We left Napier early in the morning, to avoid detection. Wild camping is allowed to New Zealand, but different towns may have bylaws against it – and we were not sure on Napier’s policy. We started hitch hiking from the exact place we had started from the day previous, and were soon picked up by a guy on his way to Hastings to get a warrant of fitness for his car. From Hastings we were unsure of if we were on the right road, as “motorway” in New Zealand does not necessarily imply a large road. In fact, some “motorways” here are dirt roads. We were, in fact, in the right place, and were soon picked up by a British fellow who has lived in New Zealand for just over a year now. He worked as a salesperson of ventilation systems and spent the time telling us funny stories of his time in New Zealand.
Our next ride was with a German girl who was on her way to New Plymouth to visit her sister who had moved to New Zealand with her kiwi boyfriend. She was interesting to drive with as she was still getting used to driving on the right side of the road – and also spoke limited English. She dropped us off in a place called Woodsville. A very interesting place. Filled with rabid goats and hot pink motels.
Every small town in New Zealand has a gimmick actually – the one thing that it uses to set itself apart from the other small towns. For example: on our way to Woodsville (home of rabid goats) we passed through Danneville (home of strange giant viking statues) and Norsewood (similar to Danneville).
From Woodsville we were picked up a battery salesman named Paul on his way to the next town to see if his customers needed any batteries. He dropped us off and did his runs, and then picked us back up again on his way to the next town. Unfortunately, that was the end of the line for Paul, so we had to find a new ride.
From there we were picked up by a women coming back from dropping her friend off at a monastic retreat who drove us all the way to Upper Hutt – very close to Wellington. She had to return home and do some errands and then she was going to Wellington, so she promised to pick us up again if she passed us. We didn’t need that favour this time, as we were soon picked up by a taxi driver who agreed to take us into the centre of Wellington as long as he didn’t get any calls along the way. Free ride in a taxi! Awesome!