Sometimes you get stuck

March 2, 2012 by Jeramie

“Here’s your hat and what’s your hurry?” We were up and about and driving as usual before we knew where we were going. As we headed south, we discussed the possibilities and arrived at heading straight for a shipwreck we knew about, before heading across the island to Castle Point. Well, we all know that cliche of silly Americans going somewhere overseas and doing something stupid. Yup, that’s us. As Zoe mentioned earlier, she’s learning to drive standard, on the wrong side of the road, in the wrong side of the car, with a large van (stick’s on the steering column for those of you who realize that’s an even bigger pain in the ass). Well, the plan was for her to get some driving time in as we headed for the shipwreck, so she took a chunk of the road on the way down there, and was doing great. When we got close, I drove us through town over to the beach only to realize it (as like many beaches in NZ) was open to vehicles. “Want to take a spin hun?” She reluctantly agreed, half excited, half terrified. I should have listened to my silent conscience, or to her repeating out loud, “This is a bad idea!” Because eventually, the recent rain hid the actually dry sand beneath it and…. well, here’s the picture.

We dug rapidly for half an hour, gave it a couple goes trying to get her out, before we heard behind us a 4 year old running at us, nearly toppling over as he attempted to maneuver the rolling hills of dry sand and driftwood, yelling out, “Guys! it’s ok, we’re here. We’re here guys it’s ok!”

The young boy, his cousin and their grandfather, Joseph, joined us in attempting to hand dig her out, unsuccessfully. Joseph though, had a tractor, which he zoomed home to get, and pulled us out with ease.

***VIDEO of the extraction is coming, there’s a cap limit on upload here 🙁

We thanked him and his grand kids, and as we were leaving one of them ran up and asked us to join them for a cup of tea at their house. The classic story of New Zealand, from what I’ve heard, is a local family offering for you to come over to their house for warmth, tea, a meal, a shower or a bed. All of these happened this evening. We followed them home, Joseph’s 8 year old grand daughter at the wheel of his (2 month new!) tractor. He eventually admitted to us, that this was redemption. Their truck had failed them just the night before, and were helped by a couple coming along the road, and him helping us today must have been his chance to pass the good fortune along.

They were lovely hosts, who fed us tea, coffee, dinner (to us it was dinner, to them it was just “evening tea”), insisted we use their shower, and offered repeatedly that we could spend the night, but we thanked them and caffeinated as we were, headed for the east coast through the night.

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