Friday, December 28, 2007

Packed In Like Sardines

Day 94
Marahau to Motueka
Time: 1:21:00
Distance: 21.25 k
Avg Speed: 14.1 kph
Terrain: Seaside Hills
Location: 41˚ 6’ 18.9” S, 173˚ 0’ 48.7” E

Who said there is no culture in New Zealand?

Today we reluctantly checked out of the Ocean View Chalets and rode our bikes back to Motueka. We were here about a week ago before we headed to “our Christmas place”. We rolled into the same campervan park as before, only it looked much different than last week. All I could say was “Oh my gosh!” Luckily, there was one tent site left. Otherwise, everything was booked. It’s wall to wall people and not a blade of glass or a square of pavement has been left uncovered. It’s full on vacation season in New Zealand and I’m starting to think that the Kiwis wrote the book on holiday making. It’s not like they just drive in for the weekend, “set” up a tent and roast a few marshmallows by the fire. They actually “construct” a small dwelling that includes sleeping quarters, a lounge and kitchen. Construction takes a matter of hours and requires a trailer to transport the materials to the campervan park. All afternoon we listened to the sound of rebar stakes being pounded into the ground. Our little tent can’t hold a candle to any of the stylish canvas dwellings surrounding us.
Tents aren’t the only way to sleep here. From campervans to caravans to cabins, you can “camp” in any kind of space and any kind of style.
Dinner was, to say the least, a parade of woks and frying pans, sausages and potatoes. For two hours there was a frenzy of food. We had a big lunch and quickly ate our salad, cheese and crackers - I’m sure we got some looks. Then the dishwashing brigade began and the suds were a flyin’. The crazy thing is that everyone just works through the progression of the evening meal. We’ve been spoiled so far with quiet campgrounds.
As we returned to the tent we saw that there are four new tents in our area. After looking at the map we found that there are 187 campsites (which doesn’t include the cabins and motel rooms). We figure that we’re literally camping with 500 to 1,000 of our closest Kiwi friends. Oh, and I forgot to mention, Flossy the Clown and the Balloon Man will be providing entertainment tomorrow at 4:30pm. Certainly, we don’t want to miss that.


JennSean said...

Give Flossy our best! Get some good pictures, I am having a difficult time picturing this mass of tents/vans/cabins.
Be well - JH

Neil said...

Fellow Bear Creekers and NZ travelers Amy (Peterson) and Oliver Weber have a nice post on the same topic in their blog, with a couple of good pictures.