A Little History
South Island, New Zealand 2005
A pale daytime moon is stamped on the sky and snow-capped hills line the horizon of a long empty road.
As a pair of thrifty travellers on a year-long trip to NZ, we’d poo-pooed the expensive fuel of tourist trap Milford Haven-home of dramatic fjords and leaping dolphins-instead preferring to seek a roadside fuel stop somewhere along the 100km road back to civilisation.
The plan was not going well.
We’d already passed three gas stations with ‘No Fuel’ signs-our bravado slipping way, the fuel gauge dropping in time with our hearts.
As we approach an incline, our aged van starts to complain and splutter. My partner in crime, the unflappable, fatalistic and yet ever optimistic Oliver states in his matter of fact way, usually reserved for demanding parking spaces from the universe on busy shopping Saturdays, ‘There will be a gas station over this hill….’
We reach the peak on the last vapours of the tank and with gravity as our own propeller, descend towards a shimmering oasis in the desert- a fuel station. And not just any roadside pump, but a proper forecourt with actual fuel. We coast down to it, my beloved steering us in and our faithful old van halts at the pump without the brakes even being applied.
We’re stupid, but we’re lucky and we believe in magic, so life is always an adventure.