The trip so far has been amazing! It's almost difficult to know what to take pictures of and write about because everything is so phenomenal. It's funny, but I'm experiencing a "strange thing". Having just re-read The Hobbit, I feel like Tolkien puts it very well. Along the journey fraught with hardship and strife, this is from the brief period of respite among the elves at Rivendell:
"Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway. They stayed long in that good house, fourteen days at least, and they found it hard to leave. Bilbo would gladly have stopped there forever and ever -- even supposing a wish would have taken him right back to his hobbit-hole without trouble. Yet there is little to tell about their stay."
- J.R.R. Tolkien
It is true, I feel myself, in the search for interest and intrigue, much more drawn to telling that I've already broken my phone screen and less about a beautiful and relaxing day we spent in the capital city, Wellington. But unlike Bilbo's unlikely friends, our homelessness is not because of an evil and dangerous dragon usurper. We are not trekking across Goblin infested mountains. Our journey is a lot more Rivendell and a lot less Mirkwood. Ok, ok, done with the Hobbit references (for now). Essentially, if I left out the good bits I would tell about the cracked phone screen and that one day that it took us longer than usual to find lunch and I got kind of hungry. Very short post.
Yes, I did break my phone, I really hoped I would get through at least 2 countries before that inevitably happened. Alas, barely 2 days.
But it's also true that Nick and I spent a wonderful day in Wellington. We wandered around watching people jump into the sea in all the various places around the city with diving boards, floating docks, planks (as in "Arr, walk th' plank"), and ladders. We sat in the sun and "cured ourselves" as Nick likes to refer to our pre-Asia base tanning. We sat outside of a wine bar on beanbag chairs drinking wine and reading our books.
And that was just one day!
We got to a bar one night, meeting up with an old grad school friend of Nick's, and when I ordered my cocktail I said to the bartender, "I would say that it's been a long day...but it hasn't". And that's been every day.
Our little camper car has been a dream. It chugs along and gets us everywhere we want to go, and then at night we park, put the seats down, and Nick starts making dinner while I go about converting it into a bed. We've stayed in a thermal area where we could soak in the pools in the evening and in the morning. We've driven up to the beach and watched the sun set over the ocean while cooking our pot or ramen. It's gotten us over, under, and between mountains.
Photos and video of our little engine forthcoming (having some problems with connectivity at the moment).
I will finish off for now with one last amazing thing we've done. Yesterday afternoon we drove up to a cave and hiked inside. After a few twists and turns, when the light from the entrance was practically gone, we started to be able to see hundreds of glow worms. The cave ceiling was covered in glowing dots, almost like stars much more clustered. They don't live on the smooth rock, but only on the textured stalactites that we noticed. The farther in we went (it was a very long cave) the more we would stand there with our flashlights off, just looking up. Leaving the cave, the sun was much brighter than we remembered. We camped there that night and after the sun set we went back into the cave. The ceiling at the entrance, which had seemed empty of the worms in the sunlight, was glowing brightly.