Funny things can happen when you travel in second and third world countries for a couple of years. Ours is a 12-volt world. Even when we turn on our inverter it’s just inverting 12 volt DC from Escape Velocity’s 12 volt battery bank to 110 AC at 60 cycles. So that’s 12 volts DC or 110 AC, all from solar energy, which is good because the generator hasn’t worked for years. Time marches on.
We were so tickled when we made it to New Zealand where fast Internet and WIFI not to mention olives and real chandleries would be readily available. In short, a first world country. “Well, maybe a one-and-a-half world country,” a smiling Kiwi friend corrected us. We get that now but it’s close enough for us. We’d been dealing with lots of bizarre electrical systems for quite some time now so on our two week whirlwind tour of New Zealand’s North Island we threw our trusty globe trotting bag of electrical adapters into a canvas boat bag and assumed we had it covered. After all, NZ uses 220 volts at 50 cycles which is nothing we hadn’t seen before. The first night, after plugging in every disconnected light, heater and TV in our room, we plugged in all of our electronics and iPhones to charge, only to discover that our globe-trotting adapter bag wasn’t as complete as advertised. So for Yours Truly it was go out and find a big pharmacy and buy New Zealand adapters. The new adapters seemed to work but then stopped working but then started to work again. I got the fix-it-quick-skipper look from crew. I quite frankly was gobsmacked. A little help from the turbaned Paradise Motel desk clerk showed us that not only does one have to plug in every light and appliance but one has to throw a little switch beside each outlet as well. I may have heard a slight snicker. When did that happen Escapees? Things still seemed to operate randomly and morning found our hungry little devises only partially charged. Clearly we’re missing a critical piece of information here.
We continued to be dogged by intermittent power “outages” throughout the two week tour until the last motel which, for us, was a very modern Best Western. The lap of luxury! We arrived in daylight but soon found that while everything was already plugged in, nothing worked. No lights, no heat, no coffee pot, no TV, no outlets. This was too much. If I told you Dear Escapees what we were paying for this room your eyes would bug out. This time I’m not even a little bit embarrassed, I mean the whole room doesn’t work! The desk guy said, “Did you use your key card?”
“Of course, that’s how I got in.”
“No, no in the slot on the wall with the blue light.”
Come to think of it I did see an odd blue light somewhere. When I inserted the key card the whole room lit up with the TV running and the radio too! When did this happen, dear readers? Noone told us.
Maybe we need a culture break or frequent warnings of any new developments from our Escapees. Please keep us up to date. We’re counting on you.