Adventures on the East Cape

Brixham Kiwi By Brixham Kiwi, 28th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/23udqvf7/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Oceania>New Zealand>The Coromandel, Bay of Plenty & East Cape

We wonder whether Anthony Perkins is alive and well and living in New Zealand and meet the fascinating owner of the campsite - Ginger Walker

Anthony Perkins

So, there we were, right out on the East Cape, on a camp site offering water and rubbish collection but very little else apart from glorious views – nobody around to even collect the $11.50 fee. There was a family camping right down in the far corner and that was it, until..... a small camper van bumped its way past us down to the bottom of the field and a young man got out; he proceeded to open the passenger door (but nobody got out...) he then flipped up the back “lid” (but there was a piece of material hanging down, meaning we couldn’t see INTO the van....; he washed and cleaned the van and washed and cleaned what seemed like every removable item in the vehicle – we could only deduce that he had forgotten to close a window on the 20k drive on unsealed road to get out to East Cape (BIG mistake!). However, he then wandered around, not settling, appeared to be talking to somebody (but there was no signal for the phone....), kept peering into the van and then seemed to take photographs of the inside. He wandered around some more, went down onto the beach but didn’t stay; came back to the van and continued his rather odd behaviour.

Well, Jeremy said he was obviously Billy No Mates. I was kinder saying he had probably had a fall out with girlfriend but had decided to have his holiday anyway. After a drink I added to that thought and said perhaps his wife/girlfriend had died and Jeremy chipped in with “and they had planned the trip and is making it in her memory”. We sat outside reading and chatting until the sun went down. We went to bed early – about 9.30 and the discussion about the lone camper got wilder and sillier as we read our books – we finally decided that he had killed wife/girlfriend and she was hidden in the camper van and he was wondering what to do about it – Jeremy commenting again that he DID look a bit like Anthony Perkins. Anyway, we turned out the lights and as soon as we did, we heard a vehicle engine. Jeremy said “Anthony Perkins is on the move”, we giggled ( we had had the odd glass or three....) and then the engine stopped... right outside Bertie..... “He’s stopped outside the bus” I whispered. A door slammed, “he’s getting out” I said leaping out of bed and trying to peer through our blinds – “he’s coming up to the door”. At this Jeremy leapt out of bed, grabbing my large beach towel for modesty and went to the door. Somebody knocked, and, JEREMY OPENED THE DOOR!!! I then grabbed a towel to cover MY modesty. A rather hairy arm appeared around the door, covered in freckles, followed by a large man who said “Good Evening, I’ve come to collect the fee, sorry I’m a bit late. So, it wasn't Anthony Perkins at all (and we never did discover the reason for his odd behavior...), it was Ginger Walker, a Maori who owned the campsite and all the land that we could see.

He stayed for about an hour and a half – what a character; his Grandmother had been Maori – I lost track of his father and/or stepfather who was either Scottish or Irish and his Grandfather who had been either Spanish or Portuguese (it was getting late by then). Anyway, he regaled us with stories of growing up on the Cape before there was a road (pre-mid 1970’s) when they used to go everywhere by horse and how they used to play jokes on people – once by unhitching a horse attached to a cart, taking the horse the other side of the hedge, pushing the shafts through the hedge and hitching the cart up again; when the poor owner came out some hours later, slightly the worse for drink and got into his cart the poor old horse couldn't move. It apparently took the owner some time to work out what had happened. He also told us what he liked to eat then and now; fresh bread with jam and cream, corn cobs with jam and cream, kumara (sweet potato) with, you’ve guessed it, jam and cream. He also told us about a Maori delicacy involving putting corn cobs in a sack and throwing them into a river for about nine months before dragging them out again – the translation of the name of the dish was “rotten corn” (!!!???) – it apparently stank to high heaven but was absolutely delicious (we waited for the punchline), if you added a bit of jam and cream....!

Tags

Campervans, Maori, Motorhomes, New Zealand, Pacific, Surf, Travel

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author avatar Brixham Kiwi
If I must get old, let me travel

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