21-24. April 2000 - The VW Nationals

We made it down to slope point, the southernmost point of New Zealand and of our journey but unfortunately we didn't make it up Baldwin Street (Dunedin), the worlds steepest street. Lucky Luke made a brave attempt but with an incline of nearly 45 degrees he had to give up half way. He also gave up on the way to Queenstown and after two hours of trying to repair him, Rupert gave up too. So for the first time in 27,000kms we had to call for a mechanic, who luckily was able to get us on the road again. That meant we did make it to Queenstown in time for a major event......

The VW Nationals 21-24 April 2000

We'd found out about the nationals a couple of weeks ago and had already been in touch with the organisers but a few of the VW owners (especially those hoping for the long distance award) were in for a shock! Friday night was the opening of the weekend and also the quiz night where we managed to win a parasail flight and a miniature new beetle. It was a good start to a weekend that was only to get better.

Saturday was show day, we watched in awe and amazement (and perhaps just a touch of jealousy) as around 70 highly polished, beautifully kept beetles and vans drove into the display area. With many prizes to be had, for everything from best interior to best motor it seemed everyone had hopes of winning.
With Lucky Luke still covered in mud from India and the motor dripping oil, we knew we had no chance but consoled ourselves with the fact that he was the only expedition van there! He also stood out which helped us get a radio and two T.V. interviews. Fame at last for Lucky Luke. Then it was time for a convoy drive out to some major sights and ending up at a winery. The perfect end to a great day.

On Sunday evening it was the prizegiving but first it was time for the guest speakers, all the way from Austria! This was the most worrying part of the weekend for me as I'd never spoken with a microphone before or in front of 150 people. Whilst I sat and panicked all afternoon, Rupert put together a couple of minutes of video from Pakistan and India to get everyone into the spirit of things.

7pm came and it was time to talk. Everything went well and we managed to entertain everyone with our stories of military escorts in Iran and terrible roads in Pakistan. The video was a hit and even if it did shock a few dedicated VW fans with clips of river crossings and rickety bamboo bridges, we still managed to get our first orders for the finished video!

And so it was time for the prizegiving where we did get the long distance award which we'll be happy to show to all of you in Austria who said we'd only make it to the Italian border!!!!!


Slope Point

Baldwin Street - Dunedin - the steepest street in the world

VW nationals

T.V. interview - Lucky Luke gets famous

"kombi paradise"