So we camped for the first time this weekend and now we're home, knackered, sunburned and quite relieved to have got the 'messy' unpacking business over and done with. Overall we had a fab weekend with a few challenges, experiences and lessons learned along the way.
Like just tell me, who the hell knew we would be camping on a sand dune anyway?
Our pitch was the only gap where there were no trees and the wind blew threw at 90 miles an hour. Jeepers, it was so very nearly time to book into a motel when I couldn't hold the pressure of the tent from inside, so that OH could get some pegs in the 'ground'. No sooner had we a peg in the ground, the wind just pulled them right out again.
After many people came over to 'comment' on the wind and offer help 'if we needed it?' I began to think we were the hired entertainment for the weekend. Anyway, on the verge of stamping my feet and crying we had a bright idea to park the car betweeen the tent and the dunes, so at least we could have a bit of shelter from the wind and we got there in the end:
The bit of grass to the side of us was only there because the tap was there, the rest was just sand.
The rest of the night was fairly uneventful, the wind typically died down almost immediately after we had set up. Honestly there wasn't another tent on the whole site that had a pitch like ours with it's very own mini-tornado blowing sand in every direction.
Next day we headed out for an explore, hoping to god that the wind wouldn't come back and blow the tent over. We went to Bridal Veil falls:
After which we thought we would follow the road to Kawhia, somewhere else we had thought about camping. Again, expect the unexpected as no sooner had we set off on the road, said sealed road ran out and we were on a very scary winding gravel for 30 something kms.
We had no idea really what road we were on and never saw another car all the way, except for a hired campervan coming the other way. There were loads of rocks and rubble and landslides across the road. So it was fun! We arrived at some beach, we've no idea what it was called or where it was as we couldn't find the road on a map.
Hmm, then a big decision to make, do we do many kms detour around via Hamilton on a proper road that is actually on the map or go back the way we came. We went back the way we came.
It was a bit less scary second time around.
When we got back to camp, our very own personal sandstorm had indeed paid a visit; the back end of the tent looked a bit worse for wear and the inside, bedroom end was full of sand. There was sand everywhere; pillows, bed, sheet, sleeping bags all full it. Oh Poop! *Insert a few other expletives* Never mind, it was soon put back to normal and we popped over the dunes to the beach:
At the end of the day, we had some trials, but we had a bloody good laugh:
The worst bit was having to pack everything back up again, with everything covered in sand and impossible to clean off when the only other surfaces around you are covered in more sand. Tent is currently in a heap in the garage, alledgedly getting cleaned up tomorrow.
Can't wait to go again!