$%#&)*@! Sandflies!!!

Trip Start Feb 28, 2009
Trip End Apr 12, 2009

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Where I stayed
Marahau Beach Camp

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

We don't know what it is about us and boat trips, but we knew we were in for a rough morning when then captain of the ship that was going to take us to the south island gave his 'welcome on board' speech over the intercom.
The fact that he felt the need to inform us to hold on to railings while moving about the ship as well as avoid placing our hands in doorways (in case the movement of the ship made the door slam shut) did not bode well... He continued by reminding teachers and parents that all children under 12 were to be supervised at all times, that the Sun Deck (which is outside) would be closed and that the sea conditions in the Cook Straight were 'moderate'. As soon as our ship, the 'Kaitaki', left the port of Wellington it became rather obvious what the captain had been refering to...

When Trude emerged from the bathroom one hour later the sea conditions had improved quite dramatically, and we were able to enjoy a nice leisurely cruise into Picton on the south island. The views of the Marlborough Sounds with its pristine blue waters helped us recover.

After docking in Picton we hit the road, headed for the Abel Tasman National Park. We stopped a few times along the way, most notably at Pelorus Bridge, where we spent 30 minutes enjoying the sun and taking a few pictures.

After arriving in Marahau, our base for the next three nights, we wanted to just enjoy a nice outdoor dinner at the local restaurant... The meal was very nice (and HUGE!), but we also made our acquaintance with a new variant on the world-famous mosquito...

Let us introduce you to: The Sandfly...

Now, your average sandfly is a rather small insignificant looking little black fly. No more than a few millimeters long and very silent (no warning like mosquitoes give) and somehow all over the damn place.
From our experience it seems to really like landing JUST above the sock edge and then (as you might expect) stinging!
The sting itself is actually noticable, unlike a normal mosquito-bite, and is really just a tiny tiny pinprick. You feel it, you swat it and you are screwed for the next few days.

A sandfly bite or sting (we've been too busy scratching and not trying to scratch to even look up WHAT it does) is similar to a mosquito-bite with its behaviour except for two rather important things:
1) The entire skin around the bite/sting becomes VERY tender and sore. A simple touch can be squeel-inducing.
2) They last for ^(!%^&%#@ ages!!!

By now we have repellent (use sparingly says the bottle (also known as: we're going to bathe in this stuff!)) as well as soothing cream (almost empty already) and are planning to actively kill any sandfly that comes within 3 meters of us.

Women never leave home without their handbag, Americans are told never to leave home without an American Express... We're not leaving our sandfly repellent behind no matter what... Volcano eruption, bush fire or flood... We're getting that little flask back!!!
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josastridandco. on

The little black bastard.
The New Zealand Māori created a legend wherein the god Tu-te-raki-whanoa had just finished creating the landscape of Fiordland, it was absolutely stunning...so stunning that it stopped people from working. They just stood around gazing at the beauty instead. The goddess Hinenuitepo became angry at these unproductive people, so she created the sandfly to bite them and get them moving.

wolftrails on

Re: The little black bastard.
Oh goody... We're going to the Fiordland region in a few days... Good thing we have some repellent left!!!

bluejeans on

Sandfly Point
these little critters are so famous in NZ that there is even an interior paint called 'Sandfly Point' :P

wolftrails on

Re: Sandfly Point
If that paint has little black dots scattered everywhere then we can create that look for free... Come check out our motel-rooms ;)

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