March 2, 2017
Hitch from Taupo to Matamata complete! Three rides from three incredibly cool people later. First ride was a #lad from my hostel who took me from Taupo to Rotorua (this isn’t shown right on this map). Then in Rotorua I walked to the edge of town and made a fancy little sign and waited.. and waited. About an hour later I was picked up by a nice guy who just dropped his daughters off at work. He took me out of town as its much easier to get picked up once you filter out those people traveling short distances. So he went out of his way and took me 10kms out of town and dropped me on the side of HWY 5. Not gonna lie I realized that I had to get picked up then or.. well, there wasn’t really any other option. I started thinking of places nearby I could pitch a tent “just in case” as it was getting late (the earlier the better in terms of finding people driving “long distances”). Before I could even begin to worry, someone pulled over literally 5 minutes after I was standing there. Some #KiwiBro on his way to Auckland to see his friend (I mean, mate). None of them would accept money and again the friendliness of people in New Zealand shines through. Now tomorrow I am visiting Hobbiton AKA the Shire where they filmed the beginning of the first Lord of the Rings. Full on tourist mode commences and I couldn’t be happier about it! See you tomorrow, FroDo.