Cold shower at Uretiti Beach
Ali’s driving license has expired so I’m always behind the wheel. It’s the first time I’ve driven an automatic, and a campervan. I also haven’t driven much in the last 5 years, as we’ve been in China. Getting through the Aukland rush hour on the first day was hairy, especially with high winds across the Aukland Harbour Bridge. We’re now on quieter roads in Northland, sticking to the East coast to shelter from the gale-force winds. We’ve discovered a great country-wide system of DOC (Department of Conservation) sites can be Basic (a car park with water supply), Standard (+ toilets, waste disposal, cold showers) and Serviced (+ hot showers, cooking facilities). Last night’s Standard site at Uretiti Beach was in a sheltered dune area. The toilets come with a warning for ‘under 5s’ as they drop straight down into cess pit that’s pumped out by a tanker when it’s full. The showers are open-topped, which allows the sun to keep you warm under the freezing cold water. I screamed my way through my shower this morning and felt thoroughly fresh afterwards.

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