My body is stiff and sore. A small price to pay for sleeping crooked in the car as we drove home last night from our holiday.
Was it only two weeks?
It was one of those holidays where every morning I woke and thought I could go home today. This has been good. A simple word but it satisfactorily sums up the days.
I was offline and so could not post all my wow moments. There were a lot. As the heading says, a plethora. I started to get quite fussy about whether or not a moment qualified.
In no particular order these were the moments which made me feel good. Amazed. Wowed!
The sea. I have never seen it so clear. Even quite a distance out to sea you could see the bottom. At the 5 knot buoy I could see the wheel rim anchoring it to the sea bed. Of course the downside was I could see all the marine life. Real and imagined. Although the beach was patrolled daily by a couple of eagle rays, and once by a shark (which has never happened before), I only saw jelly fish and one flounder – while I was swimming out deep. Phew!
My sons. Robbie in particular. A typical teenage boy, who is growing so quickly and always tired. But there were girls in camp for the day. They were staying over two rather big hills at another beach. Robbie decided to bike to visit them. It was a 90minute ride in each direction – I know because I biked home with him in the evening.
Then a couple of days later Robbie decided to run the Abel Tasman Coast Track. A good 40 kilometres of trails and hills and beaches. It took us 4 hours and 45 minutes but he kept going, never complaining. Fuelled on Powerade, jet planes and a bumper bar. He would not borrow a running pack so carried his drink in bottles in his school back pack. Legend!
Jonny – Captain Jonny. Worshipped by young Sam (aged 10) in the next camp. Jonny played cricket with him, and took him out boating a lot. Insisting Sam sat down and wore his life jacket. I love seeing the boy who used to follow around the big boys, being a big boy role model himself. Jonny also impressed a lot of the adults with his prowess at camp cooking – the bread cooked on the campfire and the mussels were highly praised.
Friends. Old friends. New friends. We camped next to a family we had met last year. Mum Linda. Dad Brian. Three teenage kids like us. Through them we met Sam and his family, John, Mo and little Phoebe. And Sue and Bruce. Many laughs, banter, jugs of Pimms, swims and runs were shared. The highlight was one perfect summers evening which began with a big shared meal and ended up with a male chest waxing session.
Old friends. The people we have camped with for many years. Catching up after a couple of weeks, or months, or even years. We update each other on our lives and we talk and laugh a lot of crap. The boys too, just pick up on friendships forged over many summers. Growing from little kids with plastic buckets and spades and toy trucks, to young men with big spades and real boats. And always the card and board games when shade or sitting down is required.
Other friends. A woman my kids and I went through Playcentre (a pre-school group) with was camped with her family. We spent a good hour or two catching up. An old university friend of my husband’s who we hadn’t seen for 15 years. Running into (literally) a family breakfasting at a hut while Robbie and I were running the Abel Tasman track. They were walking the track. The other mum and I decided each other was familiar but this woman was Australian. Finally linked it back to Playcentre (again) – she had spent two years in Christchurch when her kids were very small. There were other links like this – New Zealand is just a small village!
Special moments in time. The realisation that you perhaps are the only person who will ever witness this moment. One in particular was while I was going for one of my longer swims. I had woken early – for holidays. It was about 7am. The camp was asleep and I felt too tired to run. I wandered down to the beach and the sea was glassy with a small swell rolling to shore. Swim time. The sky already cornflower blue. The sun high and slowly sending the temperature higher. I decided to swim out to a small fishing belt sheltering the night in the lee of the bushclad headland. As I rounded the stern of the boat I really was amazed at the sheer simplicity of the scene. White boat reflected in the marine blue sea. Two symmetrical fishing booms extended port and starboard, crisp black straight lines stark against the sky. The only sound was me swimming, breaststroking the water. In the distance the golden beach, a long stripe of sand, and then the differing greens and blacks of the bush, silhouetted against that sky. Still blue to all compass points. I head back to shore. Already the first puffs of wind are ruffling the sea. By the time I am walking up the beach, the camp has woken. The moment has passed. And not long after that the boat weighed anchor and sailed quietly back to work.
The night sky. This was one I wasn’t gong to add. Because why it does wow me it has since I was a little girl and allowed to stay up around the campfire until we could see the first “sputnik” – satellite passing above. Now, there are so many satellites it appears half the stars are buzzing around. I actually have to admit I didn’t see any this year – mostly because I was in bed before dark! But on my midnight wanderings to the toilet I loved seeing the milky way. Picking out the constellations I know – Venus big and golden, Orion’s belt, and of course the Southern Cross, the constellation of home! Coming home last night I was mesmerized by the stars. Jonathan was somehow navigating by taking photos of the night sky with his iPhone and telling us which direction we were travelling – the modern day sextant.
And then I saw the moon. A small wedge of lemon, compete with a thicker rind. Crisp and succulent against the inky black of space.
These moments and memories will sustain me for the next year, and beyond. Yep. A simple but truly delightful holiday in a simple but delightful place.
The lagoon at low tide