After a wonderful, warm Christmas visit with Mom and Ken in Wellington, Eric and I packed all of our useful belongings into our backpacks (and gave the rest away) to set sail on the InterIslander ferry for the start of our Journey South. Tired of the city and ready for some life in the country, we decided to begin our WWOOFing, festing and tramping, or REAL traveling experience. A loose plan will guide our way, but we are also open to where the Universe brings us.
Upon arriving in Picton, we took a 2hr bus ride to Nelson where our hitch-hiking began on our way to our first destination, PHAT festival. PHAT is a drum&bass festival where bar work was awaiting us. Out of Nelson, we found it more difficult than before to hitch. We did eventually find 2 short rides to bring us near Richmond. By that time the sun was getting low in the sky, so we decided it was time to find a place to camp. I knocked on the door of a warm, nice looking house to ask if we could camp in the yard. We were apparently not the first ones to do this. Not only were they very welcoming, but offered us our own house for the night in exchange for some work. We cleaned and moved some furniture, and had our own house complete with a hot shower, washer/dryer, warm bed and full kitchen. I’ll also mention here that the wonderful owner Kim brought us laundry powder, fresh milk and eggs from the farm, tea, a plate of fresh fruit and some chinese food leftovers. We are so impressed and inspired by the hospitality and generosity so far of the people of New Zealand. We felt very blessed on this night; there was a huge storm and flood during the night that affected our travels the next day, but not our sleep! We keep finding that the more we trust the universe, the more it provides for us. A great start to the journey.
Dec 28 2010
This morning we woke up, packed our bags, said our goodbyes and hit the road on our way to PHAT. Barely 15 minutes after sticking our thumbs out, we were picked up by none other than the same guy who gave us a ride to Richmond the day before. He was headed to Westport, a town on the west coast, and our destination was en-route to his (what luck!). His name was Karl (sounds like “Kyle” in the kiwi accent), and he was cool. We found out shortly that the flood from the night before had been severe enough to close some roads, and we got stuck for 4 hours in a small town called Murchison, with Karl. The town is so small it does not have an ATM, but does have a small cafe where we could check the internet, read our books and get to know each other a little better. Karl shares similar views to us on the environment and nature, likes tramping and yoga, and we enjoyed chatting with him. He drove us all the way to PHAT (after driving through a flooded river, check out the next video) and even drove us in right to our camping spot. We were one of the firsts there and got a primo camping spot at the top of the slope. Let the festing begin!
Dec 30 2010
Our 3rd day at PHAT, and the party is finally getting started. So far we’ve done a lot of sleeping, eating and wandering around. I’m really into Marmite with bread and avocado, a VERY typical Kiwi snack that I’ve finally grown to love. Yum. The festival has been great so far; even tho this mostly electronic-based music festival is not really my scene, I can’t help but enjoy a festival. There is that typical lightness in the air. Everyone is here to have a good time, to meet others and to enjoy some good music. Pretty soon, everywhere we turned there was someone we knew and we began to really feel at home. Check out this video for a sneak-peek at our PHAT experience.
More adventure stories to come soon! Stay moving. Practice your yoga. Smile.