Tuesday, 25th, October, 2011.
I got up shakily and holding my head together thought about last night ”why had I not said goodbye to anyone?”, I suppose I just hate goodbyes and when there where so many to say goodbye to it would have been unbearable, that was aside from the fact that everyone was legless when I left and the fact that I didn’t get one text or call from anyone who was at the party shows that I wasn’t missed.
So I returned my skiis and boots to the rental shop in town, took my clean uniform back to the workshop and took our bed sheets to the launderette. Drank a red bull and loosed something very bad in the public loos near the supermarket. And I was rearing to go.
To finely get out of this little town, 5 months, in this small place, a village of only 500 people. I was ready to go. We packed all our belongings into our car. Far too much for two people. We filled the whole boot of our staionwagon and both the back seats of the car. Jesus! How much stuff do we have? Then we said goodbye to Tomo, the only person I actually said goodbye to here and we were off. Quickly quickly out of town and on to the road.
Excitement, rolling green hills, sunshine. Scary fast cars passing RIGHT!! by me, big trucks as well and bendy winding roads. Sometimes we would not see cars for over ten minutes and when we did it was only one or two. All impatient to race past us. Not that I am a slow driver, even when I was going at the 100km speed limit most cars would be driving close behind me and at the snifter of a chance they would rev and over take us .
When discussing how underdeveloped the public transport is in the north island of New Zealand is I remember one kiwis answer for it was that ” kiwis like to be independent so we all have cars”. The answer irritated me; in the same way when some people say they don’t drink water because they don’t like the taste. It’s a stupid thoughtless answer.
So I drove and Sarah watched in the passenger seat, it was my first time on a motor way, first time on 3 lane roads and big confusing roundabouts and when we passed through big towns the traffic lights also made me stressed, which bloody light should I look at? Whenever I saw a police car I would freeze up.
After 5 hours of driving we reached Wellington and the Picton ferry. David who had also driven down from Ohakune today was in the capital now and was watching the all black parade go by in the street ” it’s so crowded, there is a festival I got to touch hands with the all blacks I love wellington!!!” David texted as we drove onto the ferry in our car.
The ferry had a restaurant, TVs and airplane like seats and soon we were off. 8 months in the north island now down to the south for summer. The sea was a little choppy and the motion of the boat made me feel incredibly sick. I desperately wanted to sleep but the only way I would feel halfway well was to stand on the deck in the blustery wind so there was no sleep for me. ” I don’t want you playing with that little boy” an angry mother snapped at her chubby daughter as she dragged her away from a grubby toothy boy with a messy haircut. The boy watched them walk away for a moment then ran wildly screaming round a corner. A short while after his mother was dragging him round by the wrist. She was tired and pale, I wondered if she was going to drop him over the side. What a perfect crime. He wouldn’t stand a chance.
A three hour trip ensued, the sun set over the choppy sea and the sounds, green islands snaking around us covered in mist.
We arrived in Picton at 9:40 and driving off the boat we came into the dark port. We had arrived in the south island. Our destination was Havelock and as we exited the port we found a sign pointing to Havelock but in brackets it said it was via some other place. Seeing as we were on the spot at the roundabout and that there was no other signage we took the road which quickly turned into a hugely windy track going up and down a range of steep hills. Not another car in sight we wound our way slowly. Each bend required almost to lock the steering wheel then suddenly perform the same in the other direction.
It was rather unsettling and creepy this lonesome old track. For almost an hour we drove until every bend was as the last and I wondered if someone was playing a joke on us and we were set on a looping road.
I took one corner too fast and I struggled to keep on my side of the road and a police car on the other side of the road passed us. I saw the policeman looking at me as I said to Sarah ‘’shit it’s the police’’ with a scared look on my face.
We finally emerged out of the bends and there was the light from Havelock port, we had arrived after a whole day of driving. Havelock was well and truly asleep when we came in, just a small road with a small supermarket, a second hand shop, a museum and a YHA hostel. We parked in the YHA and as we got out the sweet smell of some flowers spring blossom was on the fresh air. We opted to stay at the YHA hostel as it was the only place open, the somber landlord hardly looking up when we went through the door ” you chose a good time to come” he said still looking at his magazine. I felt like cocking my leg and giving him a sharp roundhouse kick to the chops but of course I didn’t.
We were shown to our rooms in the old, cold and unfriendly hostel. Reminiscent of hostels from school trips. Long well-worn corridors, tacky notices next to every switch or door way, saying things like ” please turn the lights off if you’re the last person” . Historic black and white pictures of serious looking men and unhappy looking natives, some medical photos of people from the civil war in America with arm and leg amputations, they certainly didn’t look happy. We went to bed after having a dam good argument about cooking or something like that. Just a little steam releaser before bed, then bed and sleep.