Yes so the forecasters were spot on and the weather at Vinegar Hill is only for the campers of a much tougher breed than I (read: much butcher breed).
We ran into a group of lesbians from Hamilton who instantly recognised the trio of us as family thanks to the giant â€˜lesbianâ€™ sign we had complete with bright flashing lights above our heads. We drank beer, played pool and met a bunch of local shearers my girlfriend convinced with her random yarn that they could make $60 a sheep plying their trade in Auckland. Maybe she meant they could become hairdressers. Who knows.
We shared shots and talked about the sheep trade like we knew something, then called it a night, and lay in bed listening to the screaming wind thanking ourselves for being pussies and crashing at a motel.
Having breakfast at the local cafÃ© we encountered the most tired looking group of gay men I have ever seen, and saw much of the same when we headed down to the campsite to chat to the survivors. While some were packing up and heading for shelter, most were cheerful and exhausted, and staying put. There was also a group of women skinny dipping in the river, until we and a sudden onslaught of tourists arrived at a nearby bridge with cameras (we WERE just trying to get pictures of the campground!)
We ran into a group from Auckland and Hamilton who were under shelter cooking bacon and eggs and also stubbornly staying put.
Now? Well weâ€™ve run to my surrogate motherâ€™s house an hour away for wine, dinner, internet, beds and laughs before checking the weather tomorrow (when the worst is forecast to hit) and deciding whether to go to Vinegar Hill and butch it up, meet friends in Taupo or head down to Wellington and the gay bars.
Overall? Yes I admit it, camping fail! I hope I get to keep my lesbian card, I just had it laminated.
PS: I have learned an important life lesson never to do a road trip when you are outnumbered by lovers of bad pop. I have had about as much Vengaboys as I can cope with â€¦ thank God they left Aqua at home â€¦