Tuesday, 27 January 2015


After confessing my fear of staring down the barrel of routine last week, I'm pleased to report that we've been mixing things up a bit. Catching up with family and friends and a couple of impromptu camping trips these past two weekends ... we haven't let The Routine suck us in yet.

Our camping trips have been fun. We're getting good at throwing a selection of seemingly random items into the car and packing up at relatively short notice. Packing almost seems like cheating when you can just chuck everything into the car (and it's even better when you can throw a wet tent into the boot to dry out and fold up back at home). Still, something is always inadvertently forgotten - not that it usually makes much difference.

Camping is relatively accessible for kiwis wanting to escape for a while but still travel on a budget. Some basic gear to get started (beg or borrow if you have to), warm clothes for overnight, plenty of food and drink and you're away.

We headed out of town for the start of Wellington Anniversary Weekend and pitched our tent at Otaki Forks campsite in Tararua Forest Park. The facilities are really basic there and the total lack of cellular coverage means the quiet that comes from completely disconnecting is both enveloping and refreshing. Morepork lulled us to sleep and tui greeted us in the morning as they chased each other over our heads. I guess this is what camping is all about.

Last weekend, it was a busy Kaitoke Regional Park where we pitched our tent near the river, looked up at a perfect blue sky and tried to find shelter from the 34°C heat. We know this was the temperature because the campsite has 3G - which meant we could look up the menu before phoning through our Indian takeaways order, saving us time when picking up dinner. It went nicely with wine and cheese and the chocolate fondue we had for dessert, melting four different types of chocolate over a campsite bain-marie.

Thinking about it, maybe this was actually glamping instead of camping? We have heard that it exists, but surely no hot water, lighting or showers answers that question for us? There's also a significant price difference ($6 per person per night for us, as opposed to one night's glamping starting at $180+). Still, the blue cheese was not too blue for my liking and the freshly cooked bacon sandwiches went down a treat for lunch. Hmmm. It looks like the line between camping and glamping is finer than I thought. ;-)

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