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The riskiest thing we’ve done

Haast Pass New Zealand
New Zealand is known for adventure and risk taking.  In fact, bungy jumping was invented here.   But that’s not what we did.

Sky Diving is also huge down here.  But, that’s not what we did either.

We just talked about glaciers, but no, we didn’t wander off the path and have ice falling down around us.


People think that we’ve done dangerous and risky things.  But, the riskiest thing we’ve done in 12 countries and 10 months of traveling is this:

driving up a mountain pass in big campervan (RV) without enough gas.

The distance between gas stations was 88 km (about 52 miles).  The gas station we passed was closed, and we thought we’d have plenty of gas to get to the next station.  The tank read ¼ full.

Not the best idea when at one point we were 44 km (26 miles) from anything, in any direction.  But we did it anyway.
Haast Pass New Zealand
But, as we were going up the first of the big uphill stretches, the gas light came on.

The RV went from being ¼ full to running on fumes in basically a few miles.  Jonathan asked if I knew what time we passed through Haast (the last town, you know, the one with the gas station).  I didn’t know.

He said he needed to know if we were half way yet, and should turn back, or if we should keep going.

Not good batman.  Not good.

Oh yes, we were worried.  Our hearts were pounding, and we were barley talking.  We did everything we could possibly think of to conserve gas.

Even if that meant Jonathan was singing “Gotta have faith”.

It is a good thing actually, that we had to go up the pass first and could coast down on the way out.

But this RV doesn’t really coast…you always have to push on the gas.

Just when we think our luck is running out, we see a sign up ahead that means a town is nearing.  It’s only 18km away now.
Haast Pass New Zealand
Thankfully we managed to make it to the next gas station in Makarora.   But, unfortunately, it was closed too (at 7:30pm).  This means that we had to park in the parking lot for the night and wait for it to open at 8:30 tomorrow morning.

But, it’s pretty awesome that we can honestly say that this was our riskiest travel experience.

**Caveat – this post was originally titled “The Most DANGEROUS Thing We’ve Done”.  But, in retrospect, the most dangerous thing we’ve done was (by far and away), the transport between Antigua and Panajachel, Guatemala.  After that ride, I consider myself lucky to be alive.

One thought on “The riskiest thing we’ve done

  1. Mom

    You know how much I like to stop for gas, so I can totally identify with this story except that it hasn’t ever happened to me in a foreign country. It does make your heart race and then when you actually make it you feel so good! I’m glad it all turned out great!

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