I drove to pick up BjornNDan from the airport in Auckland early in the morning and found them jetlagged and confused with dirty mustaches. Straight away we stocked up on sandwich supplies and started driving to Taupo to meet Peter at the free hippy camp close to Huka Falls and a thermal stream. A hot spa was just what they needed to cure jet lag.
Next day we did the “best one-day tramp in the country”, the Tongario Crossing. For those of you nerds, it includes a view of Mt. Doom. The wind at the top was so intense, it seemed like it might whisk you right over the edge. Luckily we met a friend along the way, Jean Pascal aka J.P. from Switzerland. “Please give me some more adjectives to describe this beautiful view” he said. So we gave him “spectacular”, “breathtaking”, and “magnificent” and he, being a physical therapist, stretched out our sore legs when we reached the bottom. After completing the journey in 5 hours (estimated 7) we saw the most amazing rainbow I’ve ever seen in my life, along with a Scottish leprechaun…?? And then Peter joined team mustache and exposed his bare chin with a razor.
On the road, in the car Dan insisted that we listen to the same CD over and over again. And then Bjorn kept asking “What’s the time?” over and over again for some reason. It was almost like they were following some sort of pack… After wild nights camping, with stargazing, possum hunting, supreme tacos and a couple skinny dips, we made it across the ferry and to the Barn where we would depart the next morning for the famous Abel Tasman National Park. We watched the full moon rise as the sun set, it was so eerily beautiful that Peter Bjorn and Dan began howling like wolves! Excited about our hike the next day, Bjorn talked with a cynical German girl who when asked about how beautiful the track was said “I expected more”. Maybe she just couldn’t find the right adjective.
In our opinion everything was quite gorgeous and exciting. Our adventures included tidal crossings, sausages cooked over bonfires and mussel hunting! We literally picked live mussels off of rocks at low tide, brought them back to camp and boiled them in salt water. And yes, I ate some, both nights. And they tasted pretty good. One night we literally caught the moon rising. It was still mostly full and it came up magically from the horizon. At the same time, I swear we could hear girls howling from being hungry because all they brought was peanut butter and jelly and others howling in anger because they couldn’t start their stove or their fire. But maybe it was just Mr. Wolf?
We made it back to civilization eventually, some of us Euchre champions, others happy in the canoe going Up and Down the River. For one last laugh, Peter, Bjorn ‘N’ Dan jumped off the diving board at the Wellington pier at dusk and we all at Fish ‘N’ Chips and lamb burgers while enjoying good Kiwi made beer. By this time the three of them were starting to get that five o’ clock shadow… or was it six o’ clock, as they were spooning up some dinner? It must have been Mr. Wolf telling them their trip to New Zealand was up, nine o’ clock with the boys (and me) was over.
Here is that song Dan kept insisting we play. You’ll understand this post better if you listen to it.