Tag: Road trip

A long drive and listening to a book

This morning I wake up just after sunrise, but still in time to take some nice pictures again. I look at my phone and have some texts from work, so after I have breakfast and sit at the beach again for a while, I go back to Starbucks to do some necessary work. It’s nice to wake up early, this way I can do the things that need to be done and then still have a long day ahead of me. I plan on driving to the North West. The shortest way is to go back the way I came, but I don’t want to drive the same road again, so I take a small detour to the North.

Another beautiful sunrise
Long drive 2
Quick stop at a pretty river
Another beautiful sunrise 2
Long drive 3
Listening to a book
Long drive 1
Palm trees
Arrived at another beach

The small detour is actually a seven hour drive instead of five hours. Normally I love to drive, but knowing that it’s a long ride to get out of Napier again, I don’t feel so much like driving today. Fortunately it’s a beautiful ride and what makes it even better is that I have the audiobook I got yesterday. It’s the latest book of Richard Branson, very inspiring and enjoyable. I read another book from him during my vacation last year and this one is just as great. When you read or listen to one of his books, it’s like you’re having a cup of tea with him while he’s telling his life story about all the business adventures he has had. The drive is long, but I barely notice it while I’m listening to the audiobook. Before I know it, it’s evening and I have to find a camping place. I manage to find the camping I was looking for, but it’s fully booked. Fortunately the guy behind the counter is very friendly and they make an extra spot available. I’m glad, because even though I didn’t notice the time so much, I do feel quite tired after driving for about seven hours. I park my car and walk to the beach which is just a couple of minutes away. After I got some fresh air I walk back to the camping where there is a kitchen filled with people from Germany and French. I speak with some of them and make myself some soup for dinner. Most of the people I speak are here for long term and do a combination of work and vacation. It’s quite hard to find free campings in this area, so I might drive a bit further tomorrow, but at least I’m not too far from Auckland anymore, so I don’t have to drive too much in the last week here.

Golden beaches

This morning I wake up with a phone call from a client and I’m glad I’m still nearby Nelson. I have breakfast and drive back to the Starbucks where I work for a while. I plan on staying in this area one more day before I continue traveling further again.

Breakfast in nature
The Smokehouse
Mapua bay
View when I wake up
Fish and chips
Me at golden beach

After finishing some work I go back to the outdoor store where I was yesterday and get some gloves and another warm shirt. For a moment I feel a bit bad about spending so much money on clothes, but then again I know it can get very cold here in the mountains and it’s quite necessary to have warm clothes. I decide to continue my journey and follow the coast for a while. In the Lonely Planet I read about a good fish and chips restaurant and I drive there for a lunch break. It’s a beautiful bright day and I can eat the fish and chips outside, very nice. Then I walk at one of the beaches and I understand why the book calls them golden beaches, they’re very beautiful indeed.

Golden beach
Lookout point
Me on a roadtrip
Abel Tasman park
Driving by the mountains
Staying at Berlins Cafe

Instead of following the coast as I planned, I decide to head South. I pass the Abel Tasman park, since I don’t feel for a hike of three to five days. The road south is very beautiful as the mountains get bigger and bigger. I keep driving until the sun disappears behind the mountains and find a camping called Berlins cafe. There is a small bar with a fireplace and a leather couch and comfortable chairs. I’m the only guest and the camping owner is a very friendly man who gives me a warm welcome. I enjoy a cold beer with him and then sit by the fireplace with a book. After a long day of driving, this is a perfect place to stop and stay for the night.

The north point of New Zealand

This morning I get up just before sunset. I still wake up sometimes during the night, partly because of the jet lag and partly because I go to bed so early, but I manage to sleep longer these days.

It’s very peaceful here in the morning and I decide to go for a run at the beach, something I’ve always wanted to do. The run to the other side of the bay and back is only about three kilometers, but still a very nice way to wake up. I continue with my daily workout and then it’s time for a shower. There are only cold showers outside here, so that’s challenging, but also very nice. I can tell you, I’m fully awake now. I make myself some breakfast and enjoy the view.

Me at Matai Bay
Breakfast in Bay Matai
Sunrise in Bay Matai

For me as a energetic/driven person, it’s hard to wind down. Somewhere in my mind there are all the things I still need to do, work for my business that needs to be done, places I want to visit these days, books I want to read. But this morning while I’m watching the beautiful scenery I realize that I can also decide to do nothing today. I could stay in this bay the whole day and all would be well. Even though I probably continue my journey today, it’s actually a nice relaxing thought not to have to do anything. I make myself a cup of coffee and sit down in the camping chair that I got from the rental company.

