Day 24. A Traveling Day

7:55am Tuesday.

Ahhhhh I’m a day behind! I almost had no time yesterday to blog. I will break this up into two blog posts not only for my donation people, but because the app slows down soooo much.

Today (Sunday) is for Ryan Allen and the passing of his grandmother Ruth Allen. Ryan and I met at Stereo D in Toronto. He seemed very shy and timid but once you got past that he is one of the most lovable guys. He loves to have fun, volunteers more than anyone I know, and has a big heart. He is also very good at his job as a Visual Effects Artist and extremely fast. His grandma was the sweetest woman you would ever meet. She was diagnosed with lung Cancer in 2009 and she passed in 2011. She lived a good life, but at her age she didn’t want to go through treatment. Thank you Ryan for your donation. Your grandmother will be missed dearly.

Blog:

As we headed off into the cool blue sky we weren’t exactly sure where to go or what to do. Christian and I will be parting ways soon, but we knew we wanted to go to Castle Hill and make our way to Christchurch after. I guess Castle Hill is where the Dalai Lama had gone and said he felt so much cosmic energy and peace there. Figure why not.

We didn’t leave till almost 1pm so about 2 hours later we pulled off the side of the road to have our breakfast-lunch.

We were about out of food so we needed to stop to get groceries. About an hour later we stopped in Geraldine at a local grocery story. Saw this just before walking in:

They must have a large scooter problem. 😂

We start grabbing fruit as he gets an 18 pack of New Zealand beer. I have a cart and he is reluctant to put it in the cart because if we checkout one before the next they ask for both our IDs. Why? Like he is buying an underage me beer? You really think I would come into the store and stand behind him? Also they don’t take any kind of ID besides Kiwi. ONLY passports. Kind of crazy if you ask me. I tell him he will just have to take his crap out when we want to pay. Lol

Yessss. I haven’t had toothpaste in daysss! Also I have the regular string floss but it sucks. Takes a while to learn how to navigate the string properly in a mirror. Plus it hurts ma fingers.

So I get a bunch of fruit. Peaches, plums, a mango, bananas, and some pizza bread, chips, ramen noodles, and two cups of soup. Pizza bread is like you’re eating a soft roll but on top of it is like cheese and sauce..? They are good.

I walk around a corner and find Christian talking to a fellow. I guess a few weeks ago when Christian was with other people they picked this guy up. Same guy weeks later in a small grocery store. Lol. I guess he is heading the same direction we are. There isn’t much room left in the car but we will make him fit.

Andrè is his name. You like my classy backpack on the shopping cart don’t ya. He is from France and has a flight out in a few days to head to the Polynesia Islands to stay for who knows how long. He works in each country to get a little extra cash. He is making his way around the world and has only hit a few countries before NZ. Everyone I meet is just wingin it. It’s really impressive. Or I hear “we will just travel till our money runs out” a lot. Even Christian got a job in NZ working for an ice cream delivery job so he didn’t have to tap into any of the money he had saved.

We drive 2 more hours and I’ve been kind of checking the campgrounds along the way to find one that at least had a shower and a washer n dryer. At leasttt. The other fellas would prefer to stay at a free campground and not spend the money. It would be like $10 a person. I finally say, “I will pay for everyoneee to stay at this campground if we can stay there”. Two hours later we arrive in Springfield. (Simpsons anyone?) I convince at least Christian to stay at the campground, Andre doesn’t want to because of how noisy he thinks it will be and decides he wants to freedom camp. Ook then. He drop him off at the outskirts of town. He has a phone br has no data or minutes on it. It only works when in free WiFi. We plan to meet him at the same point at 10:30am the next morning.

The campground is pretty big! Not too many people. I go to find the person to pay as I search through the three buildings that were there. One was a building for cooking things with some couches and tables, the next was the showers, and the last was the bathrooms. I noticed they only had a washer..no dryer..? There was a clothesline by where we stopped with people’s towels and clothes on it. Eh. That should be fine to dry our clothes there. I can’t find anyone to pay. I ask a girl walking by and she says that the guy would be around later to collect the money. Mkay. I won’t worry about that then. I start setting up my tent, eager to shower and wash my clothes. I had spotted a bar / restaurant I wanted to go to in town and was hoping we could get there later to eat.

I had a dilemma.. I need to wash allllll of my clothes.. the washer said 45-50 minutes to wash. I assumed it was because there wasn’t much water so it would take a lot longer to fill the washer..?

