In the Summer of ’17 I was living out the back of a beat out Toyota Estima, tramping the New Zealand byways and skyways. An adventure. A lifestyle. A dowdy dream and a sobering reality. Not a glamorous Insta-fad of perfect moments, but a beautiful mess of feral memories and rustic leisure.
˜ I dreamt my bed right by the sea, ‘side a pearly shipwrecked tree. Unwithered by dawns delight, the blue bay breathed a heavy roar of pebbles, ceaseless in its lucid trance of fading liquid night. The sky, in coy caress, blushed peachy on the brilliant peaks; admired from such handsome height. And the feral […]
Headlong in leave of Greymouth, I came of myself once more in vivid leisure of the West Coast Highway. Roaming down the juncture of the Southern Alps and a wild coastline – fresh promise blasting through the open windows, freedom spilling from the radio – I fled my misfortunes with impunity.
I unexpectedly found myself writhing lock-jawed on a hospital bed, focused intently on breathing through the pain. The lovely nurse instructing me to “try relax” as others blurred around me in a rush of needles. It was at that moment that I finally understood the baseless, primal fury of a women scorned being implored to “calm down”.
I was stirred awake the other morning by an eccentric horse, come window cleaner. In my eyes, through the mopped window, where the startled horse had been, hung a surreal dawn. As though some street orange dye had mistakenly run out into the dreary setting, mis-orchestrated, rendering the whole scene stained by midnight orange. I recalled a similar dawn one morning back home, that came of many months of rigorous pursuit. This one, however, just came to me, as all good things do, with time.
Sitting with the doors slouched open in the sun, the waves lapping nearby, it occurs to me that this is a different sort of home. Detached, completely, but with a warm, hazy texture. As if not the lazy safety of my parent’s couch, but rather the unshakable memory of it.
One does not simply walk into Mordor. You must catch a shuttle or hitch hike. Commercialisation of the the car park aside, we set off down the Tongariro crossing with the masses, having started a bit late. No matter though, for Julija and I were going to crush it anyway, right?
Leaving Kawhia, I traveled the same magnificent road I entered on, leading to Cambridge. I spent the night in Cambridge with a family friend, blissfully welcoming a few home comforts after my trailer trash introduction to van life. From Cambridge I hit the Thermal Express Highway.
The beginnings of four months of solo van life around New Zealand – From car yard life in Auckland to the blazing coolness of Raglan