Roadtrip to the North 2
Top of NZ
Cape Reigna Coast
Roadtrip to the North
Me at Cape Reinga
Cape Reinga Coastline

When I’ve finished my coffee it starts to rain and I see that as my que to start driving again. I drive all the way north to Cape Reinga. It’s a real long road, but fortunately there is almost no one there, so it’s nice to drive and I can keep the speed up. In about two hours I reach the lighthouse in the North. It’s a beautiful place. Some signs next to the walking path tell that the Māori believed that this is the place where their spirits left earth when they died. Whether that’s true or not, it’s absolutely a special place. Beautiful cliffs rise up from the ocean and you can see the coast line for many miles. I walk to the lighthouse and then hike some of the hills next to the cliffs. It’s a bright sunshiny day and a lot warmer than the last couple of days. I stay at the north point for quite some time and eat some lunch there before I hit the road again.

The way back seems even longer and keep driving the rest of the day until it’s dark. On the way back I make a quick stop at Waipoua Forest where you can find trees of 2000 years old. The trees are huge and pretty impressive. After visiting the forest the sun goes down and I stop at a camping nearby the beach. It’s not such a beautiful place as the last two days, but they have a big kitchen where I can charge my laptop and bake some pancakes for dinner.

Distances to the world
Waipoua Forest
Baking pancakes for dinner

I hope to get to some more civilized area again tomorrow, because I have some work to catch up on. That’s the challenge of working for yourself. It gives a lot of freedom, but sometimes even on vacation you need to do some work. The time difference makes it a bit easier to let go of work, because it’s almost impossible to make business calls, so everything needs to go via email and internet here in the North is quite unreliable. The fact that I can enjoy this adventure, but also desire for a normal workday (read creating some websites and helping people from a coffee place) is a nice confirmation that I love being an entrepreneur.

Visiting the most north point of New Zealand was one of the points on my list that I really wanted to visit and it was absolutely beautiful. From now on I’ll go more south. I think one or two more weeks on the North Island, before I go to the South Island.

Living from sunrise to sunset

Already early in the morning I wake up again, still not completely in the New Zealand rhythm. I wait for the sunrise and then make myself a cup of coffee with the gas cooker provided with the spaceship. I also get myself some breakfast with the food I still had from the hostel and then hit the road again.

Coffee in the morning
Coffee in the morning 2

I drive to a small town not far from where I stayed for the night, called Russell. There are a few little stores and a bakery. I find one coffee place where I get a cappuccino and go online to post on my blog and check in with some friends. After that I get myself some croissants at the bakery and do groceries for the coming days. I continue driving until I get to the waterside where I need to take a small ferry to go to the other side. It’s nice though I’m also thinking about how everything here costs more than planned. Taking a ferry for just a couple of minutes costs 12,50NZD. I think that’s the thing with traveling, it always costs more than you think. It’s okay and I enjoy the ride. I drive further to a town called Kerikeri where the oldest stone building of New Zealand is located. I guess that for someone from Europe it’s less impressive, but it’s still nice to see. I think it’s also good to find many reasons so get out the car, so you won’t be driving all day. Next to the stone house is another old wooden house with a front porch. There are two benches on the porch and I decide to sit down and read a couple of pages in the book I carry with me. Little things like that can make me really happy. I walk a bit further and visit an old church and a place where there used to be a Māori village. Then it’s time to continue the road trip.

Spaceship at a ferry
Oldest stone house in New Zealand
Taking time to read a book
Old stone house and wooden house
Me at a ferry
Old wooden house in New Zealand
Old church
Location of old Maori village

I look at my watch and see that it’s four o’clock in the afternoon. Two more hours until sunset. My first thought is to keep driving so I can reach Cape Reigna just before dark, but then I realize that it’s better to take it a bit slower and I drive to a departed bay where I had seen that there is a remote camping place. The bay is absolutely beautiful and peaceful. I park as close as I can to the beach and walk around for a while. Then I make myself some sandwiches and get into the car, while it’s getting dark outside. I watch some series and read a bit and go to sleep early again. I like it that my day rhythm here is in sync with daylight. I go to bed just after it gets dark and I wake up just before sunrise. It enables me to see the two most beautiful moments of the day for taking pictures and it helps me getting the most use of the days. Relaxing in the morning, driving and other activities in the afternoon and resting again in the evening. It’s a good vacation so far.

Me at Matai Bay
Matai Bay

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