Tourists reunited with packs

By Amy Shanks

3 comments
This article published in Hawke's Bay Today on Thursday led to the recover of two tourists' back packs.
This article published in Hawke's Bay Today on Thursday led to the recover of two tourists' back packs.

Two Czech hitch-hikers left stranded on the side of the road, are soon to be reunited with their belongings after a local man read of their plight in Hawke's Bay Today.

Thereza Fialova and Kristyna Koosova, were "amazed" to hear the good news and "thankful" to those who had helped them since the incident last Sunday.

The pair were one month into a six-month North Island holiday, when they accepted the offer of a lift from a man in Eskdale - but after loading their packs into the car, he sped off. They were stranded with only the clothes on their backs, Ms Koosova's passport and a cellphone - which they used to call the authorities. Police confirmed yesterday the items had been recovered in Eskdale Lane, by a man who had seen their story in Thursday's paper.

"We were amazed, we couldn't believe it, it's really good to hear," Ms Fialova said. "We are very thankful to the paper.

"The police said a guy found our bags and called them when he saw the article."

Their packs contained clothing and personal effects, but they were told sleeping bags and Ms Fialova's passport had not been recovered. "We should have them back [tomorrow], we are happy about that."

Ms Fialova would not know for sure what else was missing until they had a chance to go through the bags themselves.

While shocked by the theft, they still loved New Zealand, and hoped to explore the South Island before heading home in July.

"There were a lot of nice people, who we have been hitch-hiking with, a lot of them we had lunch with - they gave us [their] contacts [to get in touch] if anything goes wrong, we have met a lot of nice people."

Both women had temporary work visas and decided to continue their travels after hearing about jobs in a fruit-packing house in Opotiki.

They contacted Jan Willis at Riverlock Packhouse and Coolstore who invited them to call by as the company offered seasonal work to travellers as well as locals.

Ms Fialova said they were able to get a ride to Gisborne and eventually made it to Opotiki, several hours after they were due to arrive.

"I lent them a car and they whipped up to Auckland [last week] to report their passports and get that sorted as well as getting a few basic clothes," Mrs Willis said.

"They were upset to start, but they are pretty cheerful girls."

The driver was described as caucasian, aged between 20 and 30, with blonde hair.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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