Day 28. From wheels to water to wheels
Today’s donation comes from Déborah Marques! She wanted me to dedicate today to International Women’s Day. For women who are going though Cancer themselves or supporting family going through it.
When I first got to Canada and went church shopping, I ended up at C3 Church. It felt like home, so I signed up for the sound team that very day. A little later I signed up for a beach volleyball connect group. Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE beaches. So this was for me. I lived about an hour commute from the beach but every other Saturday I woke up 7am to go play. Déborah was a leader of the group and welcomed everyone who came with open arms. She started picking me up in her car on the way. She is a married Brazilian woman, and it turns out most of the team was Brazilian! Lol. Some times we would have a car full of Brazilians all speaking Portuguese and she would say, “Englaisss! Kevin. ” A super considerate and lovely all around person. Thank you Deb!!
So I set my alarm for 6:30am thinking I could eat breakfast right in my tent and get everything packed up in an hour to hour and a half. I should be where Darren told me to be by 7:30-8am at the edge of town. I did wake up and eat breakfast in my tent. I read my devotional and flipped through my various social media’s and I guess I used a bit more time than I wanted to. I brushed my teeth, filled up my water bottles, and put my wet tent into its bag. I had packed everything away and was ready to put my backpack on. Craaap I needed to refill my wallet with business cards. It’s what I bring up first as kind of an ice breaker..? Then we have something to talk about. Welll it was in the middle of my pack, so I had to undo everything and take it all out again. I finally found them though!
I had left at a decent time but I didn’t realize it would take 20-25 min to walk to the edge of town. So I got to where I was told by 8:30am. As I walked towards the edge of town I held my sign out at my side hoping that I could catch a person just a I was walking.
Not so much.
I arrive at the edge of town before the speed limit raises and it seems everyone has already left down. In my mind I saw 100 people lined up waiting to leave town as soon as the road opened and like a dam exploding they all rushed out before I got there.
I said a prayer something like, “Lord it’s early. I’m not in a hurry if I hope this doesn’t take all day” I was still standing there an hour later. Lol. I don’t know if you can picture holding a sign up hoping that the next person who read it would pull over and offer you a ride. I guess it didn’t help that I had propped my backpack up against a mailbox, so I had a few that pulled over just to mail some things. One lady even apologized “sorry I’m just dropping off some mail!” It’s oook
I saw this sign on a building across the street. Lol
Yup. I was.
I kept whistling… thought maybe it would make me look happier. Not that I was upset. It was weird I kept whistling the Super Mario brothers 2 theme song.. 😅 no idea why.
(Ughhhh I keep drifting off. Why can’t I stay awake for 2 hours?! I don’t know if I’ll have time in the morning. Need to be out of this hostel by 10am)
Finally after an hour a gentlemen from Switzerland picked me up. He pulled over and his accent was SO thick that I asked if he spoke English. Lol. He repeated himself and I realized he was saying he wasn’t going all the way to Picton but about 30 minutes away from there. Toss my stuff in the back of his rented van and we takeoff.
He took me another 2ish hours north. I have to be honest, almost half of what he said was almosttt in a different language. I would pick up words like “ten years” and he would laugh. I grasped the general ideas.
We drove and drove down a windy coastal route where there were so many road workers and stops because the road work only allowed one lane of traffic to go through at a time. So we had guys holding up stop and go signs for people driving through.
He has the heater on in his car so I’m pretty warm.. and getting only a few hours of sleep, I’m pretty tired. I keep nodding off. Sometimes while he is talking. Have to stay awake.
A very nice retired guy who has spent the last 4 months in Australia and is spending…one month in NZ..? He is just traveling alone appreciates having no plan. He said he only had 3 set dates. His flight in, his ferry ticket between the two islands and his flight out. I like that. He has lived a lot of different countries and done a lot of various jobs. It seems everyone I meet doesn’t just stay at one job all their life but learns many skills. (No offense mom! As she is going on 30..? Years at her job)
So he lets me out at the towns information center which is about 30 minutes from the ferry. He isn’t going to the ferry for another 10 days but already has his ticket. I had looked into tickets the night before but they were scheduled for certain times and I had no idea how long it would take me to get there. Sooo I would just wing it. I stopped into the information center and asked about the ferry, times, prices. The girl said the next one is at 2:30pm then at 6:45pm. Welllll I would like to get there at 2:30. It was about noon. I was hungry. She said I would need to be there 45 minutes before it left. Ooook so not much time. So I had an hour and 45 minutes to find food and get a hitch there and it was 30 minutes away… ook. Googled restaurants in the area and walked about 6 minutes through town to get to it. Turns out they weren’t selling food for a while, at least for lunch. Sigh. I asked where I could get a decent meal. “If you go down the road you will did a few cafes!” Right. Back the way I came. I saw coffee shops. I could use something more substantial than croissants and coffee. Now I’m just wasting time. Can’t be picky. Walked past where I came from and saw a coffee shop with some small food they were selling. Deal. I order some 2 ‘breakfast squares’ and a cappuccino. It was like breakfast on a pizza slice? It’s fine. It’ll do.
