our campsite :)
view over Akaroa
Last Wednesday I flew to Christchurch to visit my friend Kirsty and meet her husband Matt. We went wild camping.
An excerpt from the first place we scoped out:
Matt: "What about this place?"
Kirsty: "Isn't this someone's farm?"
Matt: "Well, let's just check out under those trees."
Kirsty: "I don't really want to camp on someone's farm."
Matt: "If the farmer comes along, Jesse will just put on her accent and we'll be Swedes. 'Vee deedint know thees vas a fam.'"
So we followed 75 from Christchurch and took a little side road or two until we hopped a fence the first night and pitched our tents. By that time it was completely dark out and silent when Kirsty and Matt went for a walk. I was wasted tired and just as I crawled into my rather chilly sleeping bag I heard the unmistakable sound of a sheep and the sounds of a large cart rattling.
I'd just told Kirsty I'd be fine on my own. Duh. I've slept next to a truck in case the lions or hyenas came out and we had to crawl under it. I could totally handle New Zealand's "wildlife" of opossums. They don't even have snakes here. But I froze.
Matt's messing with me. I don't know him well, he could be the type. It's a pretty good sheep imper-
He's really good.
(in the opposite direction at half the decibel...) "BAAHH"
That's definitely not Matt. They would hear this, wouldn't they? What's that rattling? What if some farmer comes along and I'm the only trespassing camper around? All the farmers seem so chill- they wouldn't come along with a shotgun, would they?
And the bahhhhh just continued. The rattling disappeared and I found it's source to be a truck going by the next morning. I probably didn't hear the engine over the sound of the sheep. Matt and Kirsty did come back and the next night just after sunset the same thing happened. It's like sheep have a radar. We figured they must say goodnight to all their brothers and sisters until they fall asleep and since there's so many they probably only get to T (Matt's proposition) so they pick up again the next night and it never ends.
We stumbled upon Akaroa's little food festival so we went around to all the stalls and as tactfully as possible tried everything without buying anything, made lunch (okay, I watched) on a picnic table, filled up our water bottles, drove some more until we found an isolated beach, I collected shells, we drove up above the beach and found our second campsite. It was beautiful. Again, we were on some farmers' land but we all appreciated his land and left no traces.
After dinner we looked up at the milky way (which we can't see in NY to my knowledge) until we were too cold and crawled into our tents. I finished my book at 8 and tried to fall asleep while freezing. This is where the Bible becomes real. In everyday life, I don't need a friend or man to lie next to to stay warm like the Bible talks about because I have dogs and a mattress heater. Will wonders never cease? Those are the greatest invention! But shivering on an isolated mountain that need for other people became completely real. That said, it was one of the best times I've had while travelling.
No cars, electricity or other people.
It was just us on a mountain overlooking the ocean with our books and the sheep. I so love open spaces and hills that just tumble over one another into the sea. So now the big challenge ahead is going back to life in the city and...DUN, DUN, DUN...school.