Archive for February 16th, 2007

The Big Trip – Day 5

Mostly listening to: ray la montagne (not fussed i must say), feeder (buck rogers), morsie’s christian stuff (and me trying not to be arrogant and toff nosed snob – unsuccesful)

Sleeping on/in: carry mat and car mats. Lovely beach camp on the west coast
Coffees: two (one made myself, one proper fancy coffee)
Eating: sweet thai chilli noodles
KMs: 1210
Place name of the day: cape foulwind (way to draw the tourists in)
Weather: sunshine

No ducks this morning. Only germans. Didn’t try the morsies yawn test on them.
Tried to rent a few kayaks for the day but told that they were all booked out and seeing as we’d missed the morning run, we’d still have to pay full price even for a half day. Plus we’d have to go though some safety briefing nonsense about how to paddle a kayak. Not amused. All we wanted were a couple of kayaks.

Have the feeling that ruth may have bribed them into saying there were no kayaks as she’s scared of water (and they call me the dirty soapo?). That’s probably not true i confess. I also confess that i wasn’t nearly as gutted as si was that we couldn’t go. Partly becuase i know i’ll probably be back and will do three or four days of kayaking. Again reinforcing my usual self-centredness and inability to consider the view points of those around me.

Tonight si asked me would i rather be doing this trip by myself – as a joke. But it’s a fair point. I have the tendency, almost compulsion to push people away and seek my own ends above all else. I certainly give the impression that i’d rather be on my own. Whether it’s true or nor.

But then i suppose we just suffer the usual group dynamics and arguments that all travellers do. Like where to stay or where to have lunch. The seemingly insignificant phrases and tones that provoke only contempt.

So. We drove instead. Heading inland and south west, towards the west coast and through the buller gorge. Spectacular scenery, windy roads. All the way down the buller gorge looking for a way to get a walk down to the river. Managed it in the end after hacking through some scrub and bouldering down a tributary. Still worth it.

The west coast is a spectacular place. Sparsely populated with some pretty rugged types. The whole north west section of the south island has something like 6000 people in it (and 5000 camper vans it seems).

I was here on my last trip 3 yrs ago. A 5 day trip in a camper van round the whole south island. A lot of driving. Just as you come down to the coast on the road from westport to greymouth, there’s this spectacular vista, of knife-edge mountains, bush and glorious beaches with rocks sticking out of the sea. A continuous stream of breakers heading in to shore.

I have a photo as the wallpaper on my computer from that beach. Just sand and sea and sun and horizon. And that’s what brought me back to NZ. Well that and lots of other things, including the air malaysia flight that brought me here. It’s a photo i just stare at and glory at the horizon. A western horizon with the sun setting always reminds me of that photo and of the voyage of the dawn treader (CS Lewis of course) and reepicheep making his speech before he paddles off in his corracle.
Dream material. Heaven material. When i think of eternity i think of that. It makes the hairs stand up on my head and my heart leap for joy. Hallelujah, what a saviour.

Joy. Funny old word, silly name for a girl. The only joy i knew growing up was a miserable wee something or other… Probably a bit of an old fashioned word. But it’s the whole flippin point of life. We muck around with all kinds of crap and miss out on real joy. We think we’ve found it in self-satisfaction and self-worship but we’re like kids playing in a muddy puddle with the glorious ocean in full sight.
And that beach, that photo, those memories, the joy reflected in that collection of neuronal impulses is something special. A reflection no doubt. But from a well cleaned mirror.


February 2007