Lessons learned in Rotorua

Approximately 230km south of Auckland is Rotorua, the second stop on our NZ journey. It was our first long drive in our then newly purchased van and we learned a few important things from that experience.

One lesson was learned in the middle of the night while we were sleeping in the van. I discovered that with the roof bag on the roof, rain soaks into the straps allowing water to leak into the van. Upon figuring this out, I turned to the slumbering Robert and informed him that the car was leaking water onto my side, his response, “oh no, I’m sorry” then he proceeded to roll over and fall back asleep only to realize water was also leaking in on his side. Only then did he deem it crucial to wake up and take action. Lesson one, the roof bag is a no go in the rain.

Lesson two, the light weight hiking umbrellas we purchased specifically for NZ don’t stand a chance against the winds of NZ. Not only was it raining all day, the winds were out of control, I could barely stand. Our poor umbrellas didn’t even see it coming.

Lesson three, when you’re sleeping in a van and it rains, it’s super loud and impossible to sleep. It’s not like a soft lulling pitter patter, it’s a very inconsistent water being thrown on a tin roof sound, then it stops and you get lulled in to a quiet peace, falling asleep only to be abruptly awoken by pails of water being thrown on the car. This led to lesson/discovery number four.

Lesson four, staying at an AirBnB in the winter costs the same price as it does to sleep in our van at a holiday park. From that moment on, we’ve only slept in our van one other time and of course it also rained that night. This discovery delighted me and really changed the whole feel of the trip.

Lessons learned. We had a really good time in Rotorua which I’ll get into in my next post.


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