I mention it to Christian.. like I’m not just going to sit around naked till my clothes are done.. He takes a shower as I finish setting up my tent, and blowing up my pillow and air mattress. It’s $1 for 4 minutes for hot water. It’s fine! I’ll pay $2!After you haven’t showered in a while you appreciate actually having one. Still contemplating how I’m going to manage washing all my clothes he comes back and says he has a great idea. There is a small table in the small shower room which has two showers and two sinks. There is an power outlet in there. As I just figure I’ll hang out in my towel in the bathroom till my clothes are washed he decided to join me and bring his speaker so we could have something to listen to. What a good friend. I guess I don’t know a lot of people that would go out of their way to make sure you weren’t sitting there alone. There’s plenty of room in the washer so he can wash his stuff too. I take off everything but my boxers, close the door to the shower then chuck them over so he can start the washer. Lollll

The inside of the shower looks kind of destroyed, and there is just a small trough where the water goes into and it leads to the outside of the building. I can see light through the hole. This building isn’t meant to be warm, his kind of thing would only work in warm weather. To my excitement after putting $1 in the machine, the water turns hot instantaneously and the pressure is good. I understand that when the 4 minutes is up, the hot water stops coming and it only sprays cold water so I kind of angle it away from me so I can step out of the spray at any time! I HATE cold showers. I make quick work and feel the water change, step out grab another $1 and put it in. Step back. Hot water. I do everything I need to do in the next 3 minutes (guesstimating) and am too afraid of the cold water hitting me so I just shut it off a little early. 😅

Well.. that was 8 minutes of the 45-50 of the washing machine. I hear one guy ask Christian if it’s he new thing to hang out in the shower room and play music. He just says, “Yea man!” I smile, because he is taking peoples lip to hang out with me while I wait. Such a great guy! He is drinking a beer and eating chips while I thoroughly brushing floss my teeth. He grew up drinking beer and loves the taste. He said that after he drinks coffee he gets headaches but when working in the hot sun, several beers are AMAZING. I don’t exactly agree. I understand they dehydrate you.. which I would assume would give you headaches..? Not him I guess. We are just hanging out in the bathroom like weirdos as people get in the showers. The washer finally finishes and I pull out a damp pair of boxers and damp shorts to put on. Ughhh wet clothes sucks. But I had no other choice. We take the rest of the clothes to put on the clothes line hoping they will dry soon. I put on a damp shirt and see if he wants to head into town to get a good meal. He agrees. I don’t even have a dry pair of socks. I’ll just go sockless in my boots. I feel semi like a new man. Besides being cold in my wet clean clothes. All showered and teeth brushed, flossed, even clipped my fingernails. 😄

We decide the town is close enough to walk to. Its pretty dark at this point.. about 8:30pm. I have my little flashlight that clips to my pocket beside my pocket knife. Sometimes I turn it on as we are walking down a gravel sidewalk. He prefers I keep it off so our eyes can adjust to the night. Eh, I still turn it on every once in a while to make sure nothing is in the path. He mentions before we leave that places might not be open because it’s such a small town. When we drove by earlier there were a bunch of people out drinking on a restaurant deck. They had to still be there, it’s so early! I’m flopping down the sidewalk in my barefoot unlaced boots and sometimes a few rocks get in there and I stop to empty them out. Why don’t I lace them up? I don’t know.. more friction for my damp feet might cause blisters..? My thought.

We both agree not to get our hopes up. Expectations are never good when unmet. We just agree that it would be a nice walk and my clothes can dry. It’s actually pretty warm out, and is comfortable in my less damp short sleeved shirt and shorts. It takes about 20 minutes to get to town. Well. The town is dead. No cars driving anywhere, no people. No sounds. Sigh…

We wander around a bit. Nothing is opened. There is even a gas station that the inside isn’t open. Just have to pay with a card to get gas it no employees are there? That’s just weird to me. We reluctantly was back but admire the sky and how we can see soooo many stars and talk about constellations. Extremely weird.. there no moon? The night before was the largest full moon I had ever seen.. but nothing tonight. I just said that it exerted all its energy the night before and was too tired today.

We get back to the campground and I head towards the kitchen building to grab my two power banks that I left charging earlier. They have a cool map to place a pin where you were Born.

Looks like a ton of UK, Europeans, and Germans. It gives you a nice idea of how many people come from where to come to NZ.

Christian crawls into the back of his car and we both eat a pizza bun before I retire to my tent. The clothes I’m wearing are dry, but all the rest on the line are not. It’s such a clear sky, we both agree it doesn’t look like rain.

Mistake.

Thoughts:

Good friends are for the most part hard to come by. Especially ones that go out of their way to be with you, or to make you feel better about a situation.

I thanked him for being so kind and he replied, “We are family man. Brothers in Christ”. I wish I could be so humble and have that kind of answer to many situations.

Masculinity bestows masculinity.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

-Albert Schweitzer

9:44am

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