20th January 2017, 15:30
I feel so incredibly light, like if jumped I would start to fly over this wonderfully blue ocean. I’m reminded of being on the beach as a child and feeling the ultimate level of freedom. It is a dizzying state of happiness and I want to remain happily lost in it.
* * *
I jotted down the above paragraph in a note in my phone as we drove away from Castle Point. It was voted one of New Zealand’s top 10 most loved beaches and within seconds of being there, it wasn’t hard to see why.
As I walked along the rocks of Castle Point, dreamily gazing across the ocean, I was surprised at how green the ocean could look. If I could paint a picture of bliss, I would try to get the balance of blue and green. I would want to get those rolling hills, which are never too faraway on a New Zealand coastline. I wish I could capture this feeling of how happy I felt.
It may have added on a couple of hours on what should have been a four hour trip – we were driving from Wellington to Napier -but we didn’t mind in the slightest. A dopey smile was stuck on my face, which tended to be the case whenever I was seeing new places.
It had only been a couple of weeks since my last road trip, and I thrilled to be exploring more of the North Island. Plus, this time there was a wine festival at the end of things so it was bound to a be a success on all fronts.
Or so I thought.
Still on a high from Castle Point, we happily drove along, listening to music and chatting away. Then M began to look worried. There was a burning smell coming from the car. Thankfully, we weren’t foo away from Masterton and a mechanic.
He had a look under the hood and told us it seemed fine, but to keep an eye on the temperature. He couldn’t do anymore unless he was paid for his time. As we drove off, the temperature gauge skyrocketed. This car was definitely not going to Napier.
Here was a moment where my habit of over-worrying and planning paid off. As soon as I saw M look worried about the car, I began looking at alternatives at getting us to Napier from Masterton. Buses and trains were out, as it was getting too late in the afternoon. If we waited till morning we would miss the wine festival. I searched car rental places nearby and there were three.
The first two didn’t have automatic cars. The third place had one left and was closing in the next half hour. Our original car, which M had paid to have checked out before the trip, was left in the parking lot of the car rental place. The woman in the office was wonderfully understanding and talked us through the paperwork. M said she needed a few minutes to get her head together. That car had taken her around the North Island and was very special to her.
“Take all the time you need,” I said. I went to a nearby corner shop and bought us each a Magnum.
Soon we were driving out of Masterton in our snazzy rental car.
I was incredulous and couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that a four hour journey to Napier ended up taking most of the day. We got to our hostel at eight in the evening, having to call reception to explain we were going to be a little late. Determined to finish the day on a good note, we headed out to the town to find a place to eat and, a very much needed, glass of wine. Emporium Eatery & Bar did the job nicely, slightly reminding us of our Foxglove back in Wellington.
We held our glasses in the air; we toasted to M, for being a hero and getting us here.
There was the sound of glasses clinking together, the gentle thrum of conversation throughout the restaurant and the glow of candle light; the evening was winding down, as was I. More wine and exploring would have to wait until tomorrow.