We Have Wheels!
Thanks to the incredible generosity of our friends Ashley & Justin, we have a car!
Ashley & Justin named her Blessing, and we definitely find the name still fits. She is a blessing indeed! She may be old (1992 Toyota Corolla), but she has already taken us on our first road trip in New Zealand.
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The drive to New Plymouth (via Matamata to visit Hobbiton–which we wish we could share with you, but we signed a confidentiality agreement and aren’t allowed to post pictures on the Internet. We’ll just suffice it to say it was pretty darn cool! Especially since the set was all spruced up for the filming of the Hobbit later this year.) But back to our road trip . . .
The drive to New Plymouth was very pleasant. We stayed the night in Cambridge (about 20 minutes from Matamata) with some CouchSurfing hosts. It was our first CouchSurfing experience and it was a fantastic one! Jo & Ewen traveled through Europe and CouchSurfed quite often, so now they are paying it forward and hosting surfers themselves. Not only did they let two complete strangers stay in their spare bedroom, but they fixed us dinner and sent us on our way the next morning with ginger cookies and a bag of feijoas!
Then we were on our way to New Plymouth. The roads in New Zealand are ridiculously curvy, but Drew found the drive rather fun.
About half way through our 3 hour drive, we pulled into a gas station so I could go to the bathroom. But then we decided to turn around and pull off to a picnic spot that we had just passed. It was time for elevensies anyway 😉
After stretching our legs and having a snack, we were back on the road–sort of. We drove no more than 30 seconds when Drew quickly pulled right back into the gas station, saying he felt something funny with the car. At the exact moment that we pulled up next to the gas pump, the car died.
Now, as a sidenote, Blessing does have those quirks that all old cars have. The gas gauge on my old Explorer didn’t work at all. And Blessing’s is a bit dodgy. Ashley and Justin told us that 1/4 tank really means empty.
But as we pulled into the gas station, our gas gauge was just over half a tank. We weren’t planning on stopping for gas yet at all.
We checked the oil (since we do either leak or burn oil and have to top her off every couple of weeks), but nothing was low there.
But, sure enough, after filling up the gas tank, Blessing came right back to life and took us on our way! Neither of us could quite believe that we ran out of gas at the exact moment we pulled up to the pump. Thank You Papa for that!
We’ve decided that we’ll have to watch our mileage (kilometer-age?) from now on instead of relying on the dodgy gas gauge. But we are still so incredibly thankful to have the freedom that a car gives us as we head south to explore more of this beautiful country!