I’m nearby Auckland, where I started this journey about six weeks ago. I’ve seen the things that I wanted to see and am ready to go home. The issue is that I still have a week here in New Zealand. I’ve looked into flying back earlier, but that was too expensive. So I have got some time to kill here in the Southern Hemisphere. This morning I’m quite blank on what to do today. After breakfast and a shower I drive on the road by the beach to the small city Tauranga where I stop for a cup of coffee and internet to make a plan for today. One of the good things of the blog is that it stimulates me to do things, so I have stories to write.

Another beach at Tangarino
Maybe I can stay here for a night 2
Roadtrip to Raglan 2
Another beach at Tangarino 2
And I thought that I have big feet
Beautiful New Zealand green hills
Maybe I can stay here for a night
Roadtrip to Raglan 2
Wendys Hamburgers

I decide to drive to a town on the west coast called Raglan, about two hours from where I am now. Some time ago a traveler I met had told me that there is a nice surfers hostel there and I plan to check it out. Half way the road trip to Raglan I see a big sign of Wendy’s Burgers, a typical American fast food place. I’m surprised, I didn’t know they were here as well. Their burgers aren’t that special, but it’s still a nice place to go and so I stop there for a lunch break. It actually makes me miss America. The funny thing is that often while I’m traveling, I’m missing America just as much, if not more than, as the Netherlands. For a moment I play with the thought to change my return flight to a flight to America, but I really have to do some work after this adventure, so I will first go back to the Netherlands.

I continue driving to Raglan, which is less than an hour away now. When I arrive at the hostel I can see why that travel friend was so excited about this place. It looks really cozy with a big yard with hammocks, a jacuzzi and a sauna. There is a shower outside and many surfboards against the wall. I don’t know yet if I’m going to surf, but I’m quite sure I like this place. There is also a living room and a kitchen. After checking in I first sit down in a swinging bench for a moment to read a book. Then I want to try the jacuzzi. I get myself a cold beer, take a shower and take a seat inside the hot pool. A cold beer inside a hot tub is a perfect combination, I learned that many years ago from my friends in California. I enjoy it here again.

Surfers hostel in Raglan
Reading at a swing bench
having dinner with a German couple
Surfters hostel
Me sitting at a swing bench
Sunset in Raglan
Swing bench

After a while of enjoying the hot tub alone, a friendly couple from Germany joins me. We start talking about traveling and so and it turns out they’ve also done a road trip in America, enough stories to share. After the hot tub we decide to have dinner together and sit at a big wooden table in the yard. After traveling alone for some days, it’s nice to meet new people again. The guy picks up a guitar and plays for a bit. We talk and after dinner I bring out some ice cream that I bought this afternoon in the supermarket. I love to share ice cream and make other people happy with it as well. The girl is surprised that I can eat so much sweet stuff and still look sportive. I find it a nice compliment and also a good reminder that I should eat healthier when I’m back home. When this journey is over, I’m determined to eat healthy again. After dinner they go to bed and I also return to car. I have chosen to just sleep in my camper instead of a dorm room. It saves me some money and I actually prefer sleeping in my own room. I booked this place for two nights, so I stay here in Raglan until Friday. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do the coming days. Maybe I’ll try surfing or else I’ll just have some relaxing days in this small town next to the sea.