With just a few days to go until we leave for NZ (we fly Sunday), the pressure is mounting to finish everything. Of course we always knew we are leaving this weekend and thought we were well advanced with the preparations, but holy hell were we wrong! All the little things add up, and how inconvenient it is to have to work! (Although as we face uncertain future income, every day’s wages are to be treasured!)
You know how hectic things feel before you go on holiday and that last minute rush to get everything done? That, multiplied by a gazillion is how I feel at the moment. It’s like everyone who ever wanted anything from me has chosen this week to ask for it and on top of that I am trying to finish, document and hand-over my regular work, plus clean out 6 years worth of emails and personal files. So it’s pretty frantic at the moment… Daniel, meanwhile, has long since checked out (since June?), and while technically he does turn up at the office every day, he’s barely there long enough to warm his chair. When I leave for work in the morning he is still sleeping with the duvet pulled over his head to resist the morning. We lunch at home most days and after lunch, while I am dashing out the door back to the office, Daniel is climbing into bed for a nap … To top it all off, today when I returned from work, I found the door locked and Daniel again sleeping! Apparently these trip preparations have left him very fatigued …. I wonder how “fatigued” he will be in NZ when my hiking plan requires us to have 20ks under our belt before lunch. I am already imagining his pleas to put up the tent for a lunchtime nap!
I mentioned above that we are lunching at home these days. This is because we are on a mission to clear the remaining contents of the cupboards and the fridge. In practice this means a unique form of food-combining, where one of us might have a bowl of cereal with a side of cheese, while the other has a tin of beetroot with seaweed and couscous. And dried fruit and nuts accompany EVERY meal (during the food research period, all potential bush food was bought for sampling in quantities that would feed a family of 10!).
These last few days we are also binning or recycling our last few pieces of non-trekking clothes. Every day this week when I get home from work I step out of my shirt and skirt and put them straight in the recycling bin (yay, no laundry!). Items “not fit for recyling” are being packed in Daniel’s suitcase and the hotel staff will have a surprise or two when they enter the room after we check out and find a couple of suitcases left behind!
Although traffic through the door is mostly outwards these days, some new items are being brought in 🙂 In an effort to reduce his pack weight (yes, i know, he is still obsessing over this!), Daniel traded his Calvin Klein undies for, ahem, smaller Calvin Klein undies … he claims it’s a happy compromise between style and weight. I can’t comment yet as I couldn’t see clearly through my tears of laughter when he tried them on!
At this late stage, we are still without a few items that should travel with us this weekend:
– new t-shirts for both of us. Our current synthetic t-shirts are stinking so thoroughly after months of sweaty HK hikes, that we are going to start the Te Araroa with fresh ones. To be picked up Saturday.
– yet another gimmicky thing for the tripod. Apparently in all the many photo equipment boxes that have previously been delivered, one essential item was missing, and it has now been ordered from the US. Will it arrive on time? Who knows! If not, it’ll be seen as an opportunity to browse through Auckland’s camera shops 🙂
– we had planned to have a new stove also, which was being custom built, but its manufacture has been delayed as a key ingredient couldn’t be sourced. What this really means is that Daniel couldn’t fnd the heat tape he needs to make our new “canned stove” – something he saw on you tube last week that convinced him to forgo the decades of research and investment behind the MSR Dragonfly stove I wanted to get. Communicating a need for heat tape in the local HK hardware stores was beyond him, so this is on hold until we reach New Zealand. As a back-up, we have our woodstove, so I am happy to let boys be boys and see what he can fashion out of a pepsi can, some tape and his new knife 🙂