A trip to my best friend’s lakeside bach at Rotoma was the calling for the weekend. It didn’t take much to convince three gal pals with descriptions of peace, serene vistas and a fireplace. K came down from Auckland and we jam-packed our vehicle of choice ‘The Black Beauty’. Actually jam-packed is probably an understatement. We loaded up Black Beauty and quickly slammed the door shut before hairdryers and shoes could escape. K and E peeked out from the back amid thick duvets, having met for the first time; while H drove and I navigated the directions and raspberry liquorice.
We arrived late then discovered that there was no water coming from any tap. After a ‘round the bach investigation’ armed with receptionless cell phones as sources of light, we resided to sort it out in the morning. The fire was quickly lit, a bucket of water was collected from the stream and the homemade truffles made an appearance.
Following a morning breakfast on the deck with the sun beaming across our view of the lake, H and I went in search of cell phone reception to let my bestie know what was going on. We’d found out that the neighbouring bach had running water, from the occupants, but not us. It turned out to be more of a complex matter involving blockages and pipes. So my bestie suggested asking the local camp ground if we could shower there.
Still in our pyjamas, Saturday had turned into a mission to find showering and bathroom facilities. We cautiously drove into the first camp ground only to discover barren sites, a hyperactive jumping dog, a teen with a hairstyle that we had to actually stifle our laughter (I was so glad that I was in the back seat masked by tinted windows) and no hot water.
Down the road there was a natural hot mineral spring, but no shower facilities to follow through. The caravan park had turned off its ablution block for the low season and the public toilets next to the park became dubbed the place for our ‘poo-cation’.
The group consensus was to have ‘cat showers’ using baby wipes (always be overly prepared) before heading into Rotorua in search of some hot pools with a shower. After being side-tracked by the Black Beauty scarily running on empty for ages, filling up, food, shopping and a post-spending snack of ‘muffs ‘n truffs’, we finally made it to the beautiful Blue Baths. This restored Art Deco facility was a hidden treasure with a handful of kids and two old biddies who had great legs for their age. A much needed soak in the pools was topped off with an open, but still rewarding hot shower.
Pits cleaned and hair washed we picked up some more supplies including water, stopped in at an Italian restaurant and cruised back to have food comas in front of the fire. The wine, chocolate, crackers and lollies fuelled our conversation as we chatted until the point of dropping off to sleep.
In the morning the sun-drenched deck became our outdoor living room. The breakfast table made way for mattresses, magazines and blankets as we camped out in the sunhine with the lake in front. By the time it was ready to pack up and go, the water blockage had been fixed.
The weekend was capped off with a sunset walk up Papamoa Hills and fish ‘n chips in Tauranga. Black Beauty dropped me home and we said our goodbyes. I couldn’t even unpack. I picked out my toiletries and headed straight for the best damn shower I’d ever had.*
*Technically, it wasn’t ‘the best damn shower I’d ever had’. I’ve actually had better, but it felt like it really was at the time.