April 16

I left very early (before 5 am) to head to Raglan so that I could arrive at 8 am for the start of the surf championship. However, it wasn’t meant to be. Just as the sun was beginning to rise, I noticed that my car wasn’t staying in the proper gear. My RPMs were out of control and then, all of a sudden, I no longer had any power. My gar was in gear, but it wouldn’t go. I coasted to the side of State Highway 1 (not a place that you want to break down at that hour because of the massive trucks that speed right next to you) and started to panic.

I had no idea what one did when broken down in NZ. Surely AAA couldn’t help me now! I repeatedly called Zhoel until he woke up. He assured me that someone would stop to help me and that the area that I was broken down in (after I calmed enough to remember where I was) could be a lot worse (yeah, that was comforting). In the meantime, he would go to his mom’s house and ask her to contact her brother, Craig, who lives about a half hour from where I was. Fortunately, I had met him a couple weeks ago. While I was in full panic mode, a man in a truck pulled him. What I didn’t realize was that screaming “Someone’s stopping! Someone’s stopping!” and then hanging up the phone might be construed as someone attacking or kidnapping me. (Luckily, Zhoel waited for me to call back before sending out the cavalry.)

The man who stopped is named Andrew and I had stopped right in front of his farm. He hadn’t planned to go to the farm today, but thankfully he did! I helped him stack firewood in his truck and then he towed me from his farm to his house in Cambridge. I spent the morning being plied with tea and muffins by his lovely wife, Sue. They were absolutely wonderful people. Sue is a nurse part-time and she does the books  for the farm. They have two young sons, Troy and Jack. I learned all about Andrew and Sue; they are extremely well traveled and they met while touring through Russia. I couldn’t have been saved by nicer people.

They graciously allowed me to leave Pegasus II at their house until Zhoel and I can come back down in two weeks. Craig picked me up from Cambridge and put me on a bus back to Waipu. I am so thankful for how amazing everyone was. Despite the terrible situation, everything turned out well. I arrived in Waipu by 8 pm, a little travel worn and carless, but happy to be home.

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