The Legendary Niceness of the Kiwi

We dropped Trevor off at the airport and picked up a smaller van. Then we drove to Lake Tekapo to camp. Upon arrival, we found that it was so rainy that we decided to drive until we found a clear spot. That’s how we got to Queenstown a full day earlier than planned.
Pros of the new van:

  • Smaller, so it didn’t feel like it would tip over on corners
  • Accelerated without having to push the pedal all the way down

Cons of the new van:

  • Battery dies easily
  • So much mildew we could trace constellations in it
  • Produces such a smell when going uphill that people will get out of their car when stopped at a construction site to tell you something is wrong
  • Sliding door gets stuck open.

We discovered that last one when we got to Frankton, a few miles from Queenstown, and made awesome plans for the evening. We would go for a walk in the sunlit lakeshores, the rain an hour behind us. It wouldbe beautiful.
And then the sliding door wouldn’t shut.
As we struggled with it, we acquired a team of random kiwis to help us. One guy stopped to help work on it. Another guy saw him pulling on the door and ran to his truck to get tools. This prompted another to find even cooler tools. A fourth had a van just like ours, so he took a picture of his door and compared it to ours to see if we could find any differences. A fifth had no tools but did have a hilarious wife who told us the password to the WiFi at the pub…”not that we’ve been to the pub, mind!”
They ended up hitting the door a few times until it slid shut. We cheered. We high fived. We vowed to never open it again.
We didn’t exactly keep that last vow, but that’s okay. More on that later. For now, here’s a picture that Olivia took of the dream team.

Published by Andrea Umfleet

Writer, Backpacker, Freelance Technical Editor. Owner of Trask Mountain Editing. I like the Oxford comma.

4 thoughts on “The Legendary Niceness of the Kiwi

  1. Greetings girls! Those vans can be a hastle, it seems, there is always a kink that happens in one’s plans! Those KIWI sound like a friendly bunch of blokes, and the gents that helped you both with the door were a blessing, even though you didn’t make it to the Pub ( which was probably a blessing)! A nicer day here today.. although a bit of news about a serial offender out on Panther Creek…Aka a photographer? Taking Terabytes worth of not so nice pics etc of aspiring models? 40 some women in different States so far and some children are victims; they FBI are looking for more victims, he is in jail in Carlsbad New Mexico. Still no trial for the group on Hendricks road out of Carlton, the trial has been upped to the 22nd of this month. Well, all are fine here, no one in the family has contracted the spreading Measles cases that came from the Ukraine; also, no more snow today. Snow not expected until the weekend at least; it was 28 degrees this am, though. Well must go for now, Glad all are well, and look forward to seeing all of you, soon. P.S., Andrea: Grandpa wishes you would come home with Olivia..He is concerned about you being over there alone! We love you both! Grandma and Grandpa M!



  2. Andrea: We have been thinking about you, today. I hope all is well, Olivia called us last evening and had arrived in Portland and she and Trevor were home. It is snowing again this evening, so expect more by tomorrow am. Hope all is well, keep in touch! We love you!! Grandma M!



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