5432 Kilometers

That’s how much I put on the rental car. I don’t know of a good word for “milage” in metric-talk, other than just plain “distance”. It was a good work-horse Nissan Sunny from Apex rentals, big enough for all my crap and all of Megan’s crap, and both of us. It picked up a scratch or two and a lot of dust, but no real damage.

I’m in the air, flying from Christchurch to Sydney: more miles, to be followed by a trip to Los Angeles and then finally Home. I don’t know if Home will look any different, or if I will to it, or how long it will take for the Default World to leak or flow or rush back into my bones.

I don’t know why I try to put datelines on some of these posts. I’m now back home in Palo Alto, and it’s the end of March. I’ve changed the dateline on this posting at least four times, and I’m kind of hoping I actually push it out today.

This posting isn’t going to be much of a story and it isn’t an essay, but I know that I’m already forgetting even the path I followed, and may not have enough documentation to construct it from that, so I’m going to try to set down the way-points and maybe a quick jot or two for each place I can remember in that 5432 klick journey. Some times in the past I’ve kept a travel journal in a top-bound shorthand notebook, and not only jotted down events, but with a glue-stick pasted in postcards of things I’d seen, and such ephemera as I collected and would otherwise throw away: receipts of meals, currency exchanges, lodgings, business cards. It was a great way to keep track of the physical path of whatever journey I was on. This time I had the notebook and glue stick, but not the habit. My loss.

This list won’t mean much to most of you, but it’s the string of beads that might remind me of things in the months and years to come. I could and probably should put a photo or two on each of these ill-formatted list-items, but in the interest of Getting It Done I won’t do that.

    South Pole of the Planet
    MacMurdo Station
    South Island, New Zealand
    Dux de Lux restaurant, salad, The Pavilions, a bed
    Walking around the point, Kuenie at the YHA, the bread at Hislop Cafe
    Back to Christchurch
    Michele, the farmers’ market, Quaker Meeting, meeting Arthur there, loan of hiking equipment
    Arthur’s Pass
    Walks, feeling super-human, walking Bealey Spur and Avalanche Peak, home-stay with Geoff and Renée, picking up Megan
    Kayaks in the lagoon, woods, birds, sandflies. Lots of sandflies.
    Fox Glacier
    A glacier. Running into other polies.
    Venus Coffee roasters
    Te Anau
    Staging ground for Great Walks. Walking the Milford Sound, while Megan walked the Kepler.
    Milford Sound
    Scenic cruise, meeting the politico/camera man Something Blumensomething. Ride back with the Viennese and German.
    Spring Creek near Picton
    Eddie the Eel
    Ferry Crossing

    North Island
    Havelock North, Napier
    Snapper Holiday Park
    Art Deco, bells in the park
    Long drive through wind farm
    Dannevirke and Norsewood
    Drove through the parts of New Zealand that were invaded by vikings, or something
    Musty trailer, Megan and I negotiate interaction styles
    National Park
    The National Park, Ski Haus, Tongariro, Mount Doom, 50 kph winds, red crater, colored lakes, glow worms, Morepork, Census Day March 5th, Wairakei Thermal Valley Roadside Attraction
    Droping Megan

    Rushing Back
    New Plymouth, 10th
    Ferry Crossing
    Wellington, 11th
    City, book-hunt, big-ass city hostel, ferry ride back, dolphins
    Hanmer Springs, 12th
    Late arrival, spa pools, lovely hostel, real internet, leaving free food, catching up on some blogging
    Christchurch, 13th
    The CDC again, getting rid of stuff on newly redeployed, repacking, misunderstandings and walks to the airport, humping luggage many times, back with Arthur and Elizabeth, Peking Duck in Riccardton, walk in the Riccarton Woods with Arthur, sharing ginger and lemon tea, 3:30 AM wake-up, car drop, airport, all’s well.


2 responses to “5432 Kilometers

  1. It was surprising how easy it was to settle back into default life. I owe that posting, but it’s been a month now, and Pole seems like another me, a world away.

    If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to distill out at least some of the minimalism of the pole and reduce the physical, emotional, and temporal clutter in my life.

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