Before I went to Australia, the boyfriend wanted to stay at an oasis on the beach for five days. We would kayak, fish, swim, surf, and ride bikes. Raglan, New Zealand's most notorious beach town, claims the longest left-hand break in the world.
The last time I took a surfing class was six years ago in Hawaii. My surfboard collided with the instructor's head, he crawled out of the ocean, and someone had to replace him. I wanted another surfing lesson. In Raglan. We hadn't anticipated that one of the largest storms in the world would still be raging on New Zealand.
The boyfriend drove us through wind, rain, and hail. I have 20/400 vision. I can hardly drive in the sun. In preparation for the trip, Boyfriend took it on himself to book our accommodation.
Our conversation a week prior:
Him: "I'm going to get us an awesome place to stay right on the beach. In a hut or something. On the beach!"
I was skeptical. I'd been backpacking through seven countries for a year and a half. I knew how to locate decent hostels.
Me: "Are you sure? I'm looking online now and I really don't mind booking it."
Him: "I just found the perfect place. On the sand. We can stumble out onto the beach. Boom!"
Me: "Oh sweet, what place is it? I love stumbling out onto the beach!"
Him: "I'm not going to tell you, it's a surprise. I'm a genius. We're staying on a beach!"
He sung the last part. Over the next week he spoke of how excited he was. He praised his powers of discovery.
The place was called Solscape. It was not on a beach.
Raindrops assaulted the car's windshield as we drove up a hill, a ten minute drive away from the sand. Wind smacked my hair into my eyes as we got out.
"What is this place?" I asked.
It looked like a crazy commune cult. Midget burnt red and puke green cabooses dotted the grass. We were expected to sleep in them. I saw one bathroom.
"The website said eco friendly... I thought it was on the beach," he replied, looking around confused.
"Did it say it was on the beach?" I asked.
"No... but there was a picture of a beach on the website."
"Was there a caboose on the beach?"
"No... but there was a picture of sand!"
"There was one picture of one random beach to show the surrounding area and you take that to mean the hostel is on the beach?" I persisted.
"False advertising!" he exclaimed.
We had a bottle of rum for the night. We stayed at Solscape the one night. A small bed took over ninety percent of our caboose. There weren't electrical outlets. After drinking rum by ourselves while sitting on the bed, he started to get claustrophobic and I started to get depressed.
The cabooses surrounded a large wooden circular communal kitchen, so we went there with the remainder of our bottle. In a short time, we altered the quiet lull of eco friendly conversation into a yelling, rum-chugging drinking game of Pyramid. I ran back to the caboose for my laptop so I could play party music instead of the nature sounds softly projecting a tranquil atmosphere. We gave away shots and made friends.
The next morning, we relocated to my hostel of choice, Raglan Backpackers. When we checked out of Solscape, the receptionist apologized for the noise the night before.
"I'm so sorry," she said. "This is a peaceful place to rest and meditate on life's journey. I sincerely hope you're not leaving because of the noise. It's never been that loud here before. Ever."
"Um. No, family emergency," I responded.
Raglan Backpackers offered hammocks, free bike rental, a hot tub, sauna, golf and surf lessons, kayaks, and fishing rods. I was ecstatic to do everything. I did nothing. It stormed the entire time.