Day one of car camping. First things first. We were fortunate to have gorgeous weather yesterday and could see for miles. One cool thing about this place that I’ve never seen before is that the whole southern island of New Zealand is mountains. When you approach the Rockies or the Smoky Mountains what was always stunning about them is how they are unexpected. You’re rolling through Kansas on land so flat you can set the cruise control and have a nap and then bam, snow capped peaks grazing the sky. But here, every turn you take is another mountain range.
We haven’t seen one flat area, unless you count the ocean which even then is roaring on this side of the island. Another charming feature is the roads are lined with produce brought up from people’s gardens equipped with honesty boxes. If only we had remembered cash! Eventually we ended up at a little motor lodge where we were going to set up camp. It was sort of just someone’s backyard. They set up a bathroom and told us to park anywhere. It was getting close to sunset so we hurried to take a peek at the ocean across the way. Apparently rock climbers from around the world head to this spot and it’s easy to see why. It’s downright terrifying!
Then we quickly converted our car into a camper before dark and cooked ourselves a nice cup of tea and chili. We were worried about a storm moving in but we beat it and even stayed quite toasty with all the food in our bellies. The view out the window of the car was pretty astounding too, even the milky way is visible out here (or at least Alex’s limited astronomical knowledge says it is).
Then we went to sleep. And oh God. Every turn was a whole new stabbing pain. Our car floor must have been replaced by concrete and spears. I’m not sure either of us slept for longer than fifteen minutes all together. It was warm so that’s a plus but we woke up as stiff as a board. Our backs were broken… but our spirits were high. Tonight we are going to invest in some more pillows to make some sort of bed. Fiscal responsibility shouldn’t hurt this bad!