Time-wise, I am three hours behind, and one DAY ahead of the clock in Half Moon Bay. I just took my shower in the motor park where I spent the night sleeping in Paula’s van. Yesterday we went to the Warehouse, a discounter located in the “Remarkables” shopping center, to buy one sheet and a duvet for my bed. The van is a tight fit but it works. A narrow bench, upholstered in a vibrant red material pulls out to become a “bed,” which although it does not have a soft surface, put me right to sleep. We are parked near the kitchen which is outfitted with a stainless steel cook top, big screen tv, and internet hook-up. The “bathrooms” with shower are individual little buildings, three of them, with more in the main building–but not all the motor parks are going to be this comfortable.
We had a delightful lunch yesterday at Paula’s favorite place called “the Grind” in the industrial area of Queenstown.
We cannot escape “the Remarkables” but there are mountains everywhere, the kind that loom and let you know how small you really are.
Paula reminds me that we are sitting on an island in the middle of nowhere, subject to the whims of weather. Right now it is a bit sunny with some wind. She says wind is common this time of year. The weather is constantly changing and she says when it stays the same for a couple of hours it’s the big top of conversation here.
Paula Martin, my companion and guide, is a silver jewelry designer and native New Zealander. This is the time of year when she makes her pre-Christmas jewelry sales by driving through the South Island visiting shops and setting up at fetes, in this case one at a very remote location, which we are going to do later this week.
Last evening we sat in the van and sipped some bubbly as she pulled out her well worn (and beloved) maps of New Zealand, telling me stories about all the entirely original places she knows so well. She described birds to me with voices that chime, glaciers that move, and the terrain which you have to experience first hand to understand.