I eat fast and rush out. I have my sign in hand and go past the round-about to where there is one way and it’s going to Picton (where the ferry departs) I have about an hour to get there. This will be interesting. I take my coffee with me and drink it quickly while holding my sign out. Ten minutes go by with many cars, fifteen, twenty…I had thrown my cup away at a gas station nearby. I have almosst started thinking.. well I guess hanging out at the ferry terminal for almost 5 hours won’t be thaaat bad.. when a guy in a flat bed box truck pulls up and tells me to hop in. He is headed to Picton and what do you know, he had hitch hiked years ago. I have 45 minutes to get there to check in.
Nice guy and I hand him a card and he said he’s happy he picked me up! He was saying what a great town Picton is and it sucks that I need to cross to the north island so soon. I agree. I thought 40 days was plenty of time, guess not! Richard is his name.
Ninja photo 2.
… you know… I just realized. These last two guys from totally different places almost have the same shirt on. Lol
Funny. Anyway Richard I think said he was born in NZ and had lived a bunch of other countries and knew a lot about the culture here. He said it was too bad that hitch hiking is frowned upon other places because it’s a great way to meet people! I totally agree. He told me about his various jobs and his current one, making bolts for clam farms. It’s not a clam though.. mollusk or yea can’t remember. I could understand him much better at least. 😅
He said he would take me all the way to the ferry door. He pointed at a bunch of backpackers waiting and said, ” Hey look it’s your family!” Lol yea yea.
He dropped me off and grabbed my stuff.
15 minutes to spare!
I quickly walk up and get a ticket. Whew. Made it. They want it take my backpack and stow it with the luggage. I take out things I think I’ll need. His is about a 4 hour ferry crossing. Take out some beef jerky and a power bank. I hand my pack over to the guy and he weighs it. Puts a ‘heavy’ tag around the handle. 😅 No extra fee though so that’s ok. I walk upstairs when we will get on the ferry and grab a few more snacks.
I didn’t even have time to open my chips when they called everyone to board. Thought I would have a little more time. Nope! Gogogogo
I’m gonna drop some photos..
This ferry was HUGE! Walking around the decks felt like I was back on my Semester at Sea 😄
I love me some fruit. With a mango banana smoothie.
(I need to shower and get packed. I’ll finish this blog in the main room downstairs. It’s 8:50am)
(Scratch that. I had a shower and my fellow hostel buddies said I could prop the door and come back up)
I walked around on the ferry. They had just about everything a person needs and more. They even had movies playing on the bottom level with a popcorn and snack bar.
I might have looked into it if I had realized an hour earlier that it was an option. I spent some time on the top deck outside but it got REALLY windy once when we were between islands. Also the free WiFi was allowing texts to go through but nothing else. Ugh.
After quite a long ride, we pull up to the shore. With signal back im looking up campgrounds. Nothing in the area. It’s about 6:15pm. I need a place to stay tonight. Like at most airports there is a carousel of baggage to pick up. I was quickly scanning my phone for places to stay and I didn’t even notice my bag go by. Lol. I was looking at hostels now.. there was only one place that was cheap. $35 for a bed. There was a shuttle that people were getting on.. I asked someone where it was going “into town”. I guess most the hostels were on one street? He said hop on. Ook. He drove about 10 minutes and everyone got out at a train station. I asked him if he’s still going into town. He said I needed to catch a bus to get there and gave me a map.
He said bus 1,2,3,14,23,44 all head pretty much to the same place. So I followed his instructions to get to the busses. Through the train station and around a few corners and I had to guess which way to go… umm right! I walked up some steps where I see a bunch of busses and the number 2 bus pulling up. Nice! I don’t have a ticket or card or anything to pay. So I ask the driver if I need a ticket.. he said “yes, but you can pay with cash or coin” asks where I’m headed and I point at the map. “$2”. Done!
As I’m watching outside I see that this is a hustling and bustling town. It’s like.. a lesser version of Toronto..but very different. I can’t exactly figure out why though. It’s just. Different. Different country and different culture I spose?
He calls out the street to me to let me know and I hop off.
I just have to walk around the corner to the hostel. I guess I got an option for a higher floor or lower. Higher duh! It’s a Backpackers Hostel. Why is there 30 people in line??
I talk to a girl named Chan and a guy behind me, Brin. This place was surprisingly big. I guess they have a dj later in the basement and I’m on the 6th floor. I walk in and 2 girls and 4 guys are staring at me. Uhhh hey! They said there want a bed that it was full. Lol I had my paper that said I was in this room. One of the girls who worked at another backpackers came down with me to figure out who the ‘imposter’ was in our room. Come to find out it’s a guy with a broken leg named Luke that belonged in 306 now. Soo they kicked him out and welcomed me. 😅😁
They were all getting ready to head down to the basement for karaoke.
Jess. Fiona. David. Todd. Tom.
Jess and Fiona and David all knew each other and Tod and Tom just met them earlier. 4 our of 5 were Brits and one is from Ireland. Such a funny group of people. They left shortly after to head downstairs and asked if I wanted to come. I would eventually but I needed food first. I put my boots back on and left where I walked down the street and finding food would be super easy. Every place I walked by had some kind of indian/thai/greek/American food.
I went to a very tiny place to get a burrito. There was only 2 chairs outside and they were occupied, so I took it back to the hostel main area.
It felt very weird to be back in a ‘normal’ situation rather than camping.
I came back upstairs and brushed my teeth and swapped my beanie to my ball cap. I figured I would look pretty out of place with hiking clothes and boots on. Meh. I take the elevator down. I’m really impressed for how much I paid how nice this place is.
They also have music playing on every floor. I know many people who would hate the idea of staying with strangers but I like the fact that you’re almost forced to make friends. So I wouldn’t even call the room situation a downside. I walk down and immodestly see the group of people from my room. I say hello and ask about the drink specials and they cheer that I’m there. So they are all down there to support Jess. I guess she is a good singer? This whole atmosphere feels like I’m back in college or in a dorm room, which I never had the chance to have but I visited many dorms in my life. I get a cheap drink and they tell me I’m just in time for karaoke to start. Really? Its been over and hour and I guess I’m right on time. That seems to be a thing lately. One guy starts singing.. he isn’t great. I don’t know when I’ve been to a karaoke bar where the singers have been good. Jess’s time. Wow! She’s actually quite good! She reminds me a bit of Lady Gaga in her tones and pitches. David sings a song in Stewies voice from Family Guy. 😂
Hey all have British accents and it’s hilarious listening to them.
Come to find out Todd was trying to raise money for Cancer by going skydiving. A nice thing to do. I also see Brin down there. Ran into Chan on the way down, she had a book in her hand and felt more comfortable reading then being a part of something more crazy.
They all went out after karaoke and Tom and I went back to the room. Tom was quiet and has only met them today. I needed to blog. Sadly it didn’t work out as planned. Tom left early in the morning without saying much to anyone as he left. The group got back pretty late. No idea what time it was.
The next morning various peoples alarm clocks were going off. I started to blog. Ran out of time.
Checked out and came back. Everyone was awake now and chatting about being hungry but no one wanted to leave to get food. Can’t say I’ve had the opportunity to listen to British / Irish people have a conversation before. Such good people, they just want to have fun and enjoy life.
They all left to get food while I sit here and finish up blogging.
My plan for the day is to get to WETA and check out their studio and I guess they have a WETA Cave? Where all their people and figures are. They made Lord of the Rings and created many movies I’ve worked on.
Meeting new people as an introvert is equally scary as is a little exciting. I have learned that meeting new people has a ton of benefits so I try to think about those to outweigh being afraid. If I didn’t learn that meeting new people opened up new life avenues I think I might just crawl into a cave being too afraid to talk to anyone. I have also learned that the real fear is you always wondering what they think of me. So it’s ACTUALLY being selfish. I should be more concerned with them than myself. Knowing that.. changes a lot of ideas and how I present myself to people.
Word of the day:
“Remember, you have two lives. You get your second life when you realize you have only one.”
(Sigh. No idea why when I pasted that all the front changed to light gray) ah well.
Need to run! Hungry.