Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Campervan Adventure cont..

 It's not even December anymore and I still haven't finished sharing memories/sweet pics of the trip. It's getting more and more difficult to remember specific details like who drove where, when, names of places and things I thought about on the way. I suppose all that matters is that it happened though and the wheat pasting. 

 After Taupo Joe drove for ages. The cassettes didn't work which was a real bummer because we got some good ones: a Greek Olivia Newton-John-type goddess, Stevie Wonder, The Kinks, Willie Nelson and Art Garfunkel are the ones I can remember off the top of my head. Some of them played sort of warped like they had slo wed down but it was the tape player not the tapes. Kind of a shame we didn't get Dollie Parton's Christmas Mammaries or 98 Degrees' 9/11 Made Me Love Jessica Simpson (some actual truth in that). We listened to a lot of the National Radio though. 

 Joe got sleepy so I drove the rest of the way. While he slept the wind picked up and I drove us through the Desert Road. This is the bit between Rangipo and Waiouru. It was the scariest driving experience I've had and hopefully ever will or maybe I'm a terrible driver. I don't think I'm a terrible driver. The wind was really rough and the desert road - at it's highest point it is over 1000m above sea level. Just as we entered the Desert Road there was a big LED sign that flashed "GALE FORCE WINDS" or something so I knew I had to be careful. I pretended I was a spy and had to retrieve important information from beyond the Desert Road. (Didn't know what was beyond it yet because I had never travelled over it before/got given a pretty ill-informed mission brief).). Driving through it was driving between a smokers lungs at night-time. Hacking, turbulent and a bit phlegmy. On the radio was a segment on the internet and how in a year it will be all full up so everything has to get an IP address upgrade. I drove 100km/h in the camper whom I had grown very fond of/talked to a lot and who I thought liked me back a bit too but the wind grabbed our shoulders and shook us violently so I decelerated to 80km/h. At the end of the Desert Road there is an Army camp with more informative and not foreboding at all signs that say "Army testing grounds DO NOT LEAVE YOUR VEHICLES explosions and gunfire sometimes". Basically it was leave the road and probably die or stay on the road and maybe die. We had a look around the outside of the army museum. It cost heaps to go all the way inside so we went to the toilet and read a plaque about Willie Apiata and I felt disrespectful for previously pretending to be a spy and fake saving fake lives. Felt really touched by his story though and had a strong desire to stay alive. Joe said he didn't want me to join the Army and I said "Okay I won't join the Army", even though I've never had any plans to ever/never will. I remember some middle ranking Army leaders coming to a high school assembly once and promoting it by pushing all the sweet free stuff you get and how if you join basically you get to play touch rugby and get your mortgage paid for you by the taxpayers who you are protecting and being really infuriated by that. Touch rugby is a low contact sport. There were lots of beautiful yellow flowers that looked like weeds. My favourite flowers are weeds/shrubby: daisies, forget-me-nots, lavender. Taihape was major farmland and really beautiful. Really deep, rich greens. Stunning. Sheep. Joe wasn't fussed. We followed train tracks to Mangaweka and felt a crazy strong emotional connection to it so decided to stay/paste up large there. There was a cafe with an aeroplane being restored adjacent to it and a pub and a river. We asked at the pub if there was anywhere to swim and the lady scoffed and said yeah the Mangaweka River it's just over there. It was the most beautiful river with big canyons and luscious grassy hills with horses on them and a bridge and rocks which bruised our (my) feet. 

Real good colours/bush/river/rocks/togs

Real good bridge

 The current was strong although we found a clever part where it was deep enough to dive in and the current pushed us back around to where we started, instead of continuing down the river. Joe likes swimming in rivers the best but I prefer the sea. There is something healing about the salt water and the way it sounds like it is fixing broken cogs and gears; noisily but also [careful] and met-ic-u-lous-ly like the restoration process of the first two Godfather films. After the swim we went back to the pub and I wanted egg something for dinner so got a burger and Joe got chips. After, we nestled down on the side of the road beside a paddock with black-faced sheep in it. Joe did some work on his computer and I read Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. 

 In the morning the paddock was empty save for three magpies. We had breakfast. It is highly likely some cabin bread was included in it. Then we went pasting:

If you look closely there is a fire truck through the window.

Mr Mime: most likely to be a paedophile. 

Vulpix chills by the river.
 We did more obviously but these are my favourites because there are a lot of fire-types. I liked Mangaweka because there was a lot of red and green. Joe was responsible and printed off the ticket for the ferry at the Aerodactyl cafe.

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