|You can't hire a Spaceship (or Campervan) and simply keep it parked in a street in Auckland for a fortnight. Both the van and I were getting itchy feet and so we packed our belongings and newly acquired icebox, 2 folding chairs and a collapsible table into all the available nooks and crannies that the Spaceship provides and set out to discover the North Island.
As my co-pilot chose to fulfill her navigational responsibilities from the unusual position of lying on the backseat with her leg up on an icebox and resting on a couple of pillows, we decided upon a short journey for a trial run and so set out for the Coromandel Peninsula.Fortunately both my driving and N's navigation proved to be up to the task and we arrived at our destination at Whitianga and Hahai beach without incident.
The Coromandel is beautiful with trees and seas in all directions. The trees are a wonderful mixture of pines and NZ's national plant - the tree fern. They also include a number of rare kauri trees which, due to their characteristics of being tall, straight, strong and without knots, proved to be rather useful to Captain Cook and chums for repairing ships (particularly their masts) and so are no longer found in such abundance. Unfortunately, the kauri trees like the rest of the Coromandel did not prove to be as accessible for my co-pilot as we had hoped. Whilst the scenery was beautiful, it was really a doing kind of place - walking, swimming, sea-kayaking, sailing, etc. Using crutches on sand is not as easy as you might, at first, imagine.
That said, a man cannot be happier than when sat next to his campervan, by the beach, in the sunshine, on his folding "Kiwi" chair with a freshly brewed cup of Brazilian coffee and a bacon sandwich cooked by his own fair hand on his little gas stove in his campervan! Even if he is in desperate need of a haircut (see photo).
Bacon sandwich consumed and scenery viewed, it was time to hit the road...