Finding Something

Trip Start Jun 25, 2011
Trip End Dec 24, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , Waikato,
Monday, November 28, 2011

...Jo and Claire decamp to the car, but more of that later.

This morning we wake up to the beautiful view of the bay, but nevertheless decide to drive further north to camp tonight before having to return to Auckland the following day.

After an hour or so driving we find another sweet looking and basically empty campsite in Otautu Bay and pitch our tent overlooking the sea.

We brave a chilly sea for a swim and the water is completely clear, exposing dozens of sand dollars around our feet on the sea bed. When the cold gets too much we dry off by our tent and then go for a walk along the deserted beach, looking for shells and creatures along the shore. Squid eggs keep us entertained, strange tiny white sacks which when gently squeezed you can see the tiny squid's eyes staring back at you. We also find a dead bird. We keep finding one particular thing that Jo is sure is living (Claire is not so sure) which looks like a dried up shriveled penis. We declare that it is called a 'something' and spend the rest of our walk discussing and planning an alternative version of 'Finding Nemo' ('Finding Something') which is inclusive of all the more abstract sea dwelling things, and our something being the protagonist. We even come up with a voice for our something (sounds a little like the freaky guy in The Goonies who says "hey you guuuuys") and we rehearse the cartharctic scene in our film, where something has a long heart felt speech about how all sea creatures should be equal whether or not they are cute, or can swim, or even have eyes. His heroic speech would definitely end in the brilliant catch phrase, "I    AM    SOMETHING."  

Further down the beach, we bump into two older local gentlemen who make it hard for us to avoid a conversation with their blatant enthusiasm, and we get the usual "my granddaughter lived in London for a couple of years" chat, until one of them catches a glimpse of Claire's peg tattoo and says, "that's not a peg on your arm is it?" Yes, it is. "My granddaughter has a peg tattoo in the same place!" Who would have guessed it. Maybe Claire is his granddaughter, who knows. But probably not.

Once we have tired ourselves out with planning pixar's latest hit for them, we have food outside our tent and then play cards until dark. The technician comes out in Jo and she fashions a clever torch/beer bottle/sticky tape contraption that allows us to see in the pitch black. After hearing so much about how beautiful the stars are in New Zealand, we are a little gutted that it is so cloudy tonight, until as if just for us, the sky clears completely and we turn off the torch and stare up. After a while we settle down for another comfortable nights sleep.. or not. We are woken at about 1AM by strong winds that are almost ripping the tent off the ground. After Claire has a strop, we gather our wits and transfer all the things from the car into the tent to stop it blowing away, and instead camp inside the car which turns out to be more comfortable anyway. Once inside, Claire says in the darkness, "Jo, are you in?" Jo says "Yes." and Claire says, after a moment and using her 'Something' voice, "me too." Brief hysterics before sleeping again.

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