September 18, 2011

The (Mis)Adventures of Camping

What an experience it has been so far! The last few nights have certainly been entertaining! I’ll try and take you day by day so as not to leave any of the good stuff out.

Our first night was spent at Aussie Bay (after we got a new camera of course) where we arrived, paid our $12.20 for the night, and set up our “bedroom” at the back of the car. It was a pretty nice evening, so we took out our fold up chairs and sat watching the water for a while. As it started to get dark we decided it was a good time to start cooking (first rookie mistake of the night), so we starting preparing our food. We used our cooker for the first time and I made some rice while Luke cut up the chicken. Then we did a few bad things: 1. We moved the cooker with the canister inside of it; 2. We used a pan that was bigger than the cooker; and 3. We placed the cooker on gravel (all later to be found out were no-nos). Well this caused a bit of a problem because the flame got out of control and luckily we were able to put it out with some water, but not before it melted the knobs on the cooker. So we had some rice with flavoured tuna for dinner. Then we slept in the car for the first time and realized it was cold . We had thought it would be a good idea to unzip our sleeping bags and use them as blankets (rookie mistake number 87). After terrible night’s sleep we were rewarded the next morning when we woke up to about 8 playful dolphins putting on a show for us. All of the problems from the night before were forgotten.

We had a lot to do when we woke up. We had to put our bedroom away and turn it back into a car. Then we had to use our camping kettle which heats water using the cigarette lighter and drive to the next bay to sit and watch boats while having a cup of coffee and some breakfast. Then we took the world’s longest and windiest route between two places (but very scenic) from Picton to Blenheim. There were so many turns we actually had to pull over the car because I thought I might lose my breakfast (and also we spilled some milk). Then our real task of the day started, we had to get a new tire for the car and get it a Warrant of Fitness. Luckily with its new tire it passed the test no problem and we were on our way! (after a celebratory beer at the Renaissance Brewery). We left Blenheim and headed back halfway down the world’s windiest road to get to our free campsite, Robin Hood Bay. Luckily it was a nice quiet evening with no forest fires and we headed to bed for a much better night’s sleep than the last.

The next day was boring and I don’t have much to say about it because we spent most of it in the car waiting for the clouds to clear, but that’s ok because we are sort of just biding our time until we leave for the North Island. Once the clouds cleared around 3 o’clock we headed outside to the beach to walk and play Frisbee until the wind came whipping through at about 5. We decided it was time to try the cooker again after spending some time the day before looking with no luck for another one (because obviously it’s the cooker that has something wrong with it not the users). Anyway, so we read the instructions and realized how much we had been doing wrong and so we tried again (with water at the ready) and successfully made some more rice! Yay! So now we can have hot meals.

Friday was a much better day. We got up and turned the bedroom back into a car and headed down the road to do a hike in a place called White’s Bay. From the bay there are incredible views of the sea so we were excited to get up higher and see some more views. It said on the sign that it was a 5 hour hike so we prepared ourselves for the day. We got to the turning point expecting a view only to find ourselves in the middle of the woods. Luckily as we wound our way down we got some incredible panoramic views of the surrounding bays. We made it back in 3 hours too! We were more adventurous on the cooker that night as well. We made spaghetti with a really spicy tomato sauce! It definitely kept us warm for most of the night!

Today was our last morning at Robin Hood Bay. We said goodbye to the sea and headed back to Blenheim with a stop for coffee and a view on the way. We got some more essentials in Blenheim and now we are in Picton doing laundry, checking emails and getting ready for some world cup matches at the pub! Not a bad life!

sorry for no photos again, but it doesn't seem to be working. I will do my best to get some up soon!!

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