Another Brand of Traveler

12/12-13/09 After the Bay of Islands, we spent another day in Auckland, this time at the hostel next up on the financial scale.  The extra few bucks was totally worth it, as our new digs had a roof-deck with the hot tub, a big kitchen and much more friendly staff.  We found ourselves a grocery store, made a nice Greek salad and commended ourselves on getting a better handle on the traveling life.  The next morning, we packed up our bags, spent an hour or so enjoying lattes and internet and then hopped on the bus to Taranaki. an area on the North Island of New Zealand that wasn’t on the typical tour route.  It was a beautiful 5 hour drive through farm land and some amazing mountains and our bus driver was a real sweetheart.  Not only did he pass out little treats at the stops, he also made a few phone calls to help us figure out how to get to and from the brewery for our WWOOFing job.

The end of our bus ride was a little seaside town called New Plymouth, where we stayed in a hostel for a couple days before our brewery work was scheduled to start.  Since it wasn’t on the usual backpacker route, we were very curious about the backpackers we would meet.  Chatting with the guys as we made our dinner (nearly all guys- not many girls) we met a couple Frenchies and a few Germans – all traveling solo – and  they were either about to start or had just finished a trek around Mt. Taranaki.  They were backpackers in the traditional sense of the word.   They were surprised we’d arrived by bus because in their minds the best way to get around was to hitchhike.  It was a very different crowd than the backpacker tour bus, in some ways more rigid in their travel philosophy, and in other ways more relaxed. But as always everyone was nice and ready to chat and drink beers.

The next day we spent walking around town, going for a seaside jog, cooking and then watching a movie.  It felt kind of like hanging out at a college dorm.


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