New Zealand Cycle Tour: Mount Maunganui – Day Off
Sleep was unsuccessful. My sleeping bag was hot and restraining, I kicked and rolled over and fought with my ladybird pillow. I was having visions of being caught by the camping authorities and being fined $500 for trespassing. Scott moaned with all my sudden movements. Not long after I fell asleep my alarm sounded. It was half an hour before dawn. Rummaging around inside the tent, I stuffed things back into their individual receptacles. Scott reluctantly followed my lead, slithering into his day clothes lying flat on his back.
I refused to leave the tent. I was not ready to get caught. From inside the tent everything was bagged. The tent came down under the fly, and clambering over each other that got bagged up. Eventually everything, including us, was in a small neat pile under the fly of the tent. The sun was coming up and all we had to do was disassemble the fly, bag that with the tent, and put everything and ourselves onto the two bikes and get the hell out of there.
Five minutes later we rolled out of camp. The only sign of life was a stout man in a terry cloth dressing gown secured tightly around his middle. He stepped out in slippers, down the two steps of his caravan onto a welcome mat. He was holding a steaming cup of something under his nose and watching us. I was sure his eyes showed his suspicion; after all I was sure we had a neon light hovering above us announcing “trespassers here!”
Never was I so relieved to be out of bed. The next three hours were spent in an early morning cafe waiting for the rest of town to wake up. We booked a hotel and got Scott’s bike fixed. We rested.