So. The other day I went out to Milford Sound. It was quite an amazingly beautiful drive. Super twisty-turny and up up up and then down down down. I took the boat cruise onto the fjord and it was beautiful. It made me miss my cousin Ross, because it was a lot like the fjord cruise we took in Norway...just as cold, but not as sunny. It was clouded over, but gorgeous anyway. Also there were tons of Japanese people on the boat, just like in Norway. If you want to read about that fjord trip, click on 'Scandinavia' and rifle through those posts until you find the ones about the fjord cruise.
After the cruise, I started the long journey back to the town of Te Anau, (pronounced like the Keanu in Keanu Reeves). On the side of the road I saw two nice young men with a sign that said Te Anau and so I picked them up. They were early-20 something French dudes. They didn't stink fortunately and we had a nice drive all the way back to Te Anau. There we went to a pub and spent 6 hours drinking beer and chatting. They are both computer type guys who are on a working holiday Visa. This is for people who are under 30 (dang!) and they can go someplace and work up to a year. It's pretty easy to get one. So they were working in a lettuce factory in Perth for a month and they made $3000 Euros. They're using the money to tour around New Zealand in a tent. After the pub, I dropped them at their 'campsite', (a field) so they could free camp. Free camping is not OK, but everybody does it. You can get a fine, but it's rare and so a lot of people take that risk. They sleep in their cars, their camper vans, and tents and it costs nothing. They try and get free showers when possible, and the French dudes told me that about every third night they rent a hostel room. Anyway we got along so well that I agreed to let them ride with me the next day all the way to Balclutha, where they were to get out and free camp all through the Catlins on their way back to Christchurch.
So here's how they saved me. First, from dead bored driving by myself for hundreds of miles, and second:
We stopped at a grocery store and bought food. Then we headed out of Te Anau and I wanted to stop for coffee. I was hoping to find something on the edge of town but didn't. So I gave up on that idea and decided to wait until Gore, our next destination. Just then, Antonin reminded me that I promised to play him a Ramona Day song on my laptop. So I decided to make a U-Turn, go back for coffee and play them the song. We got to the coffee shop, and I realized I had no wallet. We searched the entire car, and I thought it just had to be at the grocery store. I went in and asked at the register. "Nope." She said, and so I went back out to search the car again. 10 minutes later I went back in the store, thinking it just didn't seem right. I decided to ask at the information desk. They had it! Thank goodness. And if Antonin didn't ask to hear my song, I would have had to drive all the way back from Gore to get my wallet.
What would happen if you lost your wallet on a trip? Gosh, I hate to even think about it.