Sometimes mistakes happen…and you learn to not always trust google!!

Whilst travelling New Zealand North Island we were joined by my boyfriend and a friend for two weeks of road tripping. Having already done a tone of research on prices etc we plumped for About New Zealand car rentals. The first test of our trip went smoothly, managing to get four people in the same place after 3 separate plane journeys. We got that one down. The next was a great night out in Auckland. I have no idea where we went or what it was called, all I know was I was very grateful they let me in without my passport (you can’t get into or buy alcohol in NZ with a foreign drivers licence it turns out). The next day turned into the day from hell.

We all woke up with some form of hangover, although i now believe that I actually may technically have still been drunk at breakfast, as I was far to happy. We were all pretty excited to be going to get our hire car and starting off on our NZ road trip, me and Kat especially as it meant we no longer had to lug our hefty rucksacks around. The night before I’d set out to find out where we picked our car up fro using the link in my confirmation email. Probably not the best idea when it was accompanied by a few drinks. I was mildly surprised when I discovered Google was sending us to the opposite side of Auckland, 30 minutes from our current accommodation. Assuming it must be right because I’d linked there from the email I set about searching for public transport routes to get to the destination shown on my map.

We waited half an hour for the bus in the morning, and forty minutes later, with a sinking feeling in my stomach, not just nausea from the night before, we got off the bus in very much a residential area (Kat dashed off the bus just in time to throw up on the side of the road) and no car rental agencies in sight. All of us were feeling pretty ropey by this point as the realisation dawned and another google confirmed we were now actually half an hour away from our car rental still and further away than when we had started. It was a city branch after all. So we bunked down on the opposite side of the road to await our dreaded return journey into Auckland. By this point I was desperate for the toilet and seriously considering knocking door to door to find somewhere, much to Christians possible disgust. Fortunately we had a very lovely bus driver who let me jump off at a Burger King for two minutes, panic over.

This time we got off the bus and found ourselves a five minute or so walk away from the rental, which was much more manageable. So we finally picked up our car and left Auckland 4 hours later than we had originally planned and didn’t make it to Cape Teinha in a day. Who needs a plan anyway?!


Holidaying not travelling…

The first five/six weeks of mine and Kats travels have been pretty damn hectic, we haven’t stopped, well barely, six countries I’m 6 weeks is no mean feat, especially when you chuck I’m all the flights, taxis and bus rides to try and keep us on budget. I’ve been kind of lazy and not had that much time for writing, or at least no time I’ve wanted to give over to writing, so here is a quick whistle stop tour of what we’ve fitted in do far:

One week in India, crazy chaotic and amazingly colourful – definitely a bucket list country!
One week in Nepal, beautiful, chilled and so the best place to go for the complete opposite of India.
One week in Hong Kong, brings you back to the western world with a bang, but allows you to keep a foot in Asia so to speak. I loved it!

Two weeks in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpa and learning to dive wiped us out so we decided to spend the rest of our time sitting by the sea, drinking cocktails and sunbathing. Which is where I’m writing from now. And it is most definitely the best way ever to do it. Fed up of the buses that are never on time (unless you’re leaving Kuala Lumpa, there they are actually pretty decent) we decided to skip going back to the west of Malaysia and do a small triangle of Mersing, Kota Tinggi and Desaru, before heading down to Johor Bahru to reach Singapore.

Mersing is pretty dire, it’s sole purpose and the only reason I would ever recommend going there is to reach Tioman Island, a total jungle island paradise. There are stunning islands I, sure all over the world but this being my first I think it will now hold a special place in my heart. I definitely now dig island life! Having had a small taste we didn’t want to leave so decided to carry on the chilled vibe that Malaysia was offering us by heading to Kota Tinggi.

Kota Tinggi brought us totally off any semblance of traveller/backpacker route. We went there solely for the waterfalls which were lovely! Like Mersing it’s a gateway to somewhere else for most holiday makers, Desaru beach resorts. We stayed in an alright hotel but with the most lovely staff who even ordered Pizza Hut for us. The 9 hour day of travelling had left us completely uninterested in looking for something even vaguely exotic!

Having also given up on waiting for buses that never showed, we decided to upgrade for our travel to Desaru and take a taxi, it cost us £5 each for a 45ish minute journey, something you’d never get back home in the UK. Our lovely taxi driver was again supplied bthe lovely staff of our previous hotel. And now we are staying, not quite in the lap of luxury but for us pretty well close enough. Right now is probably the closest we’ve been so far to peoples rose tinted glasses view of travelling. Sleeping, swimming, drinking and eating all under a glorious hot sun. I’m done with writing, off to enjoy more sun sea and sand. Oh yes!!!!