RIP Grandpa Jimmy: A Tale of Traveler’s Strife

Tragedy struck this traveler last week when, quickly and completely, Grandpa Jimmy emitted his last sputter and rolled to a stop going uphill on my way to the Kaimai Mamaku Forest. If I had been more savvy to the rattling that had started mere minutes before, maybe I could have saved him, but I wasn’t, and I didn’t.

Jimmy being towed to his grave

The past week has been a blur of stress and decision-making. My first options were immediately: a) fly home (pfft nope) b) switch out the engine for a used one c) make my way by foot or d) find a new van with what was left of my meager savings.

After the news that a new engine would be several thousand dollars and would likely still cause problems in the future, plus some serious soul searching on how I wanted the rest of my year here to go, I decided to start the search for a new home and livelihood. The universe did not disappoint.

I’d like everyone to meet Tia Rose, the bright savior of my NZ life.

photo 3(2)

She’s had a number of parts recently replaced and passed her wof (warrant of fitness – required in NZ) with flying colors. She’s a 1993 Toyota Estima Emina, and is supposed to run forever. On top of that, she came with some beat up but usable toys including a kayak, surf board, and bike/bike rack! Not a bad package. Plus golem is holding a kiwi, where else are you gonna see that?

photo 5(1)

Anyway, I’m currently looking for a job and hoping that the set backs in my trip have all happened up front and it will be smooth sailing from here!

Somehow I doubt it though.


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