Elvis and I head off, gear packed up in his station wagon. A little over a week in Auckland already started to feel a bit confining. We are glad to be on the road. Kyle is sticking around in Auckland to buy a motorcycle, we hope he will meet up with us down the line. First stop, picking up my own station wagon.
Zht…. zht…. zht…. zht…. My car makes feeble noises when I try to turn the key, but something is jammed and the key will not turn. It is undoubtedly a shit-box, but it’s my shit-box and will be my new home for the foreseeable future. I had originally planned on getting a camper van, but everything was not to my liking or slightly out of my price range. I’m not disappointed though. A van would have been nice for the extra storage and living space, but having less of anything can do you some good. I am forced to call a locksmith to fix the problem after ten minutes of trying.
“They said they’d have someone around in about thirty minutes. Do you want to go get your lighter fixed while I wait?”
“Yeah, I’ll do that, shouldn’t take too long, probably just a fuse,” Elvis says. We picked up a few car-to-USB converters at the store, but Elvis’ cigarette lighter in his car does not work. Elvis drives off while I wait for rescue.
Fifty minutes and some confusion later, the van pulls up behind my non-functional car. Thankfully it is a common issue with Toyotas. The locksmith works his magic, takes my entire ignition switch out of the car, removes the faulty pieces that were broken, and has the car up and running again. It is a common issue on Toyotas apparently.
“God, it was a nightmare,” Elvis says, having returned nearly two hours after he left for a simple fix. “The guy had no bloody idea what he was doing. Had to spend a while finding the fuse box myself because he couldn’t.” Neither of us spent a lot of money on our cars, and it shows. But, having sorted our issues out, we finish our preparation and are on our way.
Driving on the left side of the road is not as hard as I thought it would be, except that my spatial awareness regarding the car is out of whack. I drift left too much. I imagine the feeling is similar to phantom limb syndrome where amputees experience physical sensations in their missing limbs. I feel like my car should be on the right, and it feels large and clumsy on my left. Despite this, we pull in two hours later to our first days camping. A small, quiet lake greets us, only a few other cars are pulled up.
Neither of us feels like cooking, so we have a simple dinner.Elvis does decide to give our stove the first run for his corn. We spend some time sorting out our cars before turning in. I lay in the back of my car, thinking about what lead me here. I have no job, my home is a car, and I have no long-term plan than to keep going wherever the road takes me. My possessions include only a few luxury items beyond necessities. I know no-one in this entire hemisphere except those who I’ve met within the last nine days. It is a strange and wonderful feeling.