The Hitchhiking Trip
Tuesday morning checkout time: ready to leave Tauranga..! But where? Fabi and I decided to hitchhike around and see something on the North Island. Having a great adventure without any plan. Awesome! While eating breakfast we discussed whether fixing a destination or putting our thumb ot and go with the flow. We opened the map, checked the Highway connections and all the places. We found the west-/ east side should be good, or Coromandel or, Taupo or, or, or. As I've travelled almost all of the North Island apart from the west (Taranaki) and the east (Gisborne) we finally fixed New Plymouth as our destination.
'Good, therefore we need to pass.....Taupo or Rotorua or that or no oh, hmm... Well, let's start.... into direction Taupo. We took a piece of cardboard, wrote Taupo on it and left the hostel! BUT...Where to start? We asked the receptionist for the best place to hitchhike out of Tauranga but without any useful advice we just walked to the next highway and held out the shield. Waiting.. Waiting.. 15minutes.. Ok, bad place, let's keep on walking.. Two cars stopped on their way to Betlehem which was definitely not or direction, too bad. One of them told us we are a bit wrong, should go on and take the left highway towards Hamilton. That place was not good either so we gave it up and tried to walk on. HONK! Our first ride, Rotorua! Yep, perfect :)
We had a nice conversation with this cool business man heading to Rotorua and dropping us off on the Thermal Explorer Highway to Taupo. I heard it's so easy to hitchhike from Rotorua to Taupo because of these tourists wo start their trip down south in Rotorua and explore Lake Taupo after. Well I got frustrated 'cause we were waiting for about 45mins to get a lift. It was a friendly old kiwi who made an extra way for us to see the landscape and a free mudpool (which I have already seen before ;D) He dropped us in central Taupo and the only thing we could think about was food. FOOD FOOD FOOD. We ate in the world's most spectacular (yes, it's said in lonely planet) Mc Donald's and booked a hostel for a night. Too tired to move on :D
The next morning was a bit confusing...we woke up at 9:30 and had to check out at 10:00 but we were so exausted and just booked another night to sleep a bit longer...Hostel was nice, Taupo as well. We enjoyed a Sailing trip on the lake and saw these awesome Maori Carvings.
Ok after that day we had to choose to leave either to the east - Gisborne or to the west - New Plymouth... In the end it didn't matter for me, the place I don't see within that week is the place I'm gonna reach by bus, just to finish my North Island trip. The joice fell to New Plymouth because of a light festival on the 15th of december.
Checkout and then a 2-minute walk on 'the Terrace' in Taupo till we got our first lift. A real cool kiwi guy called Will. He dropped us off in Bulls - don't ask about the name...So Bulls, yeah we found a construction worker and asked for a cardboard but even before we wrote our next destination on it Jeremy stopped to take us to Wanganoui. That was fast! :) He left us opposite of a gas station and we actually had to wait for 15minutes, pretty bad^^ There was a boysgroup coming back from a class trip in Wellington and picked us up. GENIUS, all worked out perfectly. In top of the day was to get a free place to stay at his mates place :) Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!
We checked out New Plymouth's coastal walkway which is awesome and took a bath in the ocean. Great! Got a fish 'n chips and relaxed in the city center, booked a bus to Egmont National Park and hiked up the Mount Taranaki for a while. 6hrs walk, so exhausting! Hanging out on the terrace having a beer made a perfect evening. What's better? Yeah, the final with a picnic at the light festival in the park :)
The hitchhiking trip was absolutely awesome :)