Early this morning, I scared an Italian man within an inch of his life. I wasn’t trying to scare him. In fact, I really wanted to show him I was a good driver.
I hit the windshield wiper instead of the blinker once. I almost ran a red light once. I misjudged how much van was on my left and almost hit something four times.
To be fair, the center of Auckland (home to a third of New Zealand’s inhabitants) would not be my first choice for learning to drive.
The Italian man and I were on the way to a campervan rental shop. He and his girlfriend had just sold me their van, Opheila, and now they were going to rent a van for their last week in New Zealand.
I left the couple with all their belongings on the side of the road a block from the rental place.
Slowly, I took Opheila up the coast to a campground near Waipu called Uretiti.
The campground is an official Department of Conservation campground (one of more that two hundred), and is situated on a beach. The campground itself was not too busy today, and I had the beach to myself.
I went on a coastal walk for an hour and saw some cool plants and views, but most of the time was spent figuring out what exactly came with the van.
I am glad to be out in the New Zealand countryside, and excited to make my way around the North island this spring.