Friday, 28 December 2007

New Zealand - part 2 - The Rainbow

We got to the rainbow parking, only there was no one there, no cars, nothing. just a sign. We drove on, till we got to a flooded ford. I though, gosh, I've been here before! LOL Obviously, I couldn't pass the ford in my little car, it was more than knee deep and flowing fast, over a rocky bottom. Talked to the farmer who lived about 1km back, and he said there was nothing to do but wait till the rain stopped. which could be a few days.

I went back to the carpark, and hung out by the side of the road for a while. then a bee stung me. I'm allergic to bees. Last time I was stung was in africa, I had a bad reaction; swollen glands, difficulty breathing, the whole bit. I was rushed to hospital for shots of adrenaline and antihistamines, and told I should carry an EpiPen with me.

So I freaked out a little bit, being all alone with Littletree in the middle of nowhere. I get into the car, and shut the door. Took out the stinger, and took an antihistamine and some homeopathic apis and just sat in the car breathing carefully for a while. I was fine when the antihistamines kicked in, but my arm still swelled up.

Then another car came down the road, a Mexican guy looking for the rainbow. He thought maybe we could get through the ford in his car, so we transferred all our stuff and drove over. Only he couldnt drive through it.
17 Flood
We decided to camp in the parking meadow.

When we got back there, 3 vans full of hippies had arrived, and they were going to pile into a van to drive through the fords. So we drove out there again, packed into a red van. only they couldnt get through the ford either.

Then the farmer's son drove up in his 4WD ute. he agreed to drive all our packs in, and a couple of us who would fit in his cab. So Littletree and I got a lift in, crossing 3 fords, to the end of the road.

Then it was a 20 minute walk (which became 40 mins with all the luggage and Littletree) through driving rain and tall grass. We arrived to the rainbow soaked. Everyone at the gathering was huddled in one Yurt, where I left Littletree in the hands of Rapunzel (!) and dropped the backpack in a tipi before running back to get our other bags - I could carry all my bags in one go, but not while carrying Littletree at the same time.

By the time I got back, it was too late and too wet to set up our tent, and someone offered us to sleep in a big tent. One warm and dry night :)

The next morning, it was still raining
19 Tipis
Pretty much the whole gathering (about 30 people) stayed in the Yurt, which had room for about 20. We sat in there the whole day, it was very crowded, but fun. Though Littletree found it boring and miserable.
25 Yurt
I decided to bail out a bit; took Littletree and a lot of wet stuff back to the start of the track into the gathering, where there was a little NZ trampers hut. We started a fire in the fireplace and strung up everyone's wet clothes to dry. We had a really nice warm cosy night's sleep too :)
20 Hut
I thought long and hard about leaving. It didn't look like it would ever stop raining. And staying at the rainbow was pretty miserable for Littletree - being cooped up in a crowded yurt for hours, being unable to walk around (what was for me thigh high wet grass was face-high wet grass for her), no other kids...

Well, in the end I took us back into the gathering, and did a few trips to bring all our stuff (now dry) back in too. I set up our tent right next to the yurt and hoped for the best, thinking that I would leave if the weather didn't improve. The next day, the sun came out! :D
28 Yurt
39 The Gathering
We got out of our tents and basked in the burning sun. I did capoeira workshops and went down to swim in the freezing cold river
33 River
48 River
We had some clouds, but it didn't rain again; the gathering became fun and happy. Some kids arrived for Littletree to play with, we had long talking circles and fun workshops.
38 Circling
I fell for a sweet girl, we had sister circle, I got stung by another bee and had another reaction, we made wreaths out of grasses and wildflowers, and generally had a great time.
We did a lot of singing - the kiwi family is good like that :)
And learned some new songs; even some Maori rainbow songs.
Te aroha, te vaka pono, te maui a maui eh tatu tatu weh.
(forgive me if I transcribed that wrong ;) )

Then it was time to leave. :(
A group of people were all going out together, and it included a ride from the hut to my car, so I left with them. It was a hot sunny day and a couple of people came along to help me carry my stuff.
44 Bridge Out
We got to our car and off we drove...

1 comment:

Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)