New Zealand – The beginning

It’s after a month of traveling that we finally arrived in New Zealand.
We had so much to prepare for our trips to Bali and Australia that we didn’t really plan anything for our arrival in New Zealand.
It’s by looking last-minute for the cheapest hostels, that we found the « Fat Cat Travellers Community » on Hostelworld.
I’ve used the word ‘hippie’ quite a few times in this blog but it has never been more appropriate than to describe this hostel.

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The community is vegan and values organic farming, ecological & sustainable lifestyles. All their furniture and decorations are created with recycling materials. They converted old caravans to bedrooms, built solar showers, an outdoor fire bath (an old bath under which they light up a fire to heat the water up), a swing hanging from a tree, …

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The hostel is maintained by woofers (people helping on farms in exchange of food and accomodation). There is neither reception nor keys for the rooms. People are nice and they often run workshops and skill sharing sessions like yoga or juggling. Dinner and breakfast (both vegan) are included in the price and there is free wifi.
We needed a few days to settle down and to find a van so we were very happy to have found that peaceful place.

We were looking for a ‘self-contained’ van. We wanted a kitchen inside to avoid cooking outside during the winter and with a bed that’d be easy to fold every day.
We soon found our van. I had seen an ad a few weeks earlier and had arranged an appointment with the owners the next day.

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We loved it instantly! It had everything we wanted so we made an offer the next morning.
The vehicle was old so we first went to the garage with the owner to make sure that the engine and all the auto parts would hold the road.
Once reassured, we closed the deal and went away with our new van. We were so happy to be finally free to start our magical road trip!

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We are still looking for a name for our new rolling home. Please, help us rename our ‘rusty baby’, we are open to any suggestion to find the perfect match !!
The best ones will be listed in an other blog post and you’ll be able to vote for your favorite one.

A few days later, we were invited for dinner at Gillian & Peter’s. I had met that adorable kiwi couple 8 years ago when I first came to New Zealand.

After a great evening, they invited us for breakfast the next morning and offered us to stay there as long as we wanted. Gillian & Peter are host parents and take care of foreign students regularly. While we were there, they were already hosting two students but still offered us to park the van in their driveway and to stay there for the night.

Gillian & Peter are very kind and taught us so many things about their country and its culture. It was a real pleasure to spend those few days with them. It also allowed us to finish all the paperwork that had to be done and do a little bit of shopping before we finally hit the road.

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