It's Autumn in New Zealand (they don't say "Fall" here, which must leave some copywriters bereft) and nothing gets the creative juices flowing like an ocean breeze, sleeping outside and not getting shot at.
I've begun crafting Book 2 of Painter Mann's adventure in the InBetween and, with all these new and old characters crowding my office, we hightailed it to a beach north of Auckland to let them battle it out. This was the view out of our tent. 24 hours of nature-inspired creativity followed, spiced with a kayak adventure that began with the warning: "Yeah, so don't get shot out there."
Apparently, it’s duck hunting season.
And, I don’t know this for a fact, but apparently ducks in this part of the world look like sunglass-wearing, black-clad city folk, balanced precariously on giant blue ocean-going kayaks.
Still, that was the warning we got for our lovely camp hostess (I don’t think they’re called hostesses. I think I need to get out camping more). We had a great wee paddle, had fish jumping over our bows, had a few laughs and didn’t get shot. Not even once.
It always seems so daunting…
… but after a little patience & a lot of red wine, voila!
It seems all the campgrounds in New Zealand have facilities that allow you to basically just show up with anything to stop the rain from soaking you. Pakiri had a big kitchen, a handful of utensils… even a TV room, ping pong and foosball (other than drunk, broke college kids, who actually plays foosball?).
This set up is to accommodate “Freedom Campers”, something I’ll get into another time.
For now, though, we decided to forego the offered amenities and fire up our own stuff purchased from our local camping store (K-Mart). As you can see, we prepared a lovely dinner—given we couldn’t quite get the element hot enough— made up of salmonella and trichinosis.
Goes well with a lovely Riesling, fyi.
But, it was a wildly successful trip (no GSWs, no food poisoning), and the next day we packed up, anxious to return and get back to Painter and all his new friends.
Details on how that story is coming along coming soon.