3 days to find my energy back

On 10 October 2014 by From elephants to kangaroos

IMG_2747Since I arrived in New Zealand, everything just went very quickly: I started two jobs, found a room in a house, met people which allows me to see them here and there. I didn’t really had time to stop I do not complain, this all happened because of me, after 1 year of travel, I was completely broke and I had debt to repay so I absolutely had to find (and fast) a work, and even 2 since here the minimum wage is low so I knew that one would not be enough. But I admit, after so long time traveling around the World, take my time without really knowing where to go or what will happen to me, just enjoy what each country has to offer to me, it was very difficult to work 70 hours a week without really see the light (literally since I got up at 5:30 in the morning and I came home around 11:30 in the evening), to be in such a different pace and go back to a routine.

IMG_2733Anyway, when my manager at the restaurant where I work offered me the opportunity to combine my days off so I have 3 days in a row a weekend, I jumped into the occasion. You should know that for aroung a week now, I no longer work really at the coffee the morning (long story that I won’t detail here) so I just settled with him. Some would have seen the opportunity to rest and enjoy sleeping, I saw the perfect opportunity to rent a car and get away. First, I wanted to see some part of this country where I have been for over a month but I have not seen anything. And I needed to go lose myself, see thingssurprise me, meet people, in short, get back to my world tour “routine”.

IMG_2716So I rented a car, and as usual, absolutely nothing else was planned. The only thing planned was to avoid all the mountains on the advice of the Conservation Area of New Zealand since the weekend promised to be particularly windy / cold / dangerous there (unfortunately for me, but I still plan to go to Tongariro and Taranaki later!). I did not want to drive too much also because I knew that my fatigue was still very present and falling asleep on the road was one of my biggest fears. So I went a little random, starting with the Kapiti Coast, near Wellington, to see the sea, the beach and walk. At this time of year, there is almost no tourist so I had Peka Peka beach all to myself, with a kite surfer who was taking full advantage of good winds during my walk! Then I really stopped randomly depending on my mood to discover rainforests, gorges, small mountains (or hills, as you want), fields of flowers, rivers and so on.

IMG_2812I spent the first night in my car in Clive next to a river. A ranger woke me up at 9:30pm (yes I was already sleeping) to indicate that it was not allowed to sleep there and I have to be gone before 8am the next morning to have no fine, but she mostly took care of me and made ​​sure I was okay and I did not need anything, another evidence that the Kiwis are very considerate people, nice and welcoming!
When I woke up the next day, I headed to Te Awanga and its many vineyards (we sell a lot of wine at the restaurant so my manager had advised me some addresses). I first met some friendly sheep in the vineyards with nice color of the rising sun! I then made a long walk at Cape Kidnappers which suffered major damages on roads with earthquakes. Then I spent a big part of my day in Napier, the Art Deco city of the country, just to walk in the streets, talk to people, watch the scenery along the waterfront, have fine meal...

IMG_2877Then I take the road to stop the 2nd night in Masterton, at a campground this time, after an unscheduled stop but beautiful on a highway that had an amazing view of a mountain / river, with some pretty impressive colors where it’s like looking at a paint considering how everything is so bright and shiny.
After an excellent breakfast at Iberia (which I recommend if you‘re in the area!), I wanted to go back slowly into the day in Wellington. But I got a text from Steve (my manager, always the same) that warns me that the day will be extremely windy in the country, that I should be careful and some routes may be closed, including the one that brings me back to Welly from the south, so I would have to go back through the north and redo the loop… Okay, so I left quickly to Martinborough that I still wanted to see before leaving, which is a city again known for its vineyards. But I decided not to go southern as I thought or to the East at a place I’ve heard about and go slowly but surely back since the road was still open to avoid to drive 5 hours more.
IMG_2939However, I drive by the lake Wairarapa, but as soon as I get out of my car to take a picture, I understand the strength of the wind: can not stand still, very difficult to open the door, the strap of my camera doesn’t take around my wrist. OK, I understand, it’s time to leave before it is too late. And I must admit that at that time, I have even a little fear about the road ahead of me. Nevertheless, it is still open which means they believe that it is not at risk for drivers. So I take my time on this winding mountain road with many bends, which is perfect because it allows me to admire the beautiful landscape! I come home late afternoon in Wellington safely :)

IMG_2918More than exploring the country during 3 days, this weekend gave me a world of good. I spent 3 days almost alone all the time, certainly for the first time since my departure in September 2013, but I needed and wanted it. Need to evacuate, recharge my batteries, to take time to meditate having a free spirit, to find random things, to do what I wanted. Need to be behind the lens of my camera, which I missed enormously since I didn’t have time (or subject) to take lots of pictures in my daily life. Even though I did not sleep much, I came back really rested, especially mentally.
I think I had lost the sense of my world tour in recent weeks due to the change of violent and rapid pace, but this weekend reminded me all these important things learnt during the past 13 months. I was able to refocus and remind me a lot of things experienced on my trip. Returning to work brought me some answers to questions I‘d never really wondered before and I realised it through these 3 days alone on the road. I realize that I have changed again since I arrived in New Zealand and although I‘m wondering now quite essential questions about my future after my return in France (which I won’t detail here or until I find a few answers), I can say this experiment in Wellington is an important step in my journey, although it is not one that makes me travel most.

All this comes at a time when my best friend went for a trip to Myanmar, partly thanks to mine I think, and we exchange a lot about what she sees, she tells me her adventures which allows me to remember my month there. It also comes at another time when of my best friends announced me that she had booked her plane tickets to come to see me here, at the other side of the World, for two weeks in late November (lucky me!!). So I can project myself back into my upcoming trips, although this will be the last of this World Tour, while enjoying the moment here.

To see the pictures of this weekend or those taken since I arrived in New Zealand, click here.

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