99 Backpacker Problems (But Butterflies Ain’t One)

Today’s theme is “nothing comes easy”. It feels like every small task we are doing turns into a big hassle taking twice as long as it should! Some people might say that we experiencing some teething issues, since this is still very early days into our 12-month trip around New Zealand.

Problem 1: Getting stuck in the mud

It has been raining a sh*t lot, but the rain has finally stopped for some cruising into Thames township to do a few small chores. The faster we empty the waste water (grey water) from the campervan, get Robin’s TradeMe sale posted, and check the tyre pressure, the faster we can be at the Butterfly Garden we fancied checking out.

So, we hop in the van, start the engine, give ourselves a few revs to get moving, but wait… we are not moving… One of our back tyres is stuck in the mud. Luckily, the Dickson Holiday Park people experience this all the time so had the means to tow us out. Remind us to by some towing rope in town…

Problem 2: When another thing on your cheap as campervan doesn’t work

Next, empty the grey water. This is something we have never done before, maybe you can see where this is going… Robin goes to pull up the lever to release the water and the lever literally comes off in his hand. What the ?!*!?

Long story short, we now need to use a spanner every time we want to empty the grey waste. This is also a monumental moment in our short New Zealand road trip history because it means that LITERALLY no living amenities in this campervan has worked straight away. Remember, kids, always check all the living area and its functions before you buy a campervan…

The start of a bitchy day. The start of a bitchy day.
Strutting through Thames. Strutting through Thames.
The friendly locals help us out. The friendly locals help us out.
Ah, time to relax with some butterflies. Ah, time to relax with some butterflies.

Problem 3: When problems 1 and 2 make you feel so rushed you forget sh*t

After taking about one hour to frickin’ leave the holiday park, we are finally on our way to Thames! Yay! We’re going to check out the town whilst doing a few chores. Robin goes to post his TradeMe sale while Laura’s attention is drawn to a few historic-looking buildings to take photos of, such as the church and a corner hotel. She goes back to meet Robin back at the PostShop and… He is not there. She waits for about 15 minutes until he is spotted power walking up the street.

“I forgot my wallet!”

Of course you did.

Problem 4: the Gas station is so old the tyre pump does not work…

Moving on, at least the rest of our shopping purchases went smoothly until it came to checking the tyre pressure. The first pump we go to seems to be doing more damage than good, which makes sense as it looks a thousand years old… Even a local came to have a look at the tyre pump and recommended we go to the BP garage on the other end of town.

Things go a little smoother here, but only a “little”. Of course, it was still no easy task on a van with six wheels. But, alas! We made it! It’s time to head back to the Dickson Holiday Park where The Butterfly Garden is.

Problem 5 We don’t even care about this problem because it involves butterflies

We can’t deny we love a bit of wildlife. There are tens of butterflies of all colours and sizes flying above our heads, landing on nearby plants and there is even a point where Robin becomes The Butterfly Man as a huge black and white butterfly takes hitchhikes on his shoulder.

The large sheltered and heated butterfly house is much welcomed in this on-and-off wet weather, despite Laura throwing a hissy fit about her camera lens fogging up once or twice. (That was our final problem, but honestly, it was an easily solvable issue).

So what have we learned today, kids?

So, as you can tell from this blog post, this day has been kind of frustrating. To have a quiet moment, we head down to the river in the holiday park, watching the ducks go mental and the river do what it does best: flow. It helps us become calm and reflective, realising that of course things are going to go wrong on this trip. Travelling sounds like an “easy” lifestyle, but if you go out and do anything perhaps out of the normal comfort zone, then of course things are certain elements of risk. That’s why they call it “leaving your comfort zone”. We know there are a whole lot more life lessons and frustrating days to come. We also know the adventure will outweigh all of those moments.

Like tomorrow, the guys at CanyoNZ say that despite the weather, we are still good to go canyoning tomorrow. Epic!

Laura and Robin

We were chasing this beauty around the entire garden!
We were chasing this beauty around the entire garden! Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

Want more?

Travel is full of these philosophical moments. Just take a look at these examples:

We also like to get all deep and meaningful on Instagram too. We’ll also give you some meaningful HerePin insights too, so follow our pins there!

See you tomorrow for what looks like some adventurous canyoning!

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