We had another midnight landing into a crazy parking lot campsite. We get up and move by the posted time just 20 feet away to a public road that is lakeside. Breakfast and a swim in 8 degrees. My back is acting up again as we slept on a 20 degree angle so I forego the cold water muscle tightening activity. We research another campsite and move to our favorite place in the entire trip from here just several miles away on the edge of Queenstown- Top 10 Creeksyde. It is a property LOADED with eccentric loving little details. Old fashioned gears set inside each other smothered in daisies by one of the cabins. An outdoor kitchen crafted of piping, valves and radiators, a weeping willow creek side with a seat high up in the crotch of the tree that has been grown over with bark- accepted by the tree as a welcomed addition. Ducklings swim down the little creek and forage in the grass. Hydrangeas and other flowers grow on the banks. The showers have floral shower curtains and are changed daily- you can tell because the purple flowers magically are orange the next day. There are some private bathrooms you can rent for $5 but the pubic ones are just fine with thoughtful details like a bench in the shower area and ample room to hang your stuff and change. The market is 2-minute walk. We provision, plan our activities, laundry and walk to town for a meal.
Our waiter we think is a Maori but later find out is Samoan. He is the real deal- all that is missing is the bone through his nose. He yells at us but in the nicest way. His face is angry but his words are nice. It is beyond interesting to feel his vibe.
We return to camp to complete our first day routines. We have all naturally found jobs that we prefer- I do the ones no one wants, the hub does the unthinkable ones having to do with sewage and electricity. World Rings Bell is the dish master. We bought a bin that the dirties go in and it is a common sight to see her carrying the bin off post meal with her sisters following with the soap and drying towel in hand. They come back with a clean stack. I am not sure other than a few check ins what all goes on in the public kitchen but I sense they have fun by the time it takes and the loudness I have to sometimes keep in check. Captain O often puts the dishes away but her specialty is putting groceries away and assembling them into meals. She loves to cook. She also always takes the initiative to sweep out the floor. Rosey tends to need all of her energy to keep herself straight so her tasks seem to be mostly about keeping her things in place. She likes to write and make keynote presentations from the day's events. She is focused these days on kicking the losing card game streak that seems to have plagued her since crossing into the southern hemisphere.
Camping has involved some letting go for sure. I am used to more wild camping- when you drop something it is on leaves, rocks or grass. This poses no problem to me. Conversely, dropping my open toothpaste goo down or panties on the public bathroom floor or my toothbrush into a puddle of water left by someone previous to me sinkside poses a dilemna for sure. Be my benchmark...would it create discomfort for you? I find myself dealing with such dilemnas using logical reasoning…if I push an inch of toothpaste out and wipe the rim of the toothpaste with super hot water I can kill the fungus, verruca or bazuka spore…the panties can be foregone...I have to be honest, the toothbrush is a much tougher problem to solve. I would take the dirt of any earth over a standing puddle in a public space. Communal camping comes with kitchens, a coin operated laundry, a hot shower, grill and even a leftover food bin, which makes great sense. There is often a playground and good access to the stuff in the area. The germ swapping is just the price you pay for these conveniences. You are not sleeping in nature which made me sad for a few days but you have it at your doorstep to go out into during the day and return to these conveniences at night. That is the value proposition of the mobile trailer park. I have rolled with it and have even been known these days to sit right on the seat- no lining or squat. There is only so much energy. How is that for letting go?
Tomorrow the adrenalin games begin…