Buenos Aires, San Telmo
As we walked down Calle Defensa in San Telmo, we heard my name being shout “AGA!!! AGA!!!” it was coming from a local tourist agency. “Check your email, Paublo has sent you the prices.”
Few days prior, we talked to them, hoping to find cheap tickets to New Zealand (NZ). After realizing that the agency was mainly for tourists with local activities, like booking tango shows, we didn’t think much of it. The cheapest tickets we found online were $2,100, a bit much for a backpacker’s budget.
Checking our mail, we were shocked; Paublo’s price was much lower, $1,100 per ticket. “This can’t be true; it’s got to be some sort of scam.” So we returned and talked to Paublo, with a nice smile he told us “Is legit and you have till Monday to pay in cash.”
It took us a while to decide whether to trust him or not. He seemed very nice, an older man, who has been in the business for the past 40 years. After weighing pros and cons, we decided to go ahead with the purchase. They were half price from what we found online, doubled checked the airlines, time, date everything checked out.
Monday come, we met Paublo in front of the agency. One US dollar is around four Argentinian pesos, so we had lots of cash with us, a bit too much for me. We all hopped into a cab and went to another agency, a travel agency, which specializes in international flights. He took our money disappears and appeared in few minutes, we waited together for 20 minutes, discussing things like politics in Argentina, when a woman came out and gave us our tickets.
“Make sure you are there 2hrs prior to your flight” he said and thanked us for the business.
Leaving the place, Iza and I looked at each other and laughed. “Did you ever buy anything like this? This is sketchy, mafia style. The tickets look legit, let’s just hope on December 2nd we will fly away.”
2 months later, December 2nd
“Alright, we are on this baby, and we are flying to NZ” I said with sleepy eyes, as our flight left at 2am in the morning. We almost missed our cheap flight, thank god for my brother who at last minute decided to join us in NZ.
“Girls check your flight info, it’s impossible for you to leave at 2pm on December 2nd and be in NZ in the morning of December 2nd. We double checked, he was right; our flight didn’t leave at 2pm but at 2am. It slipped our mind that Argentinians use the military time and 2pm would have been 14:00.
WHAT, we almost missed our cheap flight by stupidity.
We meet my brother in the airport; he had to wait a bit longer, while the immigration officers questioned me and my entire trip to NZ. Basically they informed me if I work in NZ, they will arrest me. I never planned on working here!!! Lol, but ok, I will keep that in mind. I guess this is what happens when you travel on a Polish passport.
Eventually they let me go and it was super cool to see my brother, it has been a while.
Apparently NZ is the perfect place to explore from the road, so buying or renting a campervan is the way to go. With 80 i-sites, NZ’s visitors information, in the country it is very convenient to travel and obtain all the necessary information you need.
Two days in Auckland, and we bought a campervan it is cheaper than renting one. We plan on traveling through the North and South Islands. It’s a 1989, Mitsubishi Delica with 250,000 km, slightly converted and equipped with a bed for two, but we will squeeze in three. With minor mechanical fixes; we set off north on the SH1 highway.
Forty km north, right after getting used to driving shift and on the left side of the road, the lights started to dim and the engine started to jump, few more meters and it died.
“Ohh great!!! We barely made it out of Auckland, and this shit already died.”
It was dark, raining, so we decided to sleep the night next to the highway. First night in the campervan was tight, wet and scary, barely slept anything. We got woken up by a loud honk from a truck we were on someone’s way to work. In the drizzling rain, we realized that it must have been the alternator nothing that we can fix. So we sent our “flyniqua” to the specialists.
And that my friends is how Iza’s, Arek’s and my adventure has started in NZ…