been forced to turn of the electric heater and to turn down the gas heater. Our only regret was that we had missed out on our much looked forward to swim in the pool. And so, at 11 o’clock, someone suggested it was about time for the sack. Then Bruce opened up a new conversational gambit which dissolved all thoughts of bed: “David, what time did that fella say the pool opened again?” queried Bruce.
“Well, he was a little vague about that,” I answered casually, adding, “something about, ‘as soon as you get up’, I think.”
“Well,” piped up Margaret M. brightly, “why don’t we ‘get up’ now?” Thus this young lady brilliantly sidestepped the suggestion of the proprietor that the pool was closed after 9 pm. All he had said was that the lights would be turned off. And who needs lights to go for a swim?
A QUESTION OF TEMPERATURE
A quick change, which incidentally, raised its own problems of decorum, and we were ready to set out into the night. The whole idea had been very easy to decide on while wrapped in the warmth of the caravan, but when Bruce stepped outside, and had stepped back in again equally as quickly, doubts were raised as to the likely temperature of the said pool. Another quick censultation, with Margaret M. leading the case for the prosecution, or continuance of the original plan, and we decided to bravely press on, after ﬁrst fortifying the clothing situation.
With torches ﬂickering ahead of us we made our way through the break in the hedge, across a nearly deserted camping area, and down a bush track to the pool. Fortunately no one else was stirring, it now being close to midnight, so there was no one, to witness the startling results of our garb, especially concerning Bruce and I: towels draped over our dressing gowned shoulders, and bare legs disappearing into socks and shoes – a sight straight out of a slap stick movie. On arrival we found not one, but three pools. all concrete encased and ﬂanked by neat dressing sheds. Which one was the hottest? A question only answered by scientiﬁcally testing each one by way of a dipped ﬁnger. A decision was soon reached and we all carefully “felt” our-way down the steps into “our pool”.
There are a hundred adjectives to describe an enjoyable experience, but none could adequately cover the superlative feeling of glorious wellbeing that came with my submersion into the tepid waters of that pool. About 60 feet long and 30 wide, the pool was concrete sided and gravel bottomed with ever varying patterns of bubbling springs emerging from the depths to stir the water and ripple the surface. On two sides, native bush framed heavens sparkled with a thousand winking stars. Here was an idylic spot and we had it all to ourselves. That we made the most of the situation is attested to by the fact that we stayed in that pool for two marvellous hours, at once relaxing in lazy drifting, then cavorting about in exhilarating horse play. It was only the knowledge that on the morrow we must needs press on that got us out of there at all, for while the rest of the world may well have being tearing itself to pieces, we at least were at peace with our Maker and damned glad to be alive and just where we were.
Another cup of coffee back at the caravan, after a brisk rub down in the dressing sheds at the end of the pool, and we were ready for bed and the end of a very satisfying day.
In the morning, which somehow arrived a little later than we had planned, the girls prepared breakfast over in the cook house, while Bruce and I shot off movie pictures in all directions, an occupation which still so ﬁlled our thoughts that we inexplicably continued to overlook the necessity to take stills. Naturally our movie cameras and tripods attracted quite a lot of attention from holiday makers, half of whom expressed the hope that they would see their pictures on television that night.
Just before 12 o’clock Bruce and Margaret M. set off for Auckland where he had arranged to have the exposed movie ﬁlm processed and run through a projector, thus showing him how well or how bad he and his equipment were functioning. Margaret H. and l fussed around ensuring that all was tied down in the caravan until just after midday I went up to the ofﬁce to settle the bill. That is when I discovered that midday holds a signiﬁcant place in the day of the camp operator; if you haven’t settled up by that time then obviously you must be going to stay another day. The fact that you are at the gate with your bag and baggage attached is completely irrelevant, you have passed the sacrosanct hour, therefore thou shalt pay. Needless to say I acted very innocent, and indignant, when told I would have to fork out for another 24 hours fee. By talking hard and fast I managed to get off the hook.
At this camp we paid the highest rates of the tour, but the facilities (very clean and adequate). along with the availability of the hot pools justiﬁed the higher tariffs. These were: Campsite only, 12/- a night for one or two adults plus 5/- for each additional adult. plus 4/- for the power point. For the rest of the trip we rarely paid over 18/- all in, on one occasion, at Taupo, the rate for all of us was only 12/-, power point and all. (There was never an extra charge for power used.)
A JOY IN ITSELF
After the little difference of opinion over the time barrier I ﬁgured it would be wise to move off as quickly as possible, so back to the car and caravan, where Margaret M. was sweeping out the last of the nights accumulated dirt and dust, a quick word to the sweeper, and we were on our way on through the gates and heading towards Morrinsville. From Morrinsville we motored through Tahuna – where we nearly tangled with a ﬁre engine – to the Ohinewai junction with the main north highway, and on along this road until turned onto the 20-odd-mile-long motorway into Auckland. This journey was relatively uneventful. To motor along good roads which were carrying light trafﬁc, through typical New Zealand farmland countryside of rolling green pastures dotted with sheep, cows, cattle, hedges, and farmhouses is a joy in itself – if you have no desparate need to be at a certain point by a certain time. By this time the caravan out back had become a part of the car. We had found the best speed to travel at, a speed which ate up the miles yet a speed which caused no unpleasant reactions from the car-caravan unit. The day was beautifully clear, the radio reception was good, and if it was outside, we didn‘t know it. All in all it was a great life.
At 2 o’clock we had stopped for a very pleasant lunch at a wayside luncheon room. so, with the good run we had all the way, we found ourselves pulling off the motorway on to the Great South Road. just south of New Market, at around 4 o‘clock in the afternoon. This was rather good timing for I had arranged with Bruce that I would telephone him at this time and that we would then make arrangements for the next stop-over point. Our immediate objective then was to ﬁnd a telephone. We decided to kill two birds with one stone and ﬁnd the A.A. office which we knew to be on the Great South Road somewhere. use their telephone and obtain their advice at the same time.
As soon as we turned off the motorway I realised that we had come too far. therefore I would need to