It's Autumn in New Zealand and nothing gets the creative juices flowing like an ocean kayaking, sleeping outside and not getting shot at.
I've begun crafting Book 4 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.
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. 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 seems all campgrounds in New Zealand have facilities that allow you to basically just show up with anything to stop the rain from soaking you. Pakiri has a big kitchen, a handful of utensils… even a TV room, ping pong and foosball.
Nice bathroom facilities, too...
I understand that society without rules (equals) chaos and anarchy... but some of the rules might need a bit of copyediting.
A close up of the above shot shows a difficult-to-follow instruction.
Although, sure, I get the intention... basically this tells me, "Enjoy our sinks, please don't use them under any circumstances."
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. However, I couldn't quite get the element hot enough, so it had a lovely essence of salmonella and trichinosis.
Goes well with a sweet 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.