Paeroa is a tiny town, population 4,000, and famous for a soft drink (soda), L&P (Lemon and Paeroa). There are hot water springs locally and the “Paeroa” comes from the carbonated mineral water, the lemon is self explanatory . There really is a huge bottle there and I didn’t see it, hence the borrowed photo.
When we arrived we contacted the guy who was selling it on behalf of the seller and we able to see the Ducato immediately. While I thought the van was just what I wanted at first glance, I thought the guy was a dork. Lena took it for a drive in a rural area and eventually, with no traffic in sight, I climbed up and drove. It seemed so long and so high to my little granny car.
Lena noticed an occasional “clunk”. I rang Leonie, my former neighbour who now lives in the area. She had kindly gone and looked at the Ducato some weeks earlier and now recommended a good mechanic to do an inspection. I called him, he couldn’t do it but recommended someone else in Thames. I was beginning to panic as it was after 4pm on a Friday and everything closes at 5pm.
We got to Thames (population 7,500 and the gateway to the beautiful Coromandel), Lena driving, left it to inspected and went for coffee. Next-door was the i-Site that was a very informative centre and we poked around in there until it was 5pm and time to go back. The mechanic thought it was mechanically sound and thought the “clunk” was the engine mount and it would be perfectly fine to get back to Levin.
We took the scenic route home, my phone battery died and on it was the “dork’s contact details. By now it was very dark.
I did some bargaining with the “dork” and achieved the price I was prepared to pay. He would take it to Thames for an independent warrant (he worked for a car dealership) and do 3 months registration. All good . . . . . . no! He requested the funds had to be in the bank the following day, a Saturday, if not I would have to wait until Monday or Tuesday when they would be cleared. Lena had to go back to Levin on Saturday. Panic!! I had a few tense text conversations with him, very tense (on my part). Eventually I rang my bank and they promised me the funds would be transferred overnight.
Lena and I drove (in her Ducato) to the RV centre to park up for the night. There was a motor home club function happening and they were very welcoming (and a lively lot indeed). We were given soup and a bun and retired for an early night. I had hired a caravan ($10) for the night. I slept soundly. Exhausted. Emotionally.