need replacing and he is baffled as to how they ever passed the WOF. So, of course he haggled us down even further but luckily just to $1400 before having the cheek to ask us to leave him with enough petrol so he could run around in it. Yeah right, as if that is going to happen!

permalink written by  chrischarly on March 26, 2012 from Paihia, New Zealand
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Car= sold, finally!

Whangarei, New Zealand

We actually had a busy day today! Woke up at the crack of dawn (8am) and quickly got ready and drove to Whangarei as I had a doctor’s appointment. It took about 1 ½ hours to get there and I was in and out pretty quickly. We then had to do some shopping for the Pacific Islands, which included buying a new pair of shorts and swim shorts for Chris and a pair of trousers for myself as all mine have holes in! We then went and searched out some bargain snorkels and fins as well as some reef shoes for 4 months of snorkelling and a new day bag as ours has a gaping hole in, which Chris managed to get the guy to knock $25 off (with him thinking it was $15 as he couldn’t add up properly! Haha!) Then, just time for a quick hair-cut for me before driving back to seal the deal with the car sale. When we got back, Dick the owner of the campsite we’ve been staying in said he has another friend interested in buying the car and was coming to have a look at it in 5 minutes so we hurriedly emptied and tidied the car and he came, seemed interested, left and later text us offering us just $1300 for it. No way. So Chris replied saying he wanted $1700 followed by an hour’s wait before he responded with $1500 and not a penny more. So of course, Chris tried his luck one more chance and said $1600 and we would have a deal and we were in a stalemate with him for a few hours before Chris finally caved in and accepted $1500, cash and he sorts all the paperwork. So the dealer has some bad news! Oh well, he shouldn’t have messed us around! The rest of the afternoon consisted of us unpacking the contents of the van into our backpacks, involving many items to be thrown away to make this task possible. Then, at about 9pm we had 1 text and 1 email enquiring about the car! How irritating! Why couldn’t they have just asked us earlier or yesterday! But it is done now and I have had enough thinking of this car. So much hassle and stress, time to just enjoy our last couple of days in New Zealand now before going to Fiji!

permalink written by  chrischarly on March 27, 2012 from Whangarei, New Zealand
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Hello Public Transport and Bye Down Under Blog...

Auckland, New Zealand

Did a final tidy-up of the car and packed the rest of things before Rick came at 11am to collect his new car and give us $1500 cash. Will miss that little car! Katie, the manager of the campsite we were staying in kindly gave us a lift to the bus stop for our 4 hour journey to Auckland to meet up with Sam, a girl we met travelling in Borneo. The bus journey was pretty painless but no chance to keep yourself occupied reading books as he drove too fast around the tight corners so I felt a little sick. When we arrived in Auckland it was a bit of shock as it was pretty chaotic and busy as it was the last of rush-hour but we found a bus pretty easily to Sam’s although we did get off a couple of stops too early as Chris was a little keen. Then, just a short walk to Sam’s where we were delighted to take off our heavy backpacks as they are so crammed full of stuff and we are just not used to carrying them anymore! After a quick catch up with Sam we went for a few drinks at her local before eating some tasty food at a Mexican down the road before retiring to bed at 10pm as she unfortunately had to get up early for work. Super-comfy bed and it was nice to not shiver to sleep! This is the end now of ‘Chris and Charly Down Under’ as we are off to Fiji tomorrow for some much-needed Sunshine!

permalink written by  chrischarly on March 28, 2012 from Auckland, New Zealand
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