• Travel Savvy Guide

Van'mad Diaries West Cape

Dear Van'mad Diaries, well hasn't it been an adventure since I last updated you, I can almost say I'm a whole new woman, all the more wiser one could say.

But that would be lying, it's all shits and giggles until someone giggles and shits, and well, after this read that may well be the case.

Ziggy Alberts

Where should I start? Probably at the beginning, that would be a good shout wouldn't it.

1/01/2020, what did this Savvy Solo Van lifer get up too? REALLY not a lot I was very hungover from New Years Eve, so I headed off to Lake Okareka for a lovely New Years day swim and not a lot else, so needless to say it was a slow but good start to the year, but I wouldn't of had it any other way.

Due to having tickets to see the magnificent Ziggy Alberts and Tones and I in Mt Maunganui, I headed North and stayed at the glorious McLaren Falls and bathed in the sun and the falls, definitely a must go spot if you're in the area.

Now going to a gig/concert on my own has always been a hesitant of mine, I've always felt like you'd want someone with you, but due to being solo this has now been ticked off my list. Ziggy was my first solo concert and he was awesome! The sun was setting behind the palm trees and Ziggy was jamming away.

What more could you want.

Tones & I

Tones and I was absolutely outstanding, she truly brings the music and crowd alive. Another awesome night! Let's just say I'm sold on this solo concert thing.

However I did get hit on by a woman (yes woman, in her 30's), she was also being wing manned by an entire group of girls all under the influence of alcohol to give them that little extra confidence. Me on the other had sober with no safety net of friends or people to hide behind struggled to shut down this evident situation, other than making a swift run for the door at the end of the concert. Definitely one issue of solo attendance.

Before departing Mt Maunganui, Eddie had some TLC done on him, just to get him all up and running again, a good 8 hours of work, by the mechanics and we were all good to roll. Back out to McLaren falls to have a quick free HOT shower and onward departures to Raglan.

Raglan. Such a cool town, definitely got that surf cool dude vibe about it, I met a couple cycling across New Zealand, pretty awesome thing to do, nothing I would do personally but non-the-less pretty dam cool.

My super Glue situation. The water tank in the van finally decided to give up, it's original bodging decided to give way, I had often wondered how broken it could have been for the tap on the tank to be held there by tape? Surly not that bad, if water tape can't hold that. Well, my friends it was sealed by silicone and then taped on top, which I must say hat's off thats a pretty good bodge. My proactive self decided to try and rectify the situation. Now I only had super glue and gaffer tape in the van, so worth a try right! Whilst super gluing it all up the glue exploded all over my hands.

Yep all of a sudden I was left in a very sticky situation with super glue entirely all over my hands

and nothing I could do about it and no one around to help. No nail varnish remover no nothing. Let's just say everything got a lot trickier after that, no grip for cutting up my vegetables and everything felt funny, but it was a very funny situation to be in. Later that evening I was straining the water from my noodles into my washing up bowl (lots of people were watching so best not to strain onto the carpark floor) and due to no grip the lid slipped through my fingers and my dinner ended up all over my dirty dishes! Utter disaster. Needless to say I went to bed pretty swiftly after that to prevent much more going wrong.

New Plymouth

New Plymouth. The Lights Festival was so cool, all sorts of light arrangements to music, pretty dam cool. New Plymouth it's self it's an interesting place with lots going on. Free camping at a Lake on the waterfront as well, such a beautiful free camp to stay at, truly spoilt with some of these. I met up with some of my fellow van life friends Jake and Sophie and explored the surrounding areas with them. Jake pointed out that my break light was out, F**k sake, another lesson for this van lifer to figure out, I feel like i’m living the true van life fixing and tinkering with the van!

When I bought the van, the couple had admitted that there were lots of copies of the key because they frequently locked themselves out of the van. Now I thought, how on earth, it’s not that easy to lock yourself out. I was wrong, yep, I locked myself out. In a swift slide of the door and I was locked out of my van, home, everything. The oh shit cloud dawned on me, you absolute muppet Lucy, but a slight laugh as well because it was so stupid. Quite a pickle I’d got myself into, let’s just say it’s a savvy idea to have a few spare keys spread and hidden around.

What a palaver, I had to get a lock smith to come out and let me back in, what a pain in the arse and $100 down.

Not cool.

Mt. Taranaki

There were two walks I wanted to do here, one up the mountain and the other to a lake with the mountain’s reflection in it, but after being locked out of the van I was only able to carry out one of these walks, oh .... to being locked out for a few hours! Therefore hiked up Mt. Taranaki and it was awesome, the views were amazing! Absolutely phenomenal.

Rotokare Kiwi reserve, a donation campsite where I stayed and listened to kiwi’s all night. Here they have an electric boundary fence keeping New Zealand pests out and kiwis in, they have created a kiwi safe zone where they breed kiwis and introduce kiwi’s from here to other reserves all over the country. An amazing location, the bushes and surroundings came alive after dark it was crazy, it was so dark I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face. I was stood listening to the animals and I could hear the most peculiar sound, nothing like I’ve ever heard before. I stood for 5 minutes listening and then it dawned on me, it’s a bloody baby from one of the tents, not a bird or a strange animal. Well done Lucy.

Stay tuned for more #Vanlife

For more follow us on my Instagram @travel_savvy_guide

New Zealand's tourist marketing campaign is to wish the world good morning everyday, from different Kiwi's in all parts of New Zealand. As it's to be said that New Zealand is the first to see the sun rise everyday so only right to wish the world a good morning and a good day.

So of course I thought hell YEAH, I want to join in. So I've been wishing the world good morning every morning from each of our locations, so stay tuned